b.1936, USA

Stephen Reich is an American composer who pioneered minimalism. Reich’s innovations include using tape loops to create phasing patterns and the use of processes to create and explore musical concepts. These compositions, marked by their use of repetitive figures and phasing effects, have significantly influenced contemporary music, especially that of his country.

Reich graduated with honors in philosophy from Cornell University in 1957. For the next two years, he studied composition with Hall Overton, and from 1958 to 1961 he studied at the Juilliard School of Music. Mr. Reich received his M.A. in Music from Mills College in 1963, where he worked with Luciano Berio and Darius Milhaud.

Over the years, Steve Reich has received commissions from the Barbican Centre London, the Holland Festival, San Francisco Symphony, Vienna Festival, Spoleto Festival USA, West German Radio, Settembre Musica Torino, the Saint Louis Orchestra, Kronos Quartet and the Festival d’Automne for the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution.

Reich currently lives in upstate New York.

Artist Compositions


Premiere Title of Commission Listen
04/29/2010 Mallet Quartet Listen Close

'Mallet Quartet' marked the first time Reich had written for the five-octave marimba. Written in three movements (fast, slow, fast), the work involves a series of interlocking patterns among which the four players move. The marimbas create a dense harmonic background in the two fast movements, while in the central slow movement the texture becomes unexpectedly spacious and transparent.