RUSSELL BURGE, JAMES CULLEY, ALLEN OTTE – Percussion Group Cincinnati
This ia a group bio at the request of the performers.
Percussion Group Cincinnati, founded in 1979, consists of members Allen Otte, James Culley, and Russell Burge, all of whom are faculty members and ensemble-in-residence at the College-Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati. Their daily rehearsal schedule is supplemented with the teaching and coaching of young musicians, many of whom have gone on to professional careers in creative music, in teaching, and with major symphony orchestras. Appearances in their national and international touring schedule have included the major cities, festivals, concert halls and schools of America, Europe, and Asia. In addition to community concerts, workshops, and masterclasses, the Group regularly appears as concerto soloists with symphony orchestras, and has presented their program "Music From Scratch" to tens of thousands of children across North America.
Percussion Group Cincinnati is particularly respected for its knowledge of and experience with the entire range of the music of John Cage. They made tours and festival appearances with him on a number of occasions in Europe and in America, and had pieces created by Cage especially for them. The first installment of their contribution to the series of Mode Records’ integrated set of the complete music of John Cage -- the Landscapes and Credo, released in April ’11 – was an Editor’s Pick in Gramaphone magazine and chosen amongst “Ten Best of 2011” by The Wire. The concerto Cage made for them in 1984, Renga with Music For Three, will be performed as part of The University of Cincinnati’s Cage Centennial Concerts next November.
PGC has developed similar special relationships with Herbert Brun, John Luther Adams, Qu Xiao-Song, Mark Saya, Michael Barnhart, Russell Peck, and with Larry Austin on the Charles Ives Universe Symphony project. Recent trips have included the Shanghai International Spring Music Festival, and premiers of three new concertos written for them: in Hong Kong a work by Qu Xiao-Song, in Singapore with the Singapore Traditional Chinese Orchestra, and the most recent by Mexican composer Enrico Chapela. Over the past 30 years, many young composers from the United States, Latin America, Europe, Africa, and Asia have created a large body of new and often experimental music for the unique talents of Percussion Group Cincinnati.
The Group's work appears on various CDs, including their own ars moderno label; their recording of John Luther Adams’ evening-length “Strange and Sacred Noise” was released in surround-sound by Mode and they are currently planning a 30-year retrospective multi-disc set including performances from the group’s entire history.
Allen Otte, James Culley, and Russell Burge
From the archives of Allen Otte