photo by Alexander Perrelli
Ian Antonio is a percussionist. His breadth of experience - concertizing across 4 continents with a wide variety of chamber ensembles, orchestras, experimental rock bands, avant-garde theatre companies, and as a soloist, conductor, and educator - has led him to develop a unique sound and approach to both performing and teaching.
Ian is a founding member of the piano percussion quartet Yarn/Wire. Hailed as "intrepid, engrossing" by the New York Times, the ensemble is known for the energy and precision it brings to performances of today’s most adventurous music. Yarn/Wire has appeared at prominent venues across the globe, including Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Library of Congress, Edinburgh International Festival, Barbican Centre, and Miller Theatre. Yarn/Wire has held residencies at institutions such as Columbia University, Stanford University, Goucher College, ISSUE Project Room, UC Santa Cruz, Northern Illinois University, and The Walden School, among many others.
As a core member of the composer's collective and ensemble Wet Ink, Ian has premiered a large and diverse collection of new music and appeared at festivals such as the Festival of New American Music and MATA's Interval Series. From 2011-2013, Wet Ink was ensemble-in-residence at Duke University. Ian is also a member of the percussion ensemble Talujon. The group presents concerts that feature oft-neglected percussive masterworks as well as new pieces written for the ensemble. Ian is also a frequent collaborator with the avant-garde dramatic company Theatre of a Two-Headed Calf.
From 2003-2012 Ian was a member of the difficult-to-categorize trio Zs. With Zs, Ian toured both domestically and abroad, recorded extensively, and made composed / improvised "conceptual art objects that set form and content against each other — like, say, a perfect birthday cake made out of sawdust, or a perfect hammer made out of bird feathers." (New York Times)
As an educator, Ian is currently a member of the artist faculty at Sarah Lawrence College and a lead teacher and program director for the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. He founded the Norwalk Youth Percussion Ensemble and was director of percussion activities in the Norwalk Youth Symphony program from 2006-2015. In addition to cultivating a private studio, Ian has also been on faculty and guest lectured at Stony Brook University, Adelphi University, Montclair State University, Franklin Pierce University, 92nd Street Y, and Henry Street Settlement.
Ian has recorded for the Nonesuch, Kairos, Warp, Tzadik, Carrier, Social Registry, Populist, Distributed Objects, Planaria, Sockets, Hot Cup, Quiet Design, and Three One G record labels. He has also performed with the International Contemporary Ensemble, SEM Ensemble, Argento Chamber Ensemble, Albany Symphony, Boston Symphony, BBC Symphony Orchestra, London Sinfonettia, Los Angeles Philharmonic, and worked with composers, conductors, and soloists such as Seigi Ozawa, Kurt Masur, Charles Dutoit, Mstislav Rostropovich, Yefim Bronfman, Helmut Lachenmann, Enno Poppe, John Adams, and Kaija Saariaho.
Ian was born in 1981 and grew up in Albany, NY, studying percussion with Richard Albagli and performing with the Empire State Youth Orchestra and Percussion Ensemble. He moved to New York city to attend the Manhattan School of Music and study with James Preiss, Duncan Patton, Christopher Lamb, Eric Charleston, and Claire Heldrich. Ian completed his studies with Eduardo Leandro at Stony Brook University. Ian holds a B.M. from the Manhattan School of Music and an M.M. and D.M.A. from Stony Brook University. He has also attended the Tanglewood Music Center and Yellow Barn festivals. Ian's music, including solos for marimba, snare drum solos, percussion ensembles, autition pieces, is published by At Night Music. Ian proudly plays Pearl/Adams instruments, Paiste cymbals and gongs, and uses Vic Firth sticks and mallets.