Steve Reich and Musicians

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Steve Reich Ensemble playing Different Trains (from left to right) Liz Lim-Dutton, violin, Todd Reynolds, violin, Jeanne LeBlanc, cello, Scott Rawls, viola, Russ Hartenberger at the back

Steve Reich and Musicians, sometimes credited as the Steve Reich Ensemble, is a musical ensemble founded and led by the American composer Steve Reich (born 1936) to perform his compositions. This ensemble has premiered many of Reich's works and has performed his works more than any other. The ensemble received a Grammy Award in 1999.


In 1966, Steve Reich founded his own ensemble of three musicians, which quickly grew to 18 members or more[1] beginning with concerts in lofts and small galleries in New York City. Within a few years, especially after the success of Reich's Music for 18 Musicians, the group began touring nationally and internationally. The size of the ensemble has always fluctuated depending on the works to be performed, with the aforementioned "18 Musicians" being approximately the upper limit, but with many works such as Piano Phase or Clapping Music using only a pair of musicians.

By organizing an ensemble of his own with which to perform his works, Reich, like fellow minimalist composer Philip Glass with his group, altered the traditional route by which classical composers sought to have their music disseminated. The composer-led ensemble became a new model which was to be highly influential on the creation of groups such as Bang on a Can.


The ensemble's instrumentation varies according to the piece being performed, but consists primarily of tuned percussion (marimbas, vibraphones, glockenspiels) and voices, as well as bowed string instruments, bass clarinets, and electronic organs.


Steve Reich Ensemble rehearsing Sextet, Le Havre, France. From Left, Garry Kvistad, Bob Becker, Edmund Niemann, Thad Wheeler, Russell Hartenberger, and Nurit Tilles


Steve Reich and Musicians[edit]

Steve Reich Ensemble[edit]


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