Ian Antonio is a percussionist. His breadth of experience - concertizing across four 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 two percussion and two piano ensemble Yarn/Wire. Hailed as “intrepid, engrossing” by the New York Times, the group is a creative force for good in the contemporary chamber music world, concertizing widely and rapidly expanding the repertoire for this unique instrumentation. The ensemble has been featured on concert series across the country such as Miller Theatre’s Composer Portrait series, the April in Santa Cruz Festival and the Unruly Music Festival. 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.
As a core member of the composer’s collective and ensemble Wet Ink, Ian has premiered a huge variety of new music and appeared at festivals such as the Festival of New American Music and MATA’s Interval Series. Wet Ink is also ensemble-in-residence at Duke University. Ian is 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 the director of the Norwalk Youth Percussion Ensemble and oversees the organization’s percussion activities. In addition to cultivating an active private studio, he has also taught percussion at SUNY Stony Brook, 92nd Street Y, Henry Street Settlement, and I.S. 291 in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Ian has recorded for the Nonesuch, Kairos, Warp, Tzadik, Carrier, Social Registry, 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 closely with composers, conductors, and soloists such as Seigi Ozawa, Kurt Masur, Mstislav Rostropovich, 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.