2020 Biography

Richard Sacks – Percussionist /Composer/Multimedia Artist
Rick received his Masters in Music at the State University of New York at Stony Brook (1976). During his stay at Stony Brook, Rick began freelancing in Manhattan performing with ensembles including The New Orchestra, Newband, The New Jersey Percussion Ensemble and The Composer’s Ensemble under such directors as Arthur Weisberg and Charles Wuorinen. After teaching for two years at Bennington College (Vermont 1979/80), Rick began traveling to Toronto to perform in the art-rock band KLO. The band’s success led to Permanent Resident status in 1982. Once settled in Toronto, Rick founded the PhenomeNONsemble which he used as a platform for his unique performance works mixing contemporary music practices with theatre techniques. His work in children’s theatre has resulted in continuous performances throughout Europe and the US. (Roseneath Theatre’s Danny King of the Basement, Red Sky’s Caribou Song and Miistatim among others.).
Rick has performed with the Canadian Opera Company, on film tracks, in modern dance works and with the contemporary and avant-garde groups Arraymusic, Aventa Ensemble (recent tour to Roulette in NY and points across Canada), Art of Time Ensemble, The Glass Orchestra, New Music Concerts, Ensemble Noir (Canada’s first Classical ensemble to perform in Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa), Red Sky (Beijing Olympics, Shanghai World Expo), Tapestry New Opera, The Evergreen Club Gamelan, and many others. He has toured extensively throughout Africa, Asia and Europe, Indonesia, Mongolia and the USA with these groups and has worked with such masters as Pierre Boulez, Henry Brant, George Crumb, Heinz Holliger, Mauricio Kagel, Udo Kasemets, Helmut Lachenmann, Witold Lutoslawski, Terry Riley and James Tenney.
Rick accepted the position of technical director at Arraymusic after he served as its Artistic Director for five years. He conducts the Array Ensemble and performs as a percussionist. Most recently Rick can be seen and heard as Soundpilot performing original material at twitch.tv /soundpilot.
In 1986 Mr. Sacks revised and Edited, for COLFRANC Music Publishing Corp., Edgard Varèse’s Hyperprism available through Boosey and Hawkes.


“The sound that Rick Sacks produces onstage – sometimes delicate electronic whispering, then again threatening sound salvos and sounds at almost painful bass frequencies – intensify the emotional emphasis of the audience. Although it serves as an acoustic stage design, this music possesses a high and independent artistic quality.”
• Offenburger, Germany

Kritik Backbone , Wolfsburg, Germany

“The percussionist and composer Rick Sack provides the musical score, which is complemented by ancient chants and natural sounds. A work of art that opens up new dimensions in the realm of live electronic music.

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