Steve Reich composer
Steve Reich (1936) and Arvo Pärt (1935) are two living legends in contemporary classical music. They both have their own unique voice in music as well as a massive audience crossing the borders of academic and pop circles. They both have been in the front line of new music for more than five decades and their creative output have had a significant impact to the culture of previous and present century.
Often associated and compared by critics, Reich and Pärt have a deep mutual respect and love for each other’s music. They first met in 1984 in New York and since then have followed each other’s life and work with great interest.
Steve Reich has said that when he first heard Pärt’s CD Tabula rasa, he was extremely impressed by Pärt’s courageous gesture to turn away from the esthetics of serialist music and limit himself only to C major. Instantly, Reich felt that it was something very close to his own musical endeavors.
European music shows the signs of a spiritual crisis, and Pärt is there the lonely human voice. He writes religious music in a very secular age.
I think very highly of Arvo Pärt on lot of levels. To me, he is the most important living composer.