Clef Notes Chicagoland Journal for the Arts
Musical pioneer Steve Reich returns for his second residency at Northwestern University’s Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music. The recipient of the 2016 Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize in Music Composition, Reich will attend music rehearsals, discussions with students and faculty and performances of his work November 15 and 16.
Called “our greatest living composer” by The New York Times, Reich embraces aspects of Western classical music as well as the structures, harmonies and rhythms of non-Western and American vernacular music, particularly jazz, in his work. The Pulitzer Prize-winning and Grammy Award-winning composer has received numerous honors, and his work has been performed by major orchestras and ensembles around the world.
The Bienen School presents a two-day celebration of Reich’s music in Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive, on the Evanston campus.
On Wednesday, November 15 at 7:30 p.m., under the direction of She-e Wu, the Bienen School’s Percussion Ensemble will perform Reich’s Music for Pieces of Wood, Nagoya Marimbas, Mallet Quartet and Sextet. On Thursday, November 16 at 7:30 p.m., Bienen’s Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble, Contemporary Music Ensemble and Saxophone Ensemble will perform Reich’s Radio Rewrite, Pulse, New York Counterpoint and Tehillim, conducted by Ben Bolter, Alan Pierson and Taimur Sullivan. Reich will be in attendance for both performances and will provide brief remarks about the works.
A pioneer of minimalist music, Steve Reich build his reputation during the 1960s along with such composers as La Monte Young, Terry Riley and Philip Glass.
Reich was awarded the 2009 Pulitzer Prize in Music for his composition “Double Sextet” and received a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Composition for Different Trains as recorded by the Kronos Quartet in 1990. He has received both the Polar Prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Music and the Praemium Imperiale Award in Music from the Japan Art Association in Tokyo.
Concert tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students with a valid ID and are available from concertsatbienen.org, by phone at 847-467-4000 or by visiting the Pick-Staiger Hall on the campus of Northwestern University in Evanston.
Pulitzer Prize- and Grammy-wnning composer Steve Reich (photo courtesy of Mr. Reich).