How it started
Circle Percussion, founded in 1973 by Michael de Roo under the name 'Circle Ensemble', has been led by business and artistic director Erwin Oudshoorn since 2002. The ensemble was named after the first piece it performed, 'Circles' by Italian composer Luciano Berio. With this performance, the ensemble won a major prize at the international Gaudeamus Competition in 1974. Thus the ensemble determined its guidelines for the future: high-quality performances of contemporary music with a central role for percussion.
An important development for the ensemble came from its introduction to the visually and musically spectacular Japanese percussion. This resulted in the first concert ever performed on Japanese instruments by non-Japanese percussionists (Holland Festival 1983).
In 1984, the ensemble organised a Dutch tour with the famous Japanese percussion group KODO as its guest. During this tour, both groups combined the specific qualities of western and Japanese percussion. During this time, Circle built up its own Japanese percussion instruments, of which the 'Okedo O Daiko' in particular is very special. This drum was specially built for Circle Percussion and measures 2.55 metres long and 1.95 metres in diameter.
Another highlight for the ensemble was a more than five-week tour of Japan at the invitation of the "Tokyo Summer Festival" (1987).
The Fire in '88
1988 was the year of the major fire in the annex of the Utrecht Conservatory at the Mariaplaats in Utrecht. On 12 March of that year, this historic building and the Circle Ensemble's instruments were almost completely destroyed by fire. Thanks to a benefit concert, in which Jasper van 't Hof and Slagerij van Kampen participated, and generous donations by the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds, the collection of special percussion instruments could be rebuilt. To this day, Circle Percussion still speaks of 'before' and 'after' the fire...
The Okedo O Daiko, our biggest Taiko, was the only Japanese drum to emerge from the blazing fire thanks to the alert response of roadies and firemen.
In the same year, the company was invited by Nederlands Dans Theater to take part in the performance of the now world-famous ballet 'Kaguyahime' by choreographer Jiri Kylian.
Besides the cooperation with Nederlands Dans Theater, the ensemble has played a major role in various other important productions. Concerts were given in Japan, Israel, Argentina, America, during the World Expo in Seville (Spain) and in Bremen (Germany) as part of the celebration of the first 'Tag der Deutsche Einheid' (Day of the German Unity) (in memory of the fall of the Berlin Wall).
Circle Percussion was also active during the anniversary year of the 100th Olympic Games in Atlanta in 1996, both with the Nederlands Danstheater as part of the performance of Kaguyahime during the Olympic Arts festival, and with the theatre show 'Drums of the World'.
Circle Percussion produced the theatre show 'Drums of the World' in 1996, in collaboration with Anumadutchi. This successful theatre show, which was performed in various versions around the world some 250 times, was a trendsetter in the field of percussion performances. This was the starting point for a successful career in theatre.
With the performance of 'Drums of the World' and the cooperation with the local Taiko trio 'Honoo Daiko' during the Extasia 97′ in Japan, the ensemble was among the absolute highlights of the evening.
India, Zuid Afrika, Qatar, New York, Dubai…
Over the years Circle Percussion has played on many major world stages. In India during the opening act of the CLT20 Champions League Cricket in front of 275 million television viewers. In Qatar with artist Norman Perryman with the beautiful production 'Kinetic Painting' and at many festivals and events in for example New York, Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, Dubai, London, Seville, Tel Aviv, Madrid, Valencia and GrahamsTown (South Africa).
Sinds 1996 begeeft Circle Percussion zich in het theater.
Vele voorstellingen zijn voorbij gekomen:
Seizoen ’96/’97 – ’97/’98: Drums of the World
Seizoen ’98/’99 – ’99/’00: Drums of the World; De Jubileumvoorstelling
Seizoen ’98/’99: The Rhythm of Life
Seizoen ’99/’00: Kinetic Painting
Seizoen ’00/’01 – ’01/’02: Drumtracks
Seizoen ’02/’03 – ’03/’04: Drums of the World, Special Edition
Seizoen ’04/’05: Drums of the World, Super Special
Seizoen ’05/’06 – ’06/’07: Drums of the World, The Wild Edition en ‘Tuitende Oren’ (kindertheater)
Seizoen ’07/’08 – ’09/’10: Drums of the World.4 en ‘Tuitende Oren’
Seizoen ’10/’11 – ’11/’12: Down to Earth!
Seizoen ’12/’13 – ’14/’15: Big! Men! Drums!
Seizoen ’14/’15 – ’15/’16: CRASH TEST DRUMMERS!
Seizoen ’15/’16 – ’16/’17: Bang That Drum
Circle Percussion has been under the leadership of business and artistic director Erwin Oudshoorn since 2002.