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American Composer to Receive 'Golden Lion' for Lifetime Achievement at Venice Festival

American Composer to Receive 'Golden Lion' for Lifetime Achievement at Venice Festival

Steve Reich will be awardedthe Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 58th InternationalFestival of Contemporary Music in Venice on September 21.

“There’s just a handful of living composers who canlegitimately claim to have altered the direction of musical history. SteveReich is one of them,” according to music critic Andrew Clements. In 1996, TheNewYork Times described Reich’s musical style as “fiercely original,immediately recognizable and wholly accessible.”

The music of Steve Reich, who has managed to acquire anincreasingly vast audience, will receive tribute from the 58th InternationalFestival of Contemporary Music, and the presentation of the award will takeplace at the Teatro alle Tese, where two of Reich’s most celebrated works willbe performed.

The first is City Life, composed in 1995 and developed bythe joint commission of three major European ensembles– Intercontemporain,Ensemble Modern, and the London Sinfonietta. It is a symphonic poem on the cityof New York, which seeks to grasp the beating heart of the city: amplifiedacoustic sounds of a classical orchestral ensemble are blended with thesoundtrack of the traffic of an ordinary day in the American metropolis.

The second is Triple Quartet from 1998, scored for amplifiedstring quartet with pre-recorded tape; an alternative version of this workexists for three string quartets (hence the title) or string orchestra. Bothpieces will be performed by the Orchestra of Teatro Petruzzelli of Bari, conducted by Jonathan Stockhammer.

The77-year-old Reich has been composing for over 50 years, and his work shows an eclectic range ofinfluences. Along with Philip Glass, Reich is credited as being one of thefounders of “minimal music.”

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