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THIRD COAST PERCUSSION presents Chicago premiere of
SINCE TIME BEGAN
an epic new work by its mentor, percussion master Michael Burritt celebrating the 400-year history of the Avedis Zildjian Company at DePaul University Holtschneider Performance Center,
on Tuesday, December 5
The one-night-only performance will feature 32 Zildjian cymbals of all sizes and tones on stage in honor of the world’s leading maker of cymbals
The Zildjian cymbals vault. Courtesy of the Avedis Zildjian Company.
Third Coast Percussion ensemble members passing instruments including a Zildjian cymbal. Photo by Saverio Truglia.
Third Coast Percussion (TCP), a GRAMMY® Award-winning quartet of classically trained percussionists, proudly presents the Chicago premiere of Since Time Began, a monumental work composed by the ensemble’s mentor and a pioneer of percussion chamber music Michael Burritt. In celebration of the 400th anniversary of the Avedis Zildjian Company, the world's leading manufacturer of cymbals, the concert will feature an arsenal of 32 Zildjian cymbals among other percussion instruments. The one-night-only performance will take place at Gannon Concert Hall, Holtschneider Performance Center, DePaul University, 2330 N. Halsted St., on Tuesday, December 5, 2023, 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $50 premium (includes premium seating and post-show reception with artists), $25 general, and $10 student, and are now on sale at thirdcoastpercussion.com.
For this special performance, the ensemble reunites with its mentor, former Northwestern University professor Michael Burritt, who was fundamental in the forming of the group and its music style. One of his generation’s leading percussionists, Burritt is a pioneer of advancing percussion in chamber music, and his compositions for percussion have become standard repertoire for soloists and ensembles around the globe.
Since Time Began presents a 40-minute percussion quartet in four movements, each sonically representing one century in the history of the iconic Avedis Zildjian Company. With its cymbals first launched for the Ottoman army band under Sultan Mustafa during the Baroque period, Zildjian— meaning “son of cymbal maker”—is now used by classical, rock, jazz musicians and beyond on main stages all across the world. Commissioned by the Avedis Zildjian Company and written for Third Coast Percussion, this piece features a traditional mallet quartet of two marimbas and two vibraphones, surrounded by an arsenal of 32 Zildjian cymbals, 20 drums, plus custom-made metal plates and pipes.
David Skidmore, Third Coast Percussion Executive Director and ensemble member, reflects on the connection with Burritt and its significance to the ensemble: “Michael Burritt is really the reason our ensemble exists. In the early 2000s we studied under him at Northwestern University, which was the origin of our Chicago roots. His passion for chamber music has shaped the field and become influential for many. To premiere his new piece 20 years after we met makes a perfect full circle of how we are celebrating our past by creating new works for the future. This exciting new work encompasses patterns and flows of great dynamic contrast, from electric, energetic, to mystical, moody, and much more. The stage will be filled from end to end with a parade of percussion instruments, while the ensemble makes a special entrance onto the stage. We are greatly looking forward to experiencing a historic moment with the audience, our mentor, and the iconic Zildjian brand.”
Audience favorites written by some of TCP’s recent collaborators round out this program, featuring some of the most exciting and virtuosic music TCP has ever performed, including Clarice Assad’s The Hero, Gemma Peacocke’s Death Wish, and Machado Mijiga’s Situations Suite, before culminating with Since Time Began.
About Michael Burritt
Having performed on four continents and in more than forty states, Michael Burritt is one of his generation's most accomplished percussionists. He is in frequent demand performing concert tours and master classes throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia and Canada. Burritt has been soloist with the United States Air Force Band, Dallas Wind Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Nexus, The Paris Percussion Group (France), The Amadinda Percussion Group (Hungary), Ju Percussion Group (Taiwan), Percussion Art Quartet (Germany) and the Amores Percussion Group (Spain). Burritt has performed solo concerts in some of the world’s most prestigious concert halls including Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, The Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London and National Performing Arts Center in Beijing and The Kennedy Center. He has extensive chamber and orchestral experience, and has performed with the Chicago Chamber Musicians, The Chicago Symphony and The Peninsula Music Festival Orchestra. Burritt is also active as a composer, with three concertos to his credit as well as numerous solo and chamber works for percussion. His works for solo marimba have become standard repertoire for the instrument and are frequently required repertoire on international competitions. Burritt was the President of Percussive Arts Society from 2021-22, and currently holds the Paul J. Burgett Distinguished Professorship at The Eastman School of Music, where he received his Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees, as well as the prestigious Performers Certificate. Burritt was Professor of Percussion at Northwestern University from 1995-2008 where he developed a program of international distinction.
With nearly two decades of spellbinding performances to its name, Chicago-based quartet Third Coast Percussion (Sean Connors, Robert Dillon, Peter Martin, and David Skidmore) is the first percussion ensemble to win a GRAMMY® Award. Also nominated for a GRAMMY® as a composer collective, TCP recasts the classical musical experience with a brilliantly varied sonic palette, crafting music to “push percussion in new directions, blurring musical boundaries and beguiling new listeners” (NPR). The ensemble celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2025, having blossomed from percussion students who met in 2005 at Northwestern University into a thriving nonprofit organization.
With their eclectic taste and approachable sensibility, TCP has been praised for the “rare power” (The Washington Post) and “inspirational sense of fun and curiosity” (Minnesota Star-Tribune) of tours across the U.S. and four continents. The ensemble’s recordings include 17 feature albums and appearances on 14 additional releases, including its GRAMMY®-winning recording of Steve Reich’s works for percussion. It has commissioned and premiered new works from such artists as Augusta Read Thomas, Philip Glass, Missy Mazzoli, David T. Little, Danny Elfman, and Jlin – whose TCP commission Perspective was a 2023 Pulitzer Prize finalist. The quartet also serves as ensemble-in-residence at Denison University in Ohio.
Third Coast Percussion is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization. More information on Third Coast Percussion HERE.