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Steve Reich to Lead Sydney Opera House Residency in April, Inaugurating New Series

Steve Reich by Jay Blakesberg

Steve Reich will make a rare visit to Australia this April for the launch of a new series at the Sydney Opera House called The Composers. From April 26 to 29, the House will stage The Composers: Steve Reich in Residence, a program that will celebrate Reich's work through a number of events, culminating in a performance of some of the highlights of his musical repertoire by Synergy Percussion, eighth blackbird, and others.

The Composers is a new Sydney Opera House initiative dedicated to celebrating the music of the world's most influential contemporary composers. Reich will mark the start of this new initiative by working in residence at Sydney Opera House with performers and students, for a week leading up to the final performance. On Thursday, April 26, he will discuss his rich career during Steve Reich in Conversation at Sydney Opera House.

Highlights of the concert, Steve Reich—A Celebration, on Sunday, April 29, will be a performance of his seminal piece Music for 18 Musicians as well as the Australian premiere of Variations for Vibes, Strings, Pianos which requires two pianos, three string quartets, and four vibraphones. This will be preceded during the evening by performances of Mallet Quartet, Drumming (Part One), the Pulitzer Prize-winning Double Sextet (which eighth blackbird performs on the Nonesuch recording), and more.

The pieces will be performed by an ensemble cast of musicians from Australia and around the world, who will rehearse with Reich during his residency at the House, including Synergy Percussion, eighth blackbird, Halcyon, Ensemble Offspring, and more.

During his residency, Reich will also work with students from the Flagship Sydney Youth Orchestras (SYO) who have auditioned for this opportunity. Responding to video footage of rehearsals, Reich will provide ongoing commentary on their work prior to his arrival in Australia, and will work with them during his residency to help develop their interpretations and understanding of the intricate rhythms found within new music. This will culminate in two concerts by SYO at Sydney Opera House during the week of Reich’s visit.

Tickets for the public events of The Composers: Steve Reich in Residence go on sale this Monday, February, 20, at


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