The Los Angeles Philharmonic recently announced that it will give the world premiere of Steve Reich’s Music for Ensemble and Orchestra on November 1–4, 2018, as part of the orchestra’s centennial season programming. The premiere will be conducted by Susanna Mälkki.
Reich describes his new work for orchestra:
Music for Ensemble and Orchestra is an extension of the Baroque Concerto Grosso where there is more than one soloist. Here there are 20 soloists—all regular members of the orchestra, including the first stand strings and winds, as well as two vibraphones and two pianos. The piece is in five movements, though the tempo never changes, only the note value of the constant pulse in the pianos. Thus, an arch form: sixteenths, eighths, a Ghanaian bell pattern, eighths, and sixteenths. Music for Ensemble and Orchestra is modeled on my Runner of 2016 and is about 20 minutes in duration.
After the world premiere in Los Angeles, the piece travels to London for its UK premiere with the London Symphony Orchestra and Kristjan Järvi on November 29, 2018, at the Barbican Theatre. San Francisco Symphony and Michael Tilson Thomas perform the work on June 20–22, 2019. Additional performances of Music for Ensemble and Orchestra will be announced in the future.
Music for Ensemble and Orchestra was commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Sydney Symphony Orchestra, and Baltic Sea Philharmonic.
It was also recently announced that Reich will compose a new work for the inaugural season of The Shed, a new multi-arts center and performance space opening in spring 2019 in New York City. Written for large ensemble, Reich’s new work is a collaboration with artist Gerhard Richter, and explores the shared structure of Reich’s new work and Richter’s ‘Patterns.’ The world premiere will be performed by musicians from Ensemble Signal, the International Contemporary Ensemble, and AXIOM.