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Adam Sliwinski

Brooklyn, NY   

Adam Sliwinski has built a dynamic career of creative collaboration as performer, conductor, and teacher. He specializes in bringing composers, performers, and other artists together to create exciting new work.


A member of the ensemble So Percussion (proclaimed as "brilliant" and "consistently impressive" by the New York Times) since 2002, Adam has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, The Lincoln Center Festival, Stanford Lively Arts, and dozens of other venues in the United States. In that time, So Percussion has toured Russia, Spain, Australia, Italy, Germany, and Scotland. He has had the opportunity to work closely with Steve Reich, Steve Mackey, Paul Lansky, David Lang, Matmos, Dan Deacon, and many others.


Adam has been praised by the New York Times for his “shapely, thoughtfully nuanced account” of David Lang’s marimba solo String of Pearls. He has appeared as soloist in many diverse venues, including the International Computer Music Conference, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, and at the Joyce Theater in New York for a 2-week run of Eliot Feld’s Mandance. He has performed many times with the International Contemporary Ensemble, founded by classmates from Oberlin.


In recent years, Adam’s collaborations have grown to include conducting. He has conducted over a dozen world premieres with the International Contemporary Ensemble, including residencies at Harvard, Columbia, and NYU.  Adam has also served as a rehearsal conductor with ICE, preparing them for concerts with Maestri Steven Schick and Susanna Mälkki (Ensemble Intercontemporain).  


Adam is one of only a few percussionists ever to complete the Yale School of Music’s Doctor of Musical Arts program, where his thesis engaged the percussion music of Iannis Xenakis. He also earned his Masters at Yale with marimba soloist Robert Van Sice, and his Bachelors at The Oberlin Conservatory of Music with Michael Rosen.


Adam is co-director of the So Percussion Summer Institute, an annual intensive course on the campus of Princeton University for college-aged percussionists. He is also co-director of the percussion program at the Bard College Conservatory of Music, and has taught percussion both in masterclass and privately at more than 80 conservatories and universities in the USA and internationally.  During the 2011-2012 year, Adam was a Visiting Lecturer at Princeton University, where So Percussion was ensemble-in-residence.  

David Lang – String of Pearls

“String of Pearls” is a marimba solo that was written for Adam in 2007.

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Dan Trueman’s

Dan Trueman’s “neither Anvil nor Pulley,” a 40 minute long piece written for So Percussion. Premiered at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall. Recorded on Cantaloupe Music.

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Steve Reich –

Mallet Quartet was written in 2009 for So Percussion.

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NewMusicBox Articles

Articles January 27 2014 | By Adam Sliwinski
“Sometimes” Music

What I love about the concept of “sometimes music” is that it sidesteps the thorny, problematic, and anachronistic implication that some musical styles are more advanced than others. It allows...

Articles January 20 2014 | By Adam Sliwinski
An Expanding Paradigm

When So Percussion started out, we had three prohibitions: no improvisation, no playing our own music, and no hand drums. We've since violated all of those rules in spades.

Articles January 13 2014 | By Adam Sliwinski
Making New (New) Music

There is no substitute for deep mutual trust that is earned over a long period of time, but I believe concrete steps can be taken immediately during the process of...

See more of Adam Sliwinski's articles on NewMusicBox.