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Happy Birthday To Pound Ridge’s Stephen Michael Reich

Stephen Michael Reich, turns 78 on Friday.
Stephen Michael Reich, turns 78 on Friday. Photo Credit:

POUND RIDGE, N.Y. -- Happy Birthday to Pound Ridge’s Stephen Michael Reich!

Stephen Michael Reich, who owns a house in Pound Ridge, turns 78 on Friday.

Reich, a composer who, along with La Monte Young, Terry Riley, and Philip Glass, pioneered minimal music in the mid to late 1960s, was born Oct. 3, 1936.

His innovations include using tape loops to create phasing patterns and the use of simple, audible processes to explore musical concepts. These compositions, marked by their use of repetitive figures, slow harmonic rhythm and canons, have significantly influenced contemporary music, especially in the United States. Reich's work took on a darker character in the 1980s with the introduction of historical themes as well as themes from his Jewish heritage, notably the Grammy Award-winning composition "Different Trains."

On Jan. 25, 2007, Reich was named 2007 recipient of the Polar Music Prize with jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins. On April 20, 2009, Reich was awarded the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Music, recognizing the composition "Double Sextet," first performed in Richmond, Va. on March 26, 2008.

Reich has the world premiere of a piece, "WTC 9/11" written for string quartet and tape, a similar instrumentation to that of "Different Trains." It was premiered in March 2011 by the Kronos Quartet at Duke University in North Carolina.

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