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Steve Reich b. 1936

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Steve Reich's music has been influential to composers all over the world. He is a leading pioneer of Minimalism, having in his youth broken away from the "establishment" that was serialism. His music is known for steady pulse, repetition, and a fascination with canons; it combines rigorous structures with propulsive rhythms and seductive instrumental colour. It also embraces harmonies of non-Western and American vernacular music (especially jazz) - his studies have included the Gamelan, African drumming (at the University of Ghana), and traditional cantor forms for the Hebrew scriptures. "I think all music is ethnic music. . . . Every place has its own musical traditions, and this has a lot to do with how things generally sound," he declares.

'Different Trains' earned him a Grammy™ for Best Contemporary Composition, and his "documentary video opera" works - 'The Cave' and 'Three Tales' - have expanded the boundaries of the operatic medium, and may well set a trend for opera of the future!

"There's just a handful of living composers who can legitimately claim to have altered the direction of musical history and Steve Reich is one of them" — The Guardian (London)

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