Steve Reich celebrates 80th birthday in London

2 November 2016

Steve Reich and Beryl Korot’s video opera Three Tales forms the centrepiece of celebrations for Steve Reich’s 80th birthday at the Barbican Centre over the weekend of November 5 and 6, which also sees the UK premiere of new work Pulse and a portrait concert by London Symphony Orchestra and Kristjan Jarvi of some of his most important orchestral scores.

In a packed weekend of sold-out concerts, students from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama begin the weekend with performances of City Life and Drumming on Saturday 5 November, followed by US group Dither whose performance includes an expanded version of Electric Counterpoint for thirteen guitars. As well as Three Tales and Pulse, performed by Britten Sinfonia, the evening concert includes Different Trains, and ends with a talk by Steve Reich and Beryl Korot on stage with journalist and broadcaster Tom Service.

The weekend concludes with a performance of The Desert Music by the LSO and Jarvi in a concert which includes the orchestral versions of You Are (Variations) and Daniel Variations, which was premiered at the Barbican in 2006 for his 70th birthday.

November 8 sees Steve Reich make a flying visit to the Cambridge Music Festival where he talks about his music and performs Clapping Music. Final tickets are available here.

His time in the UK ends with the world premiere of new work Runner at the Royal Ballet on November 10. The new score is choreographed as Multiverse by Resident Choreographer Wayne McGregor and also celebrates McGregor’s 10-year association with the Royal Ballet.

Steve Reich’s 80th birthday is celebrated worldwide during the 2016-17 with an estimated 400 performances of his works in over 20 countries; in his native New York he is holds the Barbara Debs Composers Chair at Carnegie Hall who have programmed his music throughout the season.

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