B i o g r a p h y
Delia Stevens is a percussionist at the forefront of her generation: a pioneer of future-facing ideas, visionary of sound and generous collaborator with “burning chops and a cosmic imagination”.
"percussion from Delia Stevens, whose thoughtful, insistent playing is crucial”
The Financial Times
"extraordinary..a joy to watch"
The Daily Telegraph
"first-rate musicians..exhilarating..there deserves to be a special mention for percussionist Delia Stevens"
Coming up in 2024
The Silent Planet: Stevens & Pound reimagine The Planets by Holst as a triple concerto for percussion, harmonica/melodeon and climate activist (Force of Nature) alongside Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the Royal Northern College of Music, conducted by Clark Rundell in July
Regenerate: Co-Artistic Director with Simmy Singh & Sinfonia Cymru, reimagining Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons as a new double concerto inspired by climate change Seasons for Change and performing a reimagination Vaughan Williams' The Lark Ascending alongside folk harmonica player Will Pound, touring Wales in June and July
Music for Pieces of Wood: Lake District Summer Music Festival, RPS Awards and an August China tour with the Aurora Percussion Duo
Ascend: launching Stevens & Pound, reimagining the folk music of classical composers with triple nominee for BBC Folk Musician of the Year, harmonica/melodeon player Will Pound - UK Summer festival tour and Autumn album launch tour
The Silent Planet: Stevens & Pound TedX Talk at Bridgewater Hall exploring the process behind their reimagination of Holst's Planets Suite
Terrains: hang drum with Portico Quartet at Earth Hackney and Elbphilharmonie Hamburg
Ness: author Robert MacFarlane, singer Hayden Thorpe and Propellor Ensemble at Aldeburgh Music on the island Orford Ness in Suffolk
Rothko Chapel: European tour performing Feldman with Manchester Collective
Catalyst: Curator and Lead Creative Artist for National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain at the Royal Festival Hall and Liverpool Philharmonic Hall
Delia is a percussionist, improviser and curator, specialising in creative reimaginations of classical music. Her current work is particularly focused on incorporating nature to explore the climate crisis through collaboration.
In 2023 Delia developed Seasons for Change, reimagining Vivaldi's Four Seasons in the light of the climate crisis as a percussion soloist alongside violinist Simmy Singh with Sinfonia Cymru for the Sky Arts Musical Masterpieces series, performed at Shanghai's Music in the Summer Air Festival as the Aurora Percussion Duo with a programme entirely from wooden instruments focused on deforestation and was a soloist with the Royal Northern Sinfonia performing Auerbach's Sogno di Stabat Mater for Violin, Viola and Vibraphone at The Fire Station and Glasshouse International Centre for Music. She curated and presented her own BBC Radio 3 series: Music and Machines and featured as a guest episode for Jess Gillam's This Classical Life as well as performing with her ensemble at the Aldeburgh Festival. Delia was also the percussionist for Psappha's final "Composing For" scheme, developing six new solo works for percussion with emerging composers and developed a piece called "Bodies of Water" with her local community in Hebden Bridge, playing water as a percussion instrument to highlight the corporate pollution in the Calder River.
In 2022 she was invited to be Artist-in-Residence at Leeds University, curating three chamber music concerts inspired by scientific research at the Bragg Institute (AlgoRhythms: Music and AI, Sounds of Metal, Multiscale Modeling), commissioning three composers (Oscar Escudero, Will Pound, Damien Harron) to write for percussion. She also gave a TedX Talk with her world-folk collective Kabantu called "Thinking in Freehand" at the Sage Gateshead, co-directed VOLCANO (percussion chamber music concert) for Multi-Story Orchestra at the Southbank Centre and was made an Associate of the Royal Northern College of Music.
n 2021 Delia was invited to perform alongside the BBC Singers for their BBC Prom (Royal Albert Hall) in their "house band". Other performance highlights include touring Avner Dorman's prolific 360° percussion concerto Frozen in Time for Prague's Last Night of the Proms (Beethoven Academy Orchestra) and across Germany (Lausitzer Philharmonie). Delia has played hang drum with the Portico Quartet (Barbican Centre), marimba for The Lion King UK tour and vibraphone for the Great British Bake Off soundtrack.
She is the co-founder of the Aurora Percussion Duo and world-folk collective Kabantu. Both groups have won the £10,000 Royal Over-Seas League Competition and tour prolifically; from the Queen Elizabeth Hall (Southbank Centre), Beijing's Forbidden Concert Hall, the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall and Luxembourg Philharmonie to Orkney, Cambridge, Shetland, Warwick and Shrewsbury Folk Festivals. More recently she co-founded Stevens & Pound with triple BBC Folk Musician of the Year nominee harmonica and melodeon player Will Pound, reimagining the folk music inspiring classical composers, launching in 2024.
Delia is the percussionist for Propellor Ensemble, creating multi-media projects around the sound of nature and climate change alongside guest artists including Hayden Thorpe, Leafcutter John and Linda O'Keefe and nature writers Robert McFarlane and Mark Cocker.
Whilst studying at the RNCM Delia also won the Gold Medal Competition (the highest award for soloists) and the Concerto Competition and as a teenager was a Category Finalist in the televised BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition.
She has worked with the National Youth Orchestra and National Children's Orchestras of Great Britain as a tutor and also held roles as Senior Lecturer in Percussion and Reflective Practice at Leeds Conservatoire.