Composer Corner: Reich

October’s composer of the month is Steve Reich.


Born: October 3, 1936


Five facts:

• Reich’s music was not well-received initially, and he had to work as a taxi driver and social worker to earn a living.
• In 1967, Reich formed a collective ensemble with fellow composer Philip Glass. They also formed a moving company — Chelsea Light Moving.
• Reich was inspired to visit Ghana in 1970 to study with master drummer Gideon Alorwoyie, resulting in his 90-minute work, Drumming.
• Critic Kyle Gann has stated that Reich may be considered “America’s greatest living composer.”
• Steve Reich won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for his Double Sextet.


Three important works:

• Piano Phase (1967)
• Clapping Music (1972)
• Music  for 18 Musicians (1974-76)


Audio Backpack playlist: Steve Reich

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