Mr. Jahangir Shaikh
Today Evelyn Glennie is the only
classical percussionist in the world of
Music who has made a solo concert
career of beating, crashing and
banging objects. She has been
awarded a long string of awards
including a 1988 Grammy and 15
honorary doctorates (and counting).
Glennie, born in 1965, was raised on
a farm near Aberdeen, Scotland,
where she took piano lessons and
played the the harmonica and
Evelyn Glennie Listens to Sound without hearing It
Deborah Cowley is an Ottawabased writer and broadcaster. She has
travelled the world while writing more
than 100 articles for different editions
of the Reader’s Digest. She has been
an on-air broadcaster for CBC radio in
Washington, D.C., and worked for CBC
television in London and Cairo, Egypt.
She is the author of Cairo: A
Practical Guide, now in its 17th
edition, of Lucille Teasdale: Doctor
of Courage, short-listed for the
Ottawa Book Award. With her husband
George Cowley, she wrote One
Woman’s Journey: A Portrait of Pauline
Vanier. She has been a member of
Writers‟ Union of Canada since 2001.
Evelyn Glennie, the Grammy-winning percussionist,
was born just as any other normal child. Her loss of
hearing was gradual.
When she was at school at the age of 8 , her mother
Isabel Glennie first noticed her about her difficulty in
hearing. Evelyn managed to hide her growing deafness
from friends & teachers for quite a while.
At the age of 11,the marks of her deafness
deteriorated, her headmistress requested her parents
to take her to a specialist. It was then discovered that
her hearing was badly damaged as a result of gradual
The Specialist adviced that she should be fitted with
hearing aids & sent to a school for deaf. For Evelyn
everything suddenly looked black…
Evelyn determined to lead a normal life & pursue her
interest in Music.
All the teachers discouraged her
except one i.e. Ron Forbes.
Ron Forbes was the percussion
teacher at her school,who recognized
He drilled her by playing2 large
drums to different notes. He trained
her not to hear but feel the music
through various parts of our body.
This prove great for her. And the
rest was her strong determination &
Evelyn Glennie never looked back then. At the
age of 16, she toured U.K. with a Youth Orchestra.
Evelyn, at the age of 16
only, auditioned for the
Royal Academy of Music,
London & she scored the
highest marks in the history
of the academy.
The Royal Academy of Music, London
During the 3 years of the
course she achieved the
most of the top Awards at the
In 1991 she was presented with the Royal
Philharmonic Society’s prestigious Soloist of the
She has been awarded a long string of awards
including a 1988 Grammy and 15 honorary
When she plays the xylophone, she can sense the sound passing up the stick
into her fingertips
Success Mantra in her own words,
“If you work hard and know where you are going, you’ll
And she got right to the top, the world’s most sought-after
multi percussionist with a mastery of some thousand
instruments and hectic international schedule.
Music for Evelyn, she explains, “It (music) pours in
through every part of my body. It tingles in the skin, my
cheekbones and even in my hair.”
It is amazing to watch Evelyn function so effortlessly without hearing.
Evelyn in the eyes of
other masters of
Percussion like James
Blades. He says, “God
may have taken her
hearing but he has
given her back
extraordinary. What we
hear, she feels — far
more deeply than any
of us. That is why she
expresses music so
Evelyn Glennie achieved more than most
people twice of her age. She has brought
percussion to the front of the
orchestra, and demonstrated that it can
be very moving.
Evelyn has given inspiration to those who
are handicapped, people who look at her and
say, „If she can do it, I can.‟ And, not the
least, she has given great pleasure to
millions of the people.