Dame Evelyn Elizabeth Ann Glennie. CH, DBE (born 19 July 1965) is a Scottish virtuoso multi-percussionist, performing internationally with a wide variety of orchestras and contemporary musicians. She was selected as one of the two laureates for the Polar Music Prize of 2015.
Glennie was born and brought up in Aberdeenshire. Her father was Herbert Arthur Glennie, an accordionist in a Scottish country dance band, and the strong, indigenous musical traditions of north-east Scotland were important in the development of the young musician, whose first instruments were the mouth organ and the clarinet. Other major influences were Glenn Gould, Jacqueline du Pré and Trilok Gurtu. She studied at Ellon Academy and the Royal Academy of Music, and was also a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland. She was a member of the Cults Percussion Ensemble, formed in 1976 by local musical educator Ron Forbes. They toured and recorded one album, which was re-released on Trunk Records in 2012.
Glennie tours extensively in the northern hemisphere, spending up to four months each year in the United States, and performs with a wide variety of orchestras and contemporary musicians, giving over 100 concerts a year as well as master classes and “music in schools” performances; she frequently commissions percussion works from composers and performs them in her concert repertoire.
She also plays the Great Highland Bagpipes and has her own registered tartan known as “The Rhythms of Evelyn Glennie”. Glennie is in the process of producing her own range of jewellery and works as a motivational speaker. Evelyn also performed at the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games in London 2012, leading a thousand drummers in the opening piece of music, and then playing the Aluphone during the ceremony for lighting the Olympic cauldron.