Steve Reich on Turning 80

American composer Steve Reich performing clapp...

Source: The Globe and Mail, and Steve Reich interview.

Steve Reich, 80 this October, is perhaps the world’s most important living composer, a creative personality who almost singlehandedly brought music back from the brink of obscurantism that threatened to sink it in the late fifties and early sixties with his patterned, slowly moving, deeply emotional musical textures. He’s also, as it turns out, a guy with one of the sweetest smiles, and sweetest laughs, that you could imagine, who sounds remarkably like Groucho Marx at times, and who combines a keen mind with an expansive and generous personality. The Globe spoke with the New York-born Reich before he made his way to Toronto for a special 80th-birthday concert on Thursday night at Massey Hall.