Steve Reich

© Jeffrey Herman  

Born in 1936, he 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’ (The New York Times). His music has influenced composers and mainstream musicians all over the world. Music for 18 Musicians and Different Trains have earned him two Grammy awards, and in 2009 his Double Sextet won the Pulitzer Prize. His documentary video opera works – The Cave and Three Tales, done in collaboration with video artist Beryl Korot – have been performed on four continents. His latest work Quartet, for percussionist Colin Currie, sold out two consecutive concerts at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, shortly after tens of thousands at the Glastonbury Festival heard Jonny Greenwood (of Radiohead) perform Electric Counterpoint followed by the London Sinfonietta performing his Music for 18 Musicians.

In 2012 he was awarded the Gold Medal in Music by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Earlier he won the Preamium Imperiale in Tokyo, the Polar Prize in Stockholm, the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Madrid and recently the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale. He has been named Commandeur de l’ordre des arts et des lettres and has been awarded honorary doctorates by the Juilliard School, the Liszt Academy in Budapest and the New England Conservatory of Music among others. ‘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.