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 D.J. 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.  Curated by Aaron Cassidy, co-director of New Music Northwestern and a member of Northwestern's composition faculty, the event features Northwestern's Contemporary Music Ensemble (CME) and School of Music alumni, under the direction of Ryan Nelson, director of the CME.

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

Following Hoek's presentation, Reich's electronic music will be featured in a mini-concert in the Pick-Staiger Hall Lobby.  The program will include 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), as well as later works, such as Eight Lines (1983), New York Counterpoint (1985), and Nagoya Marimbas (1994), which demonstrate an evolution away from more rigorous processes.

A pioneer of musical minimalism, Steve Reich is one of America's most influential living composers. His use of static diatonic harmonies, repetition, colorful and percussive textures, and processes designed to be both gradual and easily perceptible were revolutionary compared 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 p.m. 

Lecture by DJ Hoek, Head of the Northwestern Music Library discussing the life, work, and influence of Steve Reich.

7:00 p.m. 

Mini-Concert featuring Reich's early electronic musicCome Out(1966) for tape and Pendulum Music (1968) for 3-5 microphones and loudspeakers. (Pick-Staiger Lobby)

7:30 p.m. 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

  • DJ Hoek