McCormick Percussion Group's album ”Strings and Hammers” (Ravello Records, 2020) has won gold in the prestigious international Global Music Awards competition in the New Classical Music category. The album includes the composition Ice Concerto by Finnish composer Jarkko Hartikainen, which was created as a violin concerto for Sini Virtanen and Robert McCormick’s percussion ensemble
Ice Concerto (stylized as ICE CONCERTO) was premiered by the McCormick Percussion Group at the USF Contemporary Music Festival in Tampa, Florida in April 2018. It was recorded fresh after the premiere in close collaboration with Jarkko Hartikainen. Violinist Sini Virtanen commissioned the work with the support of the Madetoja Foundation and Jarkko Hartikainen's trip to Florida was supported by Music Finland (both are pictured in the image above, with Robert McCormick).
McCormick Percussion Group is one of the most prolific contemporary music groups in the United States, with over 40 records released during the last 20 years. “Strings and Hammers” was made in collaboration with the international Strings and Hammers trio, which consists of German double bassist Julia Keller, American Korean pianist Eunmi Ko and Finnish violinist Sini Virtanen. The subjects of the albums compositions are e.g. racial oppression, misogyny, climate anxiety, unstable natural phenomena and the fragility of human life. In addition to Hartikainen’s composition, the album features world premieres by composers Anthony R. Green, Eduardo Costa Roldán, Emily Koh and Alessandro Annunziata.
This time, a total of nine gold medals were awarded in different categories of the Global Music Awards competition. Other gold medalists included Rastko Ciric, Egidija Medekšaitė, Guo Hong and Krzystof Penderecki together with the Krakow Symphony Orchestra. The results were announced in early January 2021.