Described as “exhilarating” by The New York Times and “utterly mesmerizing” by The
Guardian, GRAMMY®-nominated ensemble Sandbox Percussion brings out the best in
composers through their unwavering dedication to artistry in contemporary chamber music.
The members were brought together in 2011 by their love of chamber music and the simple
joy of playing together; they have since captivated audiences with performances that are
both visually and aurally stunning. Today, Sandbox Percussion — Jonathan Allen, Victor
Caccese, Ian Rosenbaum, and Terry Sweeney — are established leaders in the fields of
contemporary music and percussion, engaging a wider audience for classical music through
multidisciplinary collaborations with leading composers and artists.
Sandbox Percussion’s 2021 album Seven Pillars was nominated for two GRAMMY® awards
— Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance and Best Contemporary Classical
Composition. Nationally recognized “as pure as music gets” (The New York Times), Andy
Akiho’s feature-length work, with stage direction and lighting design by Michael Joseph
McQuilken, is Sandbox Percussion’s largest commission to date. The ensemble also
commissioned 11 short films to accompany each movement, and performed the full piece
more than 15 times throughout the United States and Europe last season, including at the
Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris with the LA Dance Project and choreographer Benjamin
In the 2023-24 season, Sandbox Percussion performs Seven Pillars at the VIVO Music
Festival (Columbus, OH); the New School (New York); Aperio, Music of the Americas
(Houston); the Frost School of Music (Miami); Brown University (Providence, RI); and the
Peace Center (Greenville, SC), among other venues.
Additional season highlights include two performances at the Park Avenue Armory’s
Veterans Room (New York), presenting music by Andy Akiho, Amy Beth Kirsten, Juri Seo,
David Crowell, Julius Eastman, and new music by past collaborators Christopher Cerrone
(world premiere) and Viet Cuong (New York premiere); a performance at the 92nd Street Y
with pianist and new-music champion Conor Hanick featuring New York premieres of two
works composed for them by Christopher Cerrone and by Tyshawn Sorey; and an
appearance at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center with acclaimed new-music
performers Dawn Upshaw, Gilbert Kalish, and Alisa Weilerstein. Sandbox Percussion will also
continue to champion Viet Cuong’s acclaimed concerto for percussion quartet, Re(new)al,
including performances with the Des Moines Symphony and with the Albany Symphony,
which commissioned the piece.
This season, Sandbox Percussion also releases their fourth album, Wilderness, featuring the
piece of the same name by experimental composer Jerome Begin. The hourlong work seamlessly fuses the raw impact of live percussion instruments with electronic
manipulations in real time. Last season, Sandbox Percussion released Bathymetry, on
Cantaloupe Music, featuring music for percussion and analog synthesizer by Matt McBane.
The album draws from various strains of minimalism and modern electronic music
production, and from ASMR and ambient modular synth videos. In 2020, the ensemble
released their debut album And That One Too, on Coviello Classics, featuring music by
longtime collaborators Andy Akiho, David Crowell, Amy Beth Kirsten, and Thomas Kotcheff.
Besides maintaining an international performance schedule, Sandbox Percussion holds the
position of ensemble-in-residence and percussion faculty at the University of
Missouri-Kansas City and The New School’s College of Performing Arts, where they have
created a curriculum with entrepreneurship and chamber music at its core.
Sandbox Percussion has led masterclasses and coachings at prestigious music schools in
the United States, including Curtis Institute, the Juilliard School, the Peabody Conservatory,
and Cornell University. In 2016, Sandbox Percussion founded the Sandbox Percussion
Seminar — a weeklong seminar that invites percussion students from around the globe to
rehearse and perform today’s leading repertoire for percussion chamber music.
In 2022, Sandbox Percussion launched their Creator Mentorship Program, a commissioning
program that solicits proposals from early-career creators around the world. The selected
creators are commissioned to create a new work for the ensemble, and they receive time,
space, and funding for a yearlong workshop and development period.
Sandbox Percussion endorses Pearl/Adams musical instruments, Zildjian cymbals, Vic Firth
sticks and mallets, Remo drumheads, and Black Swamp accessories.