Born: October 3, 1936 - New York City, U.S.A.
Country: New York City, U.S.A.
Studies: Cornell University (B.A.1957), Juilliard School of Music (1958-61), Mills College (M.A.1963)
Teachers: William Bergsma, Vincent Persichetti, Darius Milhaud, Luciano Berio
Steve Reich has been called "America’s greatest living composer" (The Village VOICE), "...the most original musical thinker of our time" (The New Yorker), and "...among the great composers of the century" (New York Times).
His music has been influential to composers and mainstream musicians all over the world. He is a leading pioneer of Minimalism, having in his youth broken away from the "establishment" that was serialism. His music is known for steady pulse, repetition, and a fascination with canons; it combines rigorous structures with propulsive rhythms and seductive instrumental color. It also embraces harmonies of non-Western and American vernacular music (especially jazz). His studies have included the Gamelan, African drumming (at the University of Ghana), and traditional forms of chanting the Hebrew scriptures.
Different Trains and Music for 18 Musicians have each earned him GRAMMY awards, and his "documentary video opera" works—The Cave and Three Tales, done in collaboration with video artist Beryl Korot—have pushed the boundaries of the operatic medium. Over the years his music has significantly grown both in expanded harmonies and instrumentation, resulting in a Pulitzer Prize for his 2007 composition, Double Sextet.
Reich’s music has been performed by major orchestras and ensembles around the world, including the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics; London, San Francisco, Boston, and BBC symphony orchestras; London Sinfonietta; Kronos Quartet; Ensemble Modern; Ensemble Intercontemporain; Bang on a Can All-Stars; and eighth blackbird. Several noted choreographers have created dances to his music, such as Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, Jirí Kylían, Jerome Robbins, Wayne McGregor, and Christopher Wheeldon.
“There's just a handful of living composers who can legitimately claim to have altered the direction of musical history and Steve Reich is one of them.” — The Guardian (London)
Steve Reich is published by Boosey & Hawkes.
This biography can be reproduced free of charge in concert programs with the following credit: Reprinted by kind permission of Boosey & Hawkes.
Works for Percussion
Drumming - Percussion Ensemble (9); Voice; Piccolo
Mallet Quartet - Percussion Quartet, Mallet Ensemble
Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ - Percussion Quartet; Voices; Organ
Music for Pieces of Wood - Percussion Quintet
Nagoya Marimbas - Marimba Duo
Piano Phase - Marimba Duo
Sextet - Percussion Quartet; Piano (2)
Six Marimbas - Percussion Sextet