Steve Reich

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Steve Reich recently was hailed as "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). From his early taped speech pieces It's Gonna Rain (1965) and Come Out (1966) to the digital video opera Three Tales (2002), Reich's path has embraced not only aspects of Western Classical music, but the structures, harmonies, and rhythms of non-Western and American vernacular music, particularly jazz. "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 (London). Reich's 1988 piece, Different Trains, in which speech recordings generate the musical material for musical instruments, was hailed by The New York Times as "a work of such astonishing originality that breakthrough seems the only possible description...(It) possesses an absolutely harrowing emotional impact." In 1990, Reich received a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Composition for Different Trains as recorded by the Kronos Quartet on the Nonesuch label. He won a second Grammy award in 1999 for his piece Music for 18 Musicians, also on the Nonesuch label. In 2000, Musical America named Reich Composer of the Year. Several noted choreographers- including Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, Jerome Robbins for the New York City Ballet, Eliot Feld and Alvin Ailey-have created dances to his music. Reich's latest recording, collaboration with video artist Beryl Korot entitled Three Tales, was released on CD and DVD by Nonesuch in August 2003.