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 2023
Co-Artistic Director with Simmy Singh & Sinfonia Cymru, reimagining Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons as a double concerto with improvised percussion
BBC Radio 3: curator & presenter - 3-part series Music & Machines: Music Inspired by Machines / Music Made Alongside Machines / Music Made by Machines
Music in the Summer Air Festival, Shanghai with the Aurora Percussion Duo, followed by a 10-date concert hall tour of China
New duo with triple BBC Folk Musician of the Year harmonica virtuoso Will Pound: reinventing the folk music of classical composers
Kabantu Summer tour: Spitalfields, Maui Waui, Great Comp, Lichfield, Priddy Folk & Gate to Southwll Festivals
Double Sextet: Steve Reich
Composing For..Percussion: collaborating with emerging composers to develop and premiere six percussion pieces
Hebden Bridge Arts Festival: Bodies of Water - Artistic Director in her hometown playing a local dam as a gigantic percussion instrument with local wild swimmers to highlight the corporate sewage disposal into the UK’s public waters
Propellor Ensemble (Jack McNeill)
FLIGHT - the sound of climate change with ornithologist Mark Cocker, electronic musician Leafcutter John & sound designer Linda O’Keefe
NESS - author Robert MacFarlane (The Lost Words) & illustrator Stanley Donwood
Jess Gillam Ensemble: guest percussionist
Delia is a percussionist, improviser and curator, specialising in creative reimaginations of classical music. 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 awarded an Associate Membership of the Royal Northern College of Music.
In 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 Royal at the Royal Albert Hall and Luxembourg Philharmonie to Orkney, Cambridge, Shetland, Warwick and Shrewsbury Folk Festivals.
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.