Looking Back on Wall to Wall Steve Reich

This past April 30th, Symphony Space hosted its annual Wall to Wall extravaganza, paying tribute to legendary American composer Steve Reich as part of his 80th birthday celebrations.

The 8-hour marathon included Reich himself in conversation, as well as program spanning more than 4 decades of his work, culminating in an exquisite performance of Reich’s complex and haunting Desert Music for chorus and orchestra.

Our sincerest thanks to all the performers, staff, and members of the Symphony Space community who contributed to make this day such a wondrous event!

(All photos below courtesy of Rahav Iggy Segev / Photopass.com)


The day began with Vicky Chow’s captivating performance of Piano Counterpoint (1973).


Next, Mivos Quartet performed the haunting and moving piece, WTC 9/11 (2010).

Mivos Quartet

“Guitar heroes” Mark Stewart, Dither, and friends brought Electric Counterpoint (written for 13 electric guitars), to the stage.

Mark Stewart, Dither, and friends.

Rounding out the first segment of the day, the dancers of Keigwin + Company took to the stage (and the audience) to perform choreography to Sidewalk, set to Double Sextet (2007):

Keigwin + Company.

In the second segment, Alarm Will Sound (led by Alan Pierson), performed several pieces including “City Life” (1995) and “Clapping Music” (1972). Steve Reich and Alan Pierson also engaged in a lively discussion about the music:

Alarm Will Sound, Alan Pierson, and Steve Reich.

The final segment of the evening included a performance of “Different Trains” (1988) by Mivos Quartet:


And then, a conversation between two legends, Steve Reich and Stephen Sondheim. They discussed musical roots and inspiration, among other things.

Stephen Sondheim and Steve Reich.

The evening culminated in a truly epic performance of Desert Music (1983) by the American Composers Orchestra:


Thank you to all who joined us for this unforgettable day of music, performance, and conversation!

For more Symphony Space programming and first all future Wall to Wall announcements, visit our website.

A multi-disciplinary performing arts center, SYMPHONY SPACE’s mission is to offer artistic leadership that promotes innovation, excellence, engagement, and accessibility to artists and audiences alike.
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