Steve Reich
https://ichef.bbci.co.uk/images/ic/960x540/p01bqjdw.jpg
1936-10-03
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/a3031680-c359-458f-a641-70ccbaec6a74
Steve Reich

Steve Reich Biography (BBC)

Steve Reich has followed a line of impressive consistency through more than four decades, developing the pulsed iterations of US Minimalism into music of ever greater intricacy and range without loss of excitement. A philosophy major at Cornell (1953–7), he then studied composition at the Juilliard School (1958–61) and with Darius Milhaud and Luciano Berio at Mills College, in the San Francisco Bay Area (1962–3). Remaining there for two more years to work at the Tape Music Center, he returned to New York, which has been his home ever since.

He quickly established his own studio and began giving performances in downtown galleries. His music at this point was based on repetitions in two or more lines drifting apart, an idea that sprang from the effect of loops being played on two tape recorders that gradually got out of phase: hence his use of the word ‘phasing’ for processes of this kind. An essential feature, at first, was that the process should be frankly presented; besides phasing it might be a matter of steadily adding notes to a repeating figure, or taking them away, as in Four Organs (1970).That year he visited Ghana to study drumming, and returned to found his own ensemble based on tuned percussion instruments, Steve Reich and Musicians, with whom he immediately began touring internationally. A little later he studied the percussion-ensemble music of Bali – not in situ this time, but on the USA’s west coast.

Meanwhile his group grew in size. and his music in richness of colour and harmony – a long-range process in itself that began with the classic Drumming (1970–1) and culminated in Music for 18 Musicians (1974–6). The spectacular success of that work, in concert and on record, encouraged him to publish his music, which hitherto he had confined to his own group. He also began to receive orchestral commissions, all the while increasing the subtlety of sound and design within his personal style of repeating modal figures that gain rhythmic vitality from metric ambiguity (generally about the grouping of 12 beats in threes or fours).

In 1976–7 he turned to his own Jewish heritage in studying traditional chanting, a departure that gave rise to Tehillim for women’s voices and small orchestra (1981), setting verses from the psalms. In some works, notably Different Trains for string quartet and electronics (1988), he also brought back a technique from his first tape pieces, of using fragments of recorded speech, now as melodic formulae to be imitated by instruments.

He went on to work with video recordings (by his wife Beryl Korot) in combination with recorded and live music in his two biggest pieces: The Cave (1990–93), a skein of Israeli, Palestinian and US responses to biblical myth, and Three Tales (1998–2002), about the limits and losses of modern technology.

Profile © Paul Griffiths

Steve Reich Biography (Wikipedia)

Stephen Michael Reich ( born October 3, 1936) is an American composer who, along with La Monte Young, Terry Riley, and Philip Glass, pioneered minimal music in the mid to late 1960s.

Reich's style of composition influenced many composers and groups. His innovations include using tape loops to create phasing patterns (for example, his early compositions It's Gonna Rain and Come Out), and the use of simple, audible processes to explore musical concepts (for instance, Pendulum Music and Four Organs). These compositions, marked by their use of repetitive figures, slow harmonic rhythm and canons, have significantly influenced contemporary music, especially in the US. Reich's work took on a darker character in the 1980s with the introduction of historical themes as well as themes from his Jewish heritage, notably Different Trains.

Writing in The Guardian, music critic Andrew Clements suggested that Reich is one of "a handful of living composers who can legitimately claim to have altered the direction of musical history". The American composer and critic Kyle Gann has said that Reich "may ... be considered, by general acclamation, America's greatest living composer".

This entry is from Wikipedia, the user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors and is licensed under an Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons License. If you find the biography content factually incorrect or highly offensive you can edit this article at Wikipedia. Find out more about our use of this data.

Steve Reich Performances & Interviews


Steve Reich Tracks

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Steve Reich
Nagoya Marimbas
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Nagoya Marimbas
Steve Reich
Piano Phase
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Piano Phase
Steve Reich
Music for ensemble and orchestra
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Music for ensemble and orchestra
Steve Reich
Music for 18 Musicians (Section I)
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Music for 18 Musicians (Section I)
Steve Reich
Duet for two violins and string orchestra
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Duet for two violins and string orchestra
Steve Reich
Drumming - Part 4
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Drumming - Part 4
Pat Metheny
Electric Counterpoint: II. Slow
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Electric Counterpoint: II. Slow
Steve Reich
Electric Counterpoint (Fast)
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Electric Counterpoint (Fast)
Steve Reich
Music for Pieces of Wood
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Music for Pieces of Wood
Steve Reich
Electric Counterpoint 3 (Fast)
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Electric Counterpoint 3 (Fast)
Steve Reich
Music For 18 Musicians
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Music For 18 Musicians
Steve Reich
Drumming, Part III
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Drumming, Part III
Steve Reich
The Cave
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The Cave
Steve Reich
Nagoya Marimbas
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Nagoya Marimbas
Steve Reich
Six pianos (Six marimbas) - piano version 1973; rescored for marimbas 1986
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Six pianos (Six marimbas) - piano version 1973; rescored for marimbas 1986
Steve Reich
Piano Phase
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Piano Phase

Piano Phase

Composer
Performer
Kevin Griffiths, the London Steve Reich Ensemble
Steve Reich
Tehillim: Part 4
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Tehillim: Part 4

Tehillim: Part 4

Composer
Ensemble
Ossia Ensemble
Conductor
Steve Reich
Tehillim Part IV
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Tehillim Part IV
Steve Reich
Drumming
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Drumming
Steve Reich
Music for 18 musicians
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Music for 18 musicians
Steve Reich
Piano Phase
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Piano Phase
Steve Reich
Double Sextet
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Double Sextet
Steve Reich
Drumming
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Drumming
Steve Reich
The Desert Music: fifth movement
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The Desert Music: fifth movement

The Desert Music: fifth movement

Composer
Ensemble
Choir
Brooklyn Philharmonic Chorus
Orchestra
Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra
Steve Reich
Drumming - Part 1 For Small Drums
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Drumming - Part 1 For Small Drums
Steve Reich
Electric Counterpoint: 1. Fast
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Electric Counterpoint: 1. Fast
Steve Reich
Drumming (part 1)
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Drumming (part 1)
Steve Reich
The Cave; Typing Music Repeat
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The Cave; Typing Music Repeat

The Cave; Typing Music Repeat

Composer
Performer
Steve Reich Ensemble, Paul Hillier (conductor)
Steve Reich
Music for 18 Musicians (final sections)
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Music for 18 Musicians (final sections)
Steve Reich
It's Gonna Rain
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It's Gonna Rain
Steve Reich
Piano Phase
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Piano Phase
Steve Reich
New York Counterpoint
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New York Counterpoint
Steve Reich
Pendulum Music
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Pendulum Music
Steve Reich
Music for 18 Musicians (Pulses)
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Music for 18 Musicians (Pulses)
Steve Reich
Quartet: iii. Fast
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Quartet: iii. Fast

Quartet: iii. Fast

Composer
Ensemble
Colin Currie Group
Steve Reich
Variations for Vibes, Strings and Pianos (iii. Fast)
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Variations for Vibes, Strings and Pianos (iii. Fast)
Steve Reich
Pulse
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Pulse
Steve Reich
Typing Music Repeat
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Typing Music Repeat
Steve Reich
You Are (Variations): IV. Ehmor m'aht, v'ahsay harbay (Say little and do much)
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You Are (Variations): IV. Ehmor m'aht, v'ahsay harbay (Say little and do much)
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Playlists featuring Steve Reich


Past BBC Events

Proms 2011: Prom 36: Steve Reich & Ensemble Modern
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/egh8q9
Royal Albert Hall
2011-08-10T04:08:54
10
Aug
2011

Proms 2011: Prom 36: Steve Reich & Ensemble Modern

Royal Albert Hall

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