• Tuesday, Mar 22, 2011

    Carnegie Hall Celebrates the Music of Steve Reich Honoring Composer’s 75th Birthday Year, April 30


    Music of Steve Reich Celebrates Composer’s 75th Birthday Year with
    New York Premiere of His Newest Work WTC 9/11 by Kronos Quartet Featuring
    Pre-Recorded Voices of Air Traffic Controllers, Firemen, and Survivors of the 9/11 Attacks

    Two Other New York Premieres on Program that also Features Reich’s
    Pulitzer Prize-Winning Double Sextet and Performances by
    Bang on A Can All-Stars and Friends, eighth blackbird, and So Percussion

      On Saturday, April 30 at 8:00 p.m., Carnegie Hall presents the Music of Steve Reich, celebrating the composer’s 75th birthday year with an all-star lineup of some of today’s leading contemporary music ensembles performing the newest scores by the legendary composer in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage. The program features the New York premiere of Reich’s newest work WTC 9/11 (co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall), performed by the Kronos Quartet, which includes the pre-recorded voices of the air traffic controllers, firemen, and survivors of the 9/11 attacks. In addition, the program features the New York premieres of 2x5 for rock instruments performed by Bang on a Can All-Stars and Friends and Mallet Quartet performed by So Percussion. Plus eighth blackbird and members of Bang on a Can All-Stars and Friends perform an all-live version of Reich’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Double Sextet (also originally co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall).

    Steve Reich's relationship with Carnegie Hall spans nearly four decades, dating back to his debut in 1973 in his work Four Organs performed by the Boston Symphony Orchestra and conductor Michael Tilson Thomas. Since then, Carnegie Hall has played host to several debut performances of his works, including the world premiere of Variations for Winds, String and Keyboards (chamber version); the U.S. premieres of Octet, Music for a Large Ensemble, and Daniel Variations; and the New York premieres of Cello Counterpoint, Three Movements for Orchestra, Different Trains (version for string orchestra and pre-recorded tape), and Double Sextet. In the fall of 2006, Carnegie Hall took part in a month-long, city-wide tribute to composer Steve Reich in honor of his 70th birthday, titled Steve Reich @ 70.

    About the Works
    WTC 9/11 (2010) integrates a live quartet performance with two additional pre-recorded quartets and pre-recorded voices using stop action sound as a "means of connecting one person to another–harmonically," in the composer's words. The work reflects on the World Trade Center attacks of September 11, 2001, when Reich and his family lived only blocks away from the site of the tragedy, and uses texts from participants in the composition.

    Mallet Quartet (2009) is scored for two vibraphones and two five-octave marimbas. Reich says “I had never written for five-octave marimbas extending down to cello C. On the one hand I was delighted to have the possibility of a low bass, and on the other hand, apprehensive, since just slightly too hard a mallet that low can produce noise instead of pitch. Eventually, after a bit of experimentation, this was well worked out.”

    2x5 (2009) is described by Reich as “…chamber music for rock instruments. My first thought was that with two electric basses I could write interlocking bass lines that would be clearly heard. I then began to think about 2 pianos and 2 electric basses being the motor for a piece that would use electric guitars and small drum kit as well. The piece can be played either with 5 live musicians and 5 pre-recorded, or with 10 musicians. 2x5 is clearly not rock and roll. Like any other composition, it's completely notated while rock is generally not.” 2x5 is Reich’s first piece for rock band set-up, and it premiered on the opening night of Manchester International Festival on a double-bill with the renowned German electronic musicians Kraftwerk.

    Double Sextet (2007), a Carnegie Hall co-commission, won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Music and was given its New York premiere in April 2008 at Carnegie Hall’s Zankel Hall by eighth blackbird. There are two identical sextets in Double Sextet and each one is made up of flute, clarinet, violin, cello, vibraphone, and piano. Reich says, “Doubling the instrumentation was done so that, as in so many of my earlier works, two identical instruments could interlock to produce one overall pattern. For example, in this piece you will hear the pianos and vibes interlocking in a highly rhythmic way to drive the rest of the ensemble.” An album with both 2x5 and Double Sextet is available on Reich’s longtime label, Nonesuch.

    To view a new ten-minute documentary in which Steve Reich discusses how his early experiments with tape loops and phasing fed the development of his later works, click this link.

    About the Artists
    Recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in 2008, acclaimed American composer Steve Reich has been called "...the most original musical thinker of our time" by the The New Yorker and "...among the great composers of the century" by The New York Times. His music has been influential to composers and mainstream musicians all over the world, and he is a leading pioneer of minimalism. His music is known for steady pulse, repetition, and a fascination with canons; it combines rigorous structures with propulsive rhythms and seductive instrumental color. Reich’s music also embraces harmonies of non-Western and American vernacular music (especially jazz). His further musical studies have included the Indonesian Gamelan, African drumming, and traditional forms of chanting Hebrew scriptures. Different Trains and Music for 18 Musicians have each earned Reich Grammy Awards, and his "documentary video opera" works—The Cave and Three Tales, done in collaboration with video artist Beryl Korot—have pushed the boundaries of the operatic medium. Over the years his music has grown both in expanded harmonies and instrumentation, resulting in a Pulitzer Prize for his 2007 composition, Double Sextet.

      Founded in 1992 by Bang on a Can co-founders Michael Gordon, David Lang, and Julia Wolfe, the Bang on a Can All-Stars quickly forged a distinct identity and have come to be known worldwide for their ultra-dynamic live performances and recordings of today’s most innovative music. The group at its core is Ashley Bathgate (cello), Robert Black (electric bass), Vicky Chow, (piano), David Cossin (drums), Mark Stewart (guitar), and Evan Ziporyn (clarinet and piano). For this Carnegie Hall tribute, they are joined by friends: Bryce Dessner, Taylor Levine, and Derek Johnson (guitars); Glenn Kotche (drums); Kelli Kathman (flute); Todd Reynolds (violin); Gregg August (bass); and Andrew Cotton (sound engineer). Freely crossing the boundaries between classical, jazz, rock, world, and experimental music, this six-member amplified ensemble from New York defies categories, plays music from uncharted territories, and has shattered the definition of what concert music is today. The group’s celebrated projects and collaborations include their landmark recordings of Brian Eno’s ambient classic Music for Airports and Terry Riley’s In C, as well as live performances with Philip Glass, Meredith Monk, Don Byron, Iva Bittova, and Thurston Moore. The All-Stars were awarded Musical America’s Ensemble of the Year in 2005 and now record on Cantaloupe Music with past recordings on Sony, Universal, and Nonesuch.

      eighth blackbird is widely lauded for its unusual performing style—often playing from memory with theatrical flair—and for its efforts to make new music accessible to wider audiences. Since its founding in 1996, the sextet has actively commissioned and recorded new works. Recent commissions include a concerto from Jennifer Higdon and pieces from Steve Reich, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Steven Mackey, David Lang, Stephen Hartke, and Bruno Mantovani. The group’s CD strange imaginary animals won two Grammy Awards in 2008, including one for Best Chamber Music Performance. Now celebrating its 15th season, eighth blackbird showcases music by the two most recent Pulitzer Prize-winning composers in its 2010–2011 recording and performing repertoire, with new and recent works written for the ensemble by both Jennifer Higdon and Steve Reich. Also this season, the ensemble curated and performed in the Park Avenue Armory’s “Tune-In” contemporary music festival in New York City. Other season highlights include performances at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art; a tour of Higdon’s new concerto On a Wire; Reich festivals on both sides of the Atlantic; a return to the Library of Congress for a concert that includes the world premiere of a new work by Stephen Hartke; and a new CD featuring Reich’s prize-winning Double Sextet on Nonesuch, released in September 2010. eighth blackbird was honored in 2007 with the American Music Center’s Trailblazer Award and a Meet The Composer Award, and the group’s numerous competition wins include the Grand Prize at the Concert Artists Guild International Competition and the Naumburg Chamber Music Award.

      For more than 30 years, the Kronos Quartet—David Harrington and John Sherba (violins), Hank Dutt (viola) and Jeffrey Zeigler (cello)—have pursued a singular artistic vision, combining a spirit of fearless exploration with a commitment to expanding the range and context of the string quartet. In the process, Kronos has become one of the most celebrated and influential groups of our time, performing thousands of concerts worldwide, releasing more than 45 recordings of extraordinary breadth and creativity, collaborating with many of the world's most eclectic composers and performers, and commissioning more than 700 works and arrangements for string quartet. Kronos's work has garnered numerous awards, including a Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance (2004) and Musician of the Year (2003) from Musical America. Kronos's music has been featured prominently in other media, including film (Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain, 21 Grams, Heat, True Stories) and dance, with noted choreographers such as Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Twyla Tharp, and Eiko & Koma setting pieces to Kronos's music. The ensemble's expansive discography on Nonesuch Records includes Pieces of Africa (1992), Kronos Quartet: 25 Years (1998), Kronos Caravan (2000), Nuevo (2002) which was nominated for both Grammy and Latin Grammy Awards, Kronos Quartet: 25 Years (1998), and the Grammy Award winning Alban Berg's Lyric Suite (2003).

      Since 1999, So Percussion (Eric Beach, Josh Quillen, Adam Sliwinski, Jason Treuting) have been creating music that explores all the extremes of emotion and musical possibility. The Brooklyn-based quartet’s innovative work with today’s most exciting composers and their own original music has quickly helped them forge a unique and diverse career. The group met while they were students at the Yale School of Music, and a blind call to composer David Lang resulted in their first big commission, the so-called laws of nature, which appeared with Evan Ziporyn’s gamelan-inspired Melody Competition on their first album So Percussion. The years that followed yielded new pieces by Paul Lansky, Dan Trueman, Steve Reich, Steve Mackey, and Fred Frith among others. So Percussion has performed all over the United States, with concerts at the Lincoln Center Festival, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, Stanford Lively Arts, the Cleveland Museum of Art, and many others. In addition, recent tours to Russia, Australia, Italy, Germany, Spain, and the Ukraine have brought them international acclaim. In 2005 they won second prize overall and the Concerto Prize at the Luxembourg International Percussion Quartet Competition.

    Program Information
    Saturday, April 30 at 8:00 p.m.
    Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage
    Bang on a Can All-Stars and Friends

       Robert Black, Electric Bass
       David Cossin, Drums
       Vicky Chow, Piano
       Evan Ziporyn, Clarinet and Piano
       Bryce Dessner, Guitar
       Taylor Levine, Guitar
       Derek Johnson, Guitar
       Mark Stewart, Guitar
       Glenn Kotche, Drums
       Kelli Kathman, Flute
       Todd Reynolds, Violin
       Ashley Bathgate, Cello
       Gregg August, Bass
       Andrew Cotton, Sound Engineer
    eighth blackbird
       Tim Munro, Flute
       Michael J. Maccaferri, Clarinet
       Matt Albert, Violin and Viola
       Nicholas Photinos, Cello
       Matthew Duvall, Percussion
       Lisa Kaplan, Piano
    Kronos Quartet
       David Harrington, Violin
       John Sherba, Violin
       Hank Dutt, Viola
       Jeffrey Zeigler, Cello
    So Percussion
       Eric Beach
       Josh Quillen
       Adam Sliwinski
       Jason Treuting

    STEVE REICH Mallet Quartet (NY Premiere)
    STEVE REICH WTC 9/11 (NY Premiere, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
    STEVE REICH 2x5 (NY Premiere)
    STEVE REICH Double Sextet

    Bank of America is the Proud Season Sponsor of Carnegie Hall.


    Ticket Information
    Tickets, priced from $30–$70 are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website, carnegiehall.org.

    For Carnegie Hall Corporation presentations taking place in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, a limited number of seats, priced at $10, will be available day-of-concert beginning at 11:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 12:00 noon on Sunday until one hour before the performance or until supply lasts. The exceptions are Carnegie Hall Family Concerts and gala events. These $10 tickets are available to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis at the Carnegie Hall Box Office only. There is a two-ticket limit per customer.

    In addition, for all Carnegie Hall presentations in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage a limited number of partial view (seats with obstructed or limited sight lines or restricted leg room) will be sold for 50% of the full price. For more information on this and other discount ticket programs, including those for students, Notables members, and Bank of America customers, visit carnegiehall.org/discounts.


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