Reverberations: The influence of Steve Reich

7 - 8 May 2011 / 00:00



Barbican presents “Reverberations: The influence of Steve Reich”,  7-8 May 2011

'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 (London)

The extraordinary musical influence of Steve Reich and his compositions are the focus of a marathon weekend at the Barbican on 7 and 8 May 2011. Following the hugely successful weekend for his 70th birthday in October 2006, the Barbican welcomes back the great pioneer of musical minimalism as special guest on a weekend that explores his influence on generations of musicians as well as his own work.

Highlights of the weekend include performances of all the new music that Steve Reich has written since the last marathon weekend, including the European premiere of his new string quartet “WTC 9/11”, written for and performed by the Kronos Quartet, co-commissioned by the Barbican. There is also a groundbreaking collaboration between former Battles front man Tyondai Braxton and the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Tickets go on sale to general public on Friday 26 November and Weekend Passes will be available.

In six sessions throughout the two days at the Barbican and LSO St Luke’s, the weekend features a myriad of composers and bands that have been influenced by Reich. Bang on a Can perform Lukas Ligeti’s “Glamour Girl”, as well as the UK premiere of Louis Andriessen’s “Life” that includes video. The New York percussion quartet So Percussion perform David Lang’s “The So-Called Laws of Nature” and their own interpretations of Steve Reich’s “Drumming (Part One)” and “Music For Pieces Of Wood”.

Grammy-winning eighth blackbird make their London debut performing music by Missy Mazzoli and Philippe Hurel . Theatre of Voices perform the London premiere of David Lang’s Pulitzer Prize winning “Little Match Girl Passion” and Steve Reich’s “Proverb”. In addition to “WTC 9/11”, the Kronos Quartet also gives the world premiere of a new work by Bryce Dessner, guitarist of the indie-rock group The National (commissioned by the Barbican).

Alongside the Tyondai Braxton set, the BBC Symphony Orchestra performs the world premiere of Louis Andriessen’s suite from his opera “Rosa”,  Anna Clyne’s “Rewind”, inspired by the image of analogue video tape rapidly scrolling  backwards, and the UK premiere of Michael Gordon’s “Rewriting Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony”.

The Britten Sinfonia’s performance includes Julia Wolfe’s “Cruel Sister” and Reich’s “You Are” variations. The weekend also features a strand of music from artists associated with the pioneering Fat Cat record label, including sets from post-minimalist pianist Max Richter, and Hauschka, alias Volker Bertelmann, who performs new music written for a trio of prepared piano and prepared percussion. 

The other three Reich premieres are the UK premiere of his “Mallet Quartet”, written for the Amadinda Quartet (with whom Reich has been working for nearly two decades), the Pulitzer Prize winning “Double Sextet”, commissioned by eighth blackbird, and “2x5”, written for two rock quintets and performed by members of Bang on a Can and eighth blackbird. For the first time in the UK both of these final two pieces are performed entirely live, without tape.

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This event is part of:
Spring Contemporary Events 11
10 / 11 Season Classical concerts
Great Performers 2010-2011


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