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Miller Theatre to Open 2016-17 Season with Steve Reich Variations

Steve Reich turns 80 this fall, and Miller Theatre joins with concert halls around the world to celebrate this iconic American composer on Thursday, September 15, 2016, 8:00 p.m.

Rather than reprise the composer's classics, Miller Theatre will partner with regular Reich collaborators Ensemble Signal to spotlight two large-ensemble works deserving of greater attention: the Daniel Variations and You Are (Variations).

The former is a moving tribute to the American Jewish journalist Daniel Pearl, who was kidnapped and beheaded in Pakistan in 2002; the latter, an energizing meditation on the self-its essence, its relationship to the divine, and how it comes to life in our actions.

From Miller Theatre Executive Director Melissa Smey: "I'm honored to join music organizations around the country in celebrating Steve Reich's 80th birthday. We've had the pleasure of working with Steve for more than a decade, presenting his classic pieces Drumming, Music for 18 Musicians, and Tehillim, among others. We'll open Miller's 2016-17 season with his expansive, and rarely paired, large-ensemble masterworks You Are (Variations) and Daniel Variations. This is a unique opportunity for audiences to experience these deeply personal compositions in a single evening, and not to be missed."

Daniel Variations (2006)
You Are (Variations) (2004)

Steve Reich, composer
Ensemble Signal
Brad Lubman, conductor

At Miller Theatre (2960 Broadway at 116th Street). Tickets: $30-$65; Students with valid ID: $7-$39. Single tickets on sale August 8.

About Steve Reich ( - Steve Reich has been called "America's greatest living composer" (The Village Voice), "...the most original musical thinker of our time" (The New Yorker), and "...among the great composers of the century" (The New York Times). His music has been influential to composers and mainstream musicians 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 color. 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 forms of chanting the Hebrew scriptures.

Different Trains and Music for 18 Musicians have each earned him Grammy awards, and his "documentary video opera" works-The Cave and Three Tales, done in collaboration with video artist Beryl Korot-have pushed the boundaries of the operatic medium. Over the years his music has significantly grown both in expanded harmonies and instrumentation, resulting in a Pulitzer Prize for his 2007 composition, Double Sextet.

Reich's music has been performed by major orchestras and ensembles around the world, including the New York and Los Angeles philharmonics; London, San Francisco, Boston, and BBC symphony orchestras; London Sinfonietta; Kronos Quartet; Ensemble Modern; Ensemble Intercontemporain; Bang on a Can All-Stars; and eighth blackbird. Several noted choreographers have created dances to his music, such as Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, Jirí Kylían, Jerome Robbins, Wayne McGregor, and Christopher Wheeldon.

About Ensemble Signal ( - Ensemble Signal, described by The New York Times as "one of the most vital groups of its kind," is a NY-based ensemble dedicated to offering broad audiences access to a diverse range of contemporary works. Since its debut in 2008, the Ensemble has performed over 100 concerts, has given the NY, world, or US premieres of over 20 works, and co-produced eight recordings.

Signal has performed at Lincoln Center Festival, BIG EARS Festival, Carnegie Hall's Zankel Hall, Tanglewood Music Festival of Contemporary Music, Ojai Music Festival, Miller Theatre, (le) Poisson Rouge, Cleveland Museum of Art, the Wordless Music Series, and the Bang on a Can Marathon. Signal has worked with artists and composers including Steve Reich, Helmut Lachenmann, Irvine Arditti, Kristian Bezuidenhout, Michael Gordon, David Lang, Julia Wolfe, Oliver Knussen, Hilda Paredes, and Charles Wuorinen.

Recent highlights have included the performance of Steve Reich's video opera Three Tales, as well as David Lang, Michael Gordon, and Julia Wolfe's video opera Shelter, and a headliner performance of Steve Reich's Music for 18 Musicians and Radio Rewrite at the 2014 BIG EARS Festival in Knoxville, TN. Upcoming highlights include the co-commission of a new work for large ensemble by Steve Reich, to be premiered in 2016-17. Columbia University's Miller Theatre is located north of the Main Campus Gate at 116th St. & Broadway on the ground floor of Dodge Hall.

Directions and information are available online at or via the Miller Theatre Box Office, at 212.854.7799.

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