Participants from the Sō Percussion Summer Institute 2019
Sō Percussion is a leading percussion quartet and nonprofit organization that fosters, creates, and presents adventurous new work with a unique focus on collaboration. Fueled by a belief in the unifying power of music, Sō Percussion brings the joy, curiosity, and inherent connectivity of percussion in all its forms to an ever broader audience.
Sō Percussion is committed to Openness, Collaboration, Experimentation, and Invitation.
- Touring and performing: The quartet maintains a robust touring and performing calendar, playing 40-50 concerts annually around the world.
- New Work Development: Fostering commissions and world premieres through all phases of their creation, including two new initiatives — the Andrew W. Siegel Composition Fellowship and the Flexible Commissions program.
- Education: Teaching workshops around the country and classes at Princeton University, and hosting the renowned Sō Percussion Summer Institute.
- Presenting: Hosting the popular concert series Brooklyn Bound at our studio in Brooklyn, recently expanded to other Brooklyn venues.
- Career Development: Offering a Studio Residency for peer artist groups and an internship for emerging nonprofit professionals.
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility
Sō Percussion is dedicated to fostering an equitable and sustainable musical ecosystem. This includes initiatives to program a diverse range of voices, commission flexible new works, and create better pipelines for our educational programs. We are especially interested in finding new ways to include collaborators from outside the realm of classical music, and to incorporate practices that stimulate and enrich the percussion medium.
We publish a semi-annual report summarizing these efforts, which includes data on representation and demographics for our programming. For more information, please email email@example.com.
One of the first things any group needs is a name. When our group was founded in 1999, we cast far and wide among our friends and family for suggestions. The winner was this simple, short word offered by Jenise Treuting, Jason’s sister. Jenise has been living and working in Japan as an English-Japanese translator for 20 years. The word “Sō” was punchy, enigmatic, and memorable.
“The Sō in Sō Percussion comes from 奏, the second character in the compound Japanese word 演奏 (ensou), to perform music. By itself, so means “to play an instrument.” But it can also mean “to be successful,” “to determine a direction and move forward,” and “to present to the gods or ruler.” Scholars have suggested that the latter comes from the character’s etymology, which included the element “to offer with both hands.” 奏 is a bold, straightforward character, but lends itself to calligraphy with a certain energy that gives so a springy, delicate look.”
– Jenise Treuting