Praised by the Ottawa Citizen as “Outstanding – no, make that astonishing”, TorQ Percussion Quartet was formed by four Canadian percussionists looking to add new vitality to percussion repertoire and performance. Renowned for their engaging performances and repertoire, members Richard Burrows, Adam Campbell, Jamie Drake and Daniel Morphy are committed to making new music accessible to audiences that span generations and geography. Winners of the Mississauga Arts Council’s 2009 Emerging Performing Group Award, TorQ has performed to critical acclaim and standing ovations across Canada and beyond, including performances at the International Percussion Quartet Festival (Luxembourg), Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, Indian River Festival (Prince Edward Island), Stratford Summer Music Festival, MusicFest Canada (Vancouver), Colours of Music Festival (Barrie, ON), Open Ears Contemporary Music Festival (Kitchener, ON), and the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (Indianapolis). They have been featured as touring recital artists with Jeunesses Musicales Canada (October 2011), Prairie Debut (January 2012) and Debut Atlantic (September 2012). Spring 2012 saw them collaborate with Soundstreams Canada and the Stuttgart Chamber Choir, leading to premieres of Paul Frehner’s commissioned work Corpus in Toronto, Ottawa, Edmonton and Mannheim, Germany. They have premiered numerous works for percussion quartet, including David Gillingham’s Concertino for Four Percussion and Orchestra with the Mississauga Symphony.
TorQ is committed to commissioning new works for percussion quartet from both established and up-and- coming composers. A constantly evolving repertoire gives them the opportunity to combine the most recent commissions with better-known works by composers such as John Cage, Steve Reich and Nebojsa Zivkovic. In Fall 2011, TorQ again served as co-teachers with distinguished composer Christos Hatzis for the class “Composing for Percussion” at the Faculty of Music, University of Toronto. This initial collaboration led to many new works, including Hatzis’ own In the Fire of Conflict for percussion quartet and pre-recorded audio; the most recent collaboration led to the composition of Hatzis’ new mallet quartet Modulations, as well as a number of exciting new student compositions. Commissions currently in progress include a concert-length multi-media and theatre collaboration with the Hamilton Children’s Choir and award-winning composer Eric Robertson, new works by Erik Ross and James Rolfe, a collaboration with Toronto’s Evergreen Club Contemporary Gamelan, and concertos by Brian Graiser and Dinuk Wijerante.
TorQ has released two recordings on the independent label Bedoint Records. Their self-titled debut recording, a mixture of commissions, arrangements, improvisations and compositions by group members, was awarded 3.5/4 stars by Toronto Star music columnist John Terauds. two + two, released in Fall 2011 and featuring the music of Jason Stanford, Nebojsa Zivkovic, Christos Hatzis and John Cage, was described by former NEXUS member Robin Engelman as a “landmark recording […] it demonstrates an artistry that puts TorQ squarely on par with the best percussion ensembles in the world.”
In addition to promoting new music, TorQ is also a strong believer in the importance of music education. In combination with Ontario based organization “Prologue for the Performing Arts”, TorQ performs approximately 70 shows per academic year to elementary and secondary school audiences across the province. They are also frequent educational collaborators with Soundstreams, and present masterclasses and workshops for various organizations across the country. All four members of TorQ are faculty members of the Durham Integrated Arts Camp, run by the Durham District School Board.