Culminates Oct. 15 with a 4-hour marathon of seminal Reich works, performed by Alarm Will Sound, PRISM Saxophone Quartet, So Percussion, Tactus and Ransom Wilson
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 (UK)
The concerts Steve Reich gave at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1969 and 1978 were among the most important of his early career. Those he gave later, in 1981 and 1993, further cemented his reputation as a modern American master. This fall, the Whitney Museum pays special tribute to its longstanding relationship with Reich with two events that are part of Steve Reich @ 70, the world-wide celebration of the composer's 70th birthday.
From October 4-15, 2006, the documentary digital video opera Three Tales (1998-2002) by video artist Beryl Korot and Steve Reich-which examines technology in the 20th century-will be shown in the Museum's Kaufman Astoria Studios Film and Video Gallery. This sound and video work contemplates three definitive historical moments: the 1937 Hindenburg crash, the nuclear bomb tests at the Bikini atoll in 1949, and the cloning of sheep Dolly" in 1997.
On Sunday, October 15, from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., the Whitney presents a mini-marathon featuring four hours of Reich's music performed by some of today's most exciting young contemporary music ensembles, including: Alarm Will Sound, PRISM Saxophone Quartet, So Percussion, and the Manhattan School of Music Contemporary Ensemble TACTUS, Patti Monson, director. This concert will feature works premiered at the Whitney in the 1960s and 1970s, such as Pendulum Music. Compositions will include Proverb; Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ; Four Organs; Piano Phase; Six Marimbas; Pendulum Music; Eight Lines; Vermont Counterpoint; New York Counterpoint; and Clapping Music. The renowned flutist Ransom Wilson will perform Vermont Counterpoint, originally written for him.
The October 15 concert is FREE WITH MUSEUM ADMISSION. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
History of Steve Reich at the Whitney
Steve Reich first came to the Whitney as part of the seminal Anti-Illusion" show, in the spring of 1969. The exhibition included work by Carl Andr, Lynda Benglis, Eva Hesse, Richard Serra and Richard Tuttle, as well as performances which the show's curator Marcia Tucker named extended-time pieces, by Steve Reich, Bruce Nauman, and Philip Glass.
Mr. Reich returned to the Whitney in 1978 and again in 1981 as part of the influential series Composer's Showcase," where many of his important works were premiered.
Performances given by Steve Reich at the Whitney:
May 27, 1969
Four Log Drums (Jon Gibson, Philip Glass, Richard Landry, Arthur Murphy, log drums; Steve Reich, phase shifting pulse gate) Pulse Music (Steve Reich, phase shifting pulse gate) Pendulum Music (Bruce Nauman, Steve Reich, Richard Serra, Michael Snow, James Tenney) Violin Phase (Paul Zukofsky, violin and tape)
Jan 29, 1978
Music for Crotales (Bob Becker, Russ Hartenberger, James Freiss, Steve Reich, Glen Velez, crotales) Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ (Steve Reich and Musicians) Music for 18 Musicians (Steve Reich and Musicians)
Jan 6, 1981
Clapping Music My Name Is: Ensemble Portrait (Nurit Tilles, Virgil Blackwell, Mort Silver, Shem Guibbory, Ruth Siegler, Chris Finckel, voices) Variations for Winds, Strings, and Keyboards (Steve Reich and Musicians) Oct 5-9, 1993
Theatrical version of The Cave by Beryl Korot and Steve Reich in conjunction with same named exhibition.
History of Composer's Showcase at the Whitney: Launched at the Whitney in the spring of 1968, the Composer's Showcase was one of the most extraordinarily forward-thinking series where the boundaries between different types of music ("classical," jazz," experimental," etc.) were rejected in favor of a vibrant mix that focused on the individual composer's brilliance, originality, and impact. Like the Copland-Sessions concerts a generation before, the series focused on emerging voices that changed the course of 20th century American music. Equally notorious for its eclectic approach and the mandatory floor-seating arrangement, the series featured artists such as: Laurie Anderson, Luciano Berio, Eubie Blake, William Bolcom, John Cage, Elliott Carter, Ornette Coleman, Aaron Copland, Duke Ellington, Gil Evans, Morton Feldman, Philip Glass, Jimmy Giuffre, Meredith Monk, Terry Riley, Sonny Rollins, Ned Rorem, Cecil Taylor, Virgil Thomson, Gunther Schuller, and many others.
October 15, 2006 Steve Reich Program at the Whitney:
Proverb: Alarm Will Sound
Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ: Alarm Will Sound, So Percussion
New York Counterpoint: PRISM Saxophone Quartet
Four Organs: So Percussion
Marimba Phase: So Percussion
Six Marimbas: So Percussion
Eight Lines: TACTUS
It's Gonna Rain: Tape
Vermont Counterpoint: Ransom Wilson
Pendulum Music: TBD
Clapping Music: TBD