Steve Reich (born October 3, 1936) is one of the most famous living composers, who is popularly regarded as repetitive and minimalist, but in some works deviates from a purely minimalist style. His style of music has influenced many others including the group of composers associated with the Bang On A Can festival such as David Lang.
Reich's music explores such ideas in contemporary music as using tape loops to create phasing patterns - amongst Reich's first works, It's Gonna Rain, Come Out, Drumming, and others, and using processes to create and explore concepts in music (Pendulum Music, Four Organs).
Reich studied at Cornell University, the Juilliard School and, from 1961 to 1963, Mills College in Oakland, California with Luciano Berio and Darius Milhaud. His works, particularly Drumming (1971), show the influence of African music.
In 1993, Reich collaborated with his wife, the video artist Beryl Korot, on the opera, The Cave, which explores the roots of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The two collaborated again on the opera Three Tales, which concerns the Hindenburg disaster, the testing of nuclear weapons on Bikini Atoll, and more modern concerns, specifically Dolly the sheep and cloning.
Notable works include:
- Music for 18 Musicians
- Music for a Large Ensemble
- Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices and Organ
- Piano Phase
- The Desert Music (1984)
- Violin Phase