Nonesuch Releases Box Set of Steve Reich Recordings, Phases: A Nonesuch Retrospective, September 26, to Commemorate Composer's 70th Birthday
Phases timed to coincide with New York City-wide Steve Reich at 70 celebration
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 [U.K.]
Nonesuch Records, Steve Reich's label since 1985, releases its second box set of his works, Phases: A Nonesuch Retrospective, on September 26, 2006, in honor of his 70th birthday--timed to coincide with the New York City-wide celebration Steve Reic at 70. Included in the five-CD collection are fourteen of the revolutionary composer's best known and most acclaimed pieces, including: Music for 18 Musicians, Different Trains, Tehillim, Eight Lines, You Are (Variations), Electric Counterpoint, Come Out, The Desert Music, and Drumming. The music on the discs, selected from previous Nonesuch records, spans the 20 years of Reich's time on Nonesuch: The Desert Music was released in 1985 and You Are (Variations) was released last year. (Further information will be available soon.)
Reich, who recently was called America's greatest living composer" by The Village Voice, was born in 1936 in New York City. Fittingly, his 70th birthday will be celebrated by three of his hometown's leading performing arts organizations--BAM, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center--in a celebration entitled Steve Reich@70. For the first time, these three institutions have joined forces to pay tribute to a living composer, presenting complementary programs of his work. Each organization will host a premiere of a new Reich work, along with a wide variety of earlier pieces, including collaborations with creators in other mediums. The month-long celebration begins on the composer's actual 70th birthday--October 3, 2006--and continues through November 4, with additional domestic and international observances of the anniversary continuing through the first months of 2007.
I never thought I'd look forward to turning 70," said Steve Reich. To say I'm honored is definitely an understatement."
BAM opens Steve Reich@70 with a dance program on Tuesday, October 3, in recognition of Reich's status as one of today's most choreographed composers. The Akram Khan Company, accompanied by the London Sinfonietta led by Alan Pierson, gives the U.S. premiere of a new dance by British choreographer Khan, titled Variations for Vibes, Pianos, and Strings after Reich's newly commissioned score. Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, a choreographer long associated with the composer's music, performs her classic work Fase, four movements to the music of Steve Reich, on October 3 and 5-7.
This is followed at Carnegie Hall with a focus on Reich's instrumental music. A seven-day Professional Training Workshop, led by the composer, begins October 13 and culminates in a concert by the participants on Thursday, October 19 in Zankel Hall, with City Life and other works. On Saturday, October 21 in Stern Auditorium, Carnegie Hall presents a program of Reich's masterworks performed by the artists for whom they were written: Electric Counterpoint, played by guitarist Pat Metheny; Different Trains, with the Kronos Quartet; and Music for 18 Musicians, performed by Steve Reich and Musicians. On Sunday, October 22, Carnegie Hall brings its portion of the festival to a close with a day-long exploration of Reich's music, which includes Discovery Day: Steve Reich--an afternoon of lecture, discussion, film, and participatory music-making in Weill Recital Hall--followed by a Making Music: Steve Reich concert that evening in Zankel Hall. The all-Reich program in Zankel begins with a conversation between the composer and Carnegie Hall's Artistic Advisor, Ara Guzelimian, and includes the U.S. premiere of Daniel Variations, a tribute to the murdered Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, co-commissioned by The Carnegie Hall Corporation.
Lincoln Center concludes the month of music with an emphasis on Reich's vocal and dramatic works. On Saturday, October 28 at Alice Tully Hall, Grant Gershon conducts the Los Angeles Master Chorale in the New York premiere of You Are (Variations) for voices and chamber ensemble, paired with Reich's timeless Tehillim. And from November 2-4 (Thursday through Saturday), Brad Lubman leads the Steve Reich Ensemble in The Cave, Reich's groundbreaking video opera collaboration with video artist Beryl Korot. This evening-length work was last seen at the Lincoln Center Festival in 1999.