November 12, 2006

Steve Reich @ 70

Steve Reich
Steve Reich [b.3 October 1936, New York]was recently 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' (The New York Times). From his early taped speech pieces It's Gonna Rain (1965) and Come Out (1966) to his and video artist Beryl Korot's digital video opera Three Tales (2002), Mr. Reich's path has embraced not only aspects of Western Classical music, but the structures, harmonies, and rhythms of non-Western and American vernacular music, particularly jazz. '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,' states The Guardian (London).

Born in New York and raised there and in California, Mr. Reich graduated with honors in philosophy from Cornell University in 1957. For the next two years, he studied composition with Hall Overton, and from 1958 to 1961 he studied at the Juilliard School of Music with William Bergsma and Vincent Persichetti. Mr. Reich received his M.A. in Music from Mills College in 1963, where he worked with Luciano Berio and Darius Milhaud.

I think I'm pretty far out of the loop ... This world-famous composer is one I've never heard of. But he sounds interesting! Philosophy, ethics, history all rolled into a video-opera. Hmmmm


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