Steve Reich and his influences celebrated in Birmingham


Reich: Influences on Spotify

• Four day mini-series celebrates US composer’s visit to Birmingham
• Second ever performance of a new Radiohead-inspired Reich commission, Radio Rewrite, takes place at Town Hall
• Two new Jazzlines commissions explore the artists that influence Reich
• Free Beyond Classical performance of Ligeti’s Poème symphonique for 100 metronomes
• Schools matinee introduces the works of Reich to Key Stage 3 & 4 pupils

Steve Reich, hailed as ‘our greatest living composer’ by The New York Times, will visit Birmingham on Wednesday 6th March to celebrate the second ever performance of his new work Radio Rewrite at Town Hall, just 24 hours after its world premiere in London.

The 76-year old musical pioneer will perform his 1972 piece Clapping Music at the concert, which is the centrepiece of Reich:Influences (Tuesday 5 – Friday 8 March) – a mini-series of performances exploring the works that influenced the composer, and his own profound impact on contemporary classical music, staged by Birmingham’s Town Hall and Symphony Hall.

The series also includes two new Jazzlines commissions from Birmingham musicians Chris Mapp and Mike Fletcher and some of minimalism’s most famous, infamous and unusual compositions, including John Cage’s 4’33” and Ligeti’s Poème symphonique for 100 metronomes.


Inspired by the work of hugely popular British band Radiohead, and performed by the London Sinfonietta, Radio Rewrite draws on two of the UK indie-rock group’s songs: Everything in its Right Place and Jigsaw Falling into Place. The concert, which takes place at Town Hall on Wednesday 6 March, will also feature some of Reich’s most well-known works, including a performance of Clapping Music led by the composer himself. Prior to the performance at 7.30pm, there is also a chance for ticket holders to hear Reich in a pre-concert conversation with London Sinfonietta Chief Executive Andrew Burke.


The night before (Tuesday 5 March, 7pm), a special edition of the Beyond Classical series, in association with Birmingham Conservatoire, gives audiences the chance to experience some of minimalism’s most innovative music for free in the relaxed atmosphere of Symphony Hall’s Café Bar. As well as John Cage’s infamous 4’33” and Reich’s Different Trains, the performance will include a staging of György Ligeti’sPoème symphonique: a piece scored for 100 metronomes, which are all set ticking simultaneously and left to wind down over a period of up to half an hour. Members of the public are being invited to donate their metronomes and be involved in this rarely performed work which encapsulates minimalism at its most basic. The performance is supported by the University of Birmingham.


As part of the celebrations two new works exploring the music and musicians that influenced Reich’s compositions have been commissioned by Jazzlines, Town Hall and Symphony Hall’s innovative programme of jazz music. Birmingham bassist Chris Mapp will explore the work of artists such as Radiohead, Miles Davis and John Coltrane, in Buzzoig – a mostly improvised performance at Bramall Music Building, University of Birmingham, on Thursday 7 March. The influence of Coltrane – a musician Steve Reich saw live over 50 times – is also being explored the next day in a Jazzlines Free Gig from saxophonist and big band leader Mike Fletcher. Fletcher will be leading a group of eight jazz musicians in his own composition influenced by Coltrane’s Africa Brass album.


THSH’s Education and Community team are also linking their work in to the main programme of events with a matinee performance for Key Stage 3 & 4 pupils on 6 March. Performed by the London Sinfonietta, the one hour all-Reich concert will feature Electric Counterpoint – a work that is part of the Edexcel GCSE syllabus – Clapping Music and 2×5. This performance is supported by the University of Birmingham.

The Reich: Influences series takes place from Tuesday 5 to Friday 7 March 2013. Events include the second performance of Steve Reich’s Radio Rewrite at Town Hall, and a number of free events at both Symphony Hall and the Bramall Music Building, University of Birmingham. Tickets available from 0121 780 3333 or


Listings Information

Tuesday 5 March, 7pm, Symphony Hall Café Bar
Supported by the University of Birmingham
Works include: John Cage 4’33”, Steve Reich Different Trains, György Ligeti Poeme symphonique for 100 metronomes
For more information on, and to donate to, THSH’s metronome appeal

Wednesday 6 March, 1pm, Town Hall Birmingham
Supported by the University of Birmingham

Wednesday 6 March, 7.30pm, Town Hall Birmingham
£9.50 – £40*
Steve Reich – Clapping Music; Electric Counterpoint; 2×5; Radio Rewrite (New work, second performance); Double Sextet
6.15pm Pre-concert conversation with Steve Reich and London Sinfonietta Chief Executive Andrew Burke

Thursday 7 March, 5pm, Bramall Music Building, University of Birmingham

Friday 8 March, 5pm, Symphony Hall Café Bar

Notes to Editors

Steve Reich’s Radio Rewrite is a co-commission from by the London Sinfonietta and New York’s Alarm Will Sound. In order to help fund this commission, the London Sinfonietta have launched a crowd-funding campaign with the aim of raising £3000 by 27 February in support of this new work. To find out more, or to donate, visit

Town Hall and Symphony Hall are managed together by Performances Birmingham Limited, a Registered Charity No 1053937. Between them, the two halls present an exciting and varied programme of over 600 concerts and events a year, connecting people of all ages and backgrounds to music from jazz, folk, world, roots and classical, to rock and pop. Over 500,000 people visit Town Hall and Symphony Hall annually, and almost 12,000 young people and 6,000 adults participate in the thriving Education and Community programme.

Supported using public funding by Arts Council England

Town Hall Birmingham re-opened in October 2007 following a £35m renovation funded by Birmingham City Council (£18.3m), Heritage Lottery Fund (£13.7m), European Regional Development Fund (£3m).

Jazzlines is Town Hall & Symphony Hall’s dynamic strand of concert programming and inspirational education work from jazz producers Tony Dudley-Evans and Mary Wakelam, connecting people to jazz music. Launched in April 2012, Jazzlines is supported by a three-year funding grant from Arts Council England under the National Portfolio Organisation scheme. The programme encompasses live jazz performances at a wide variety of venues around the city, including Town Hall & Symphony Hall, and an innovative participation and learning programme.

Jazzlines is supported by the PRS for Music Foundation

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*£2.50 fee per transaction on all bookings except those made in person at the box office

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Issued Wednesday 6 February 2013