High Point Episode 018:


Dame Evelyn Glennie

Developing our sense of curiosity


“My career and my life have been about listening in the deepest possible sense. Losing my hearing meant learning how to listen differently, to discover features of sound I hadn’t realised existed. Losing my hearing made me a better listener.”

Dame Evelyn Glennie is the first person in history to create and sustain a full-time career as a solo percussionist, performing worldwide with the greatest orchestras and artists. Evelyn has commissioned over 200 new works for solo percussion and has recorded over 40 CDs. She regularly provides masterclasses and consultations to inspire the next generation of musicians.

Leading 1000 drummers, Evelyn had a prominent role in the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games which featured a new instrument, the Glennie Concert Aluphone.

Evelyn was awarded an OBE in 1993 and has over 100 international awards to date, including 2 GRAMMY’s, the Polar Music Prize, the Léonie Sonning Music Prize and the Companion of Honour. She was appointed as the first female President of Help Musicians. Since 2021 she has been Chancellor of Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Evelyn curates for The Evelyn Glennie Collection which includes in excess of 3,800 percussion instruments. The film Touch the Sound and TED Talk are key testimonies to her unique and innovative approach to sound-creation. She continues her life-long mission to Teach the World to Listen through her charity The Evelyn Glennie Foundation, which aims to improve communication and social cohesion by encouraging everyone to discover new ways of listening in order to inspire, to create, to engage and to empower.

Evelyn explains how she discovered her impairment, goes in depth on how it affects her hearing, and how she’s been able to excel as a musician despite it.

Discover the fascinating story behind Evelyn’s musical education and the rigorous audition process that propelled her into the spotlight.

Learn why she was drawn to the path of solo percussion and how she balances the pursuit of musical excellence with pure enjoyment.

Explore the significance of scales and rudiments in Evelyn’s practice routine, and gain insight into her unique approach to deliberate practice, honing her craft with precision and dedication. Delve into an in-depth explanation of Evelyn’s impairment, and uncover how she navigates the world of sound by reading people’s faces to better understand their words.


Checkout Evelyn’s podcast and learn more about her and The Evelyn Glennie Collection on her website.

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