US composer. His minimalist music employs simple patterns carefully superimposed and modified to highlight constantly changing melodies and rhythms; examples are Phase Patterns for four electronic organs (1970), Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices, and Organ (1973), and Music for Percussion and Keyboards (1984). He was awarded the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Music for his Double Sextet (2008).
Reich was a pupil of Luciano Berio and Darius Milhaud. In 1966, he founded the ensemble Steve Reich and Musicians, and began to study African, Balinese, and Hebrew music. He became a leading light of the minimalist school of composers, abandoning orthodox notions of harmony and counterpoint in favour of repeated phrases which typically evolve only gradually over time. His works have had much success in Europe and the USA. His other compositions include The Cave (1993) and City Life (1994). He received the Polar Music Prize in 2007.
WorksEnsemblePitch Charts for instrumental ensemble (1963); Music for Piano and Tapes (1964); It's Gonna Rain for tape (1965); My Name Is with audience participation (1967); Pulse Music (1969); Drumming for eight small tuned drums, three marimbas, three glockenspiels, two female voices and piccolo (1971); Clapping Music (1972); Music for Pieces of Wood (1973); Music for 18 Musicians (1975); Octet (1979); Tehillim Hebrew psalms (1981); Vermont Counterpoint for 11 flutes (1982); Different Trains for string quartet and tape (1988); Sextet (1985); New York Counterpoint for clarinet and tape (1985).
Orchestral and stageThe Desert Music for 24 amplified voices and orchestra (1984); Impact dance (1985); Three Movements (1986) and The Four Sections (1987) for orchestra; music theatre The Cave (1989–93); City Life (1995).