Are You Ready for Reich?

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photo by Wonge BergmannThe New Yorker has called Steve Reich “the most original musical thinker of our time.”  Steve Reich has called NEXUS “probably the most acclaimed percussion group on earth.”  Clearly, this is a match made in heaven! NEXUS has been very busy preparing for the up-coming premiere of their exciting and much-anticipated Steve Reich commission, taking place on April 29th in Toronto in the beautiful new Koerner Hall at the Royal Conservatory of Music. The premiere will be part of the Cool Drummings International Percussion Festival presented by Soundstreams Canada.  It is going to be a wonderful week!

But before then, Soundstreams is going to get us in the mood with their Salon on April 19, 2010 at 7:30 p.m. (Meet and Greet from 7 p.m.) at the handsome Gardiner Museum. Admission is free and you will enjoy Reich-inspired dancers, DJ’s and musicians who will be there to celebrate Steve Reich as “the father of DJ culture” and “one of today’s most choreographed composers.”

When Steve hits town, the music will really start to fly. He will be giving a Master Class on April 28 at from 10 am to 12:30 pm in the Royal Conservatory Theatre.  Students of the Royal Conservatory of Music and guests will be the first to listen to a brand new, as yet unreleased CD of Double Sextet. A moderated Q&A with Steve will follow.

On the evening of April 28th, NEXUS will be performing with Steve for a Fundraiser at the phenomenal Integral House, the home of Dr James Stewart.

April 29th at 8 p.m. is the big moment : the premiere of Steve’s new Mallet Quartet for vibraphones and five octave marimbas.  Also on the program will be Reich favorites 2 x 5, Clapping Music, Sextet (for which percussionist Ryan Scott and Steve Reich himself will be joining NEXUS onstage) and Music for Pieces of Wood.  Actually, Sextet was originally commissioned for NEXUS too! NEXUS gave the world premiere of that piece in Paris at the Centre Pompidou in 1984. It is written for 4 percussionists and 2 keyboards.

Alex Ross of The New Yorker has written, “Steve Reich’s work has blended into the cultural landscape, its repeating patterns and chiming timbres detectable all over modern music. Brian Eno, David Bowie, David Byrne, and a thousand dj’s have paid him heed.” You can buy tickets online or at the box office. We hope you will join us for this exceptional event!

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