New Music Northwestern presents A Steve Reich 70th Birthday Celebration, comprising three events that will take place on October 3 at Northwestern’s Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, 50 Arts Circle Drive on the Evanston Campus,
beginning at 6:45 p.m.  The celebration offers an overview of the entire span of Reich’s compositional career and includes a pre-concert lecture by Reich specialist DJ Hoek, a sampling of Reich’s electronic pieces, and a concert focusing on his seminal and innovative minimalist works of the late
‘60s and early ‘70s. The event is curated by Aaron Cassidy, Co-Director of New Music Northwestern and a member of Northwestern’s composition faculty, and features Northwestern’s Contemporary Music Ensemble and School of Music alumni, all under conductor Ryan Nelson, assistant director of bands.

Tickets, priced at $6.50/4.50/3.50 (full price/seniors/students), are
available at the Pick-Staiger Box Office; by phone at (847) 491-5441; or
online at Campus maps and driving directions can be found at

D. J. Hoek, Head of the Northwestern University Music Library, is the author of the Steve Reich Bio-Bibliography (Greenwood Press).  In his lecture, he will address Reich’s life, work, and wide-ranging influence on young composers and musicians in the classical, rock, and experimental music

Following Hoek’s presentation, Reich’s electronic music will be featured in a mini-concert in the Pick-Staiger Hall Lobby, including a rare presentation of Pendulum Music (1968), performed by generating feedback from swinging
microphones suspended from the ceiling above several loudspeakers, and Come Out (1966), one of Reich’s earliest acknowledged works.

Closing the evening will be a concert devoted to notable examples of Reich’s “phasing” process pieces, Piano Phase (1967), Violin Phase (1967), and Clapping Music (1972), plus later works demonstrating his evolution as a composer away from the more rigorous and gradual processes of his earliest music, including Eight Lines (1983), New York Counterpoint (1985), and Nagoya Marimbas (1994).

A pioneer of musical minimalism, Reich is arguably America’s most influential living composer.  His use of static diatonic harmonies, significant repetition, colorful and percussive textures, and musical processes designed to be both gradual and easily perceptible were revolutionary responses to the predominately atonal, pointillist, rhythmically unstable, and structurally complex works in vogue among mid-century American composers.


October 3, 2006, at 6:45 p.m.
Pick-Staiger Concert Hall

6:45 pm Lecture by DJ Hoek, Head of the Northwestern Music Library and author of the Reich Bio-Bibliography, discussing the life, work, and influence of Steve Reich. Concert Hall

7:00 pm Mini-Concert featuring Reich’s early electronic music: Come Out
(1966) for tape and
       Pendulum Music (1968) for 3-5 microphones and loudspeakers.
Pick-Staiger Lobby

7:30 pm Celebration Concert
       NU Contemporary Music Ensemble
       Ryan Nelson, conductor
       David Yonan, violin

       Clapping Music (1972) for two musicians clapping, amplified
       Piano Phase (1967) for two pianos
       New York Counterpoint (1985) for amplified saxophone quartet & tape
(arr. by NU alumna, Susan Fancher)
       Violin Phase (1967) for violin and tape
       Nagoya Marimbas (1994) for 2 marimbas
       Eight Lines (1983) for amplified large ensemble

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