Steve Reich: Music for 18 Musicians

Ensemble Modern

DTzM Musik 2022/23
Group portrait of the Ensemble Modern in the outdoor area of the office complex "Die Welle" in downtown Frankfurt am Main on Tuesday, 20.10.2020

The American composer Steve Reich is regarded as one of the pioneers of minimal music. His ›Music for 18 Musicians‹ (written between 1974 and 1976) is one of the key works of its oeuvre. A microcosm of rhythmical sounds and repetitive patterns which creates a fascinating maelstrom: each of the eleven sections are founded on their own chord, out of which the material for the instrumentalisation and four female singers emerges. Steve Reich was inspired by West African music and Indonesian gamelan drummers – so Music for 18 Musicians is played without a conductor. The world premiere took place in New York in 1976, performed by the »Steve Reich and Musicians« ensemble. 20 years later it found its way to Europe, where it was performed by the Ensemble Modern in Frankfurt. This would not have been possible without the composer being present because no proper score existed, only sketches for musicians. Since working together to prepare a detailed score, the Ensemble Modern and Steve Reich have enjoyed a long and fruitful artistic relationship and have given concerts all over the world.

The concert is the kick-off for the DTzM archive project, which will be presented by Moritz Lobeck (Director DTzM). Greetings will be given by Annekatrin Klepsch (Deputy Mayor for Culture and Tourism of the state capital Dresden) and curator Elisa Erkelenz (Parasite Village).


Ensemble Modern

Synergy Vocals:
Alice Paroissien, soprano
Katy Anna Hill, soprano
Joanna Forbes L’Estrange, soprano
Rachel Weston, alto