University of South Carolina

Southern Exposure Series ends with ‘Music for 18’

By: Frenche’ Brewer,, 803-777-3691

“Music for 18 Musicians,” one of the defining masterworks of the 20th century, will close out the Southern Exposure New Music Series season April 12 and 13.

The popular New Music Series program is hosted by the University of South Carolina School of Music. It is set for 7:30 p.m. at the School of Music recital hall.

The work was written by American composer Steve Reich, one of the pioneering composers of minimal music. “Music for 18 Musicians” premiered in 1976 and brought musical minimalism from lofts and art galleries to the concert hall and has influenced generations of composers and performers.  

The hour-long performance will feature 18 students led by USC piano professor Phillip Bush, a former member of Steve Reich and Musicians, who has played “Music for 18” with Reich around the world. 

“I think it’s particularly exciting for our students to work on this piece with Phillip.  It’s an iconic piece, and to study and perform it with one of the people who knows it the best in the world, and who performed and recorded it with the composer, is a truly unique opportunity.  Significant aspects of the way the piece is played have been passed down and developed aurally through the years, and cannot really be notated accurately.  Phillip can lead performers through this piece, which requires listening and responding to others to negotiate freely written portions, as well as anyone around,” says series director Michael Harley.

The work of USC art professor Blake Morgan will also be featured in the program. His paintings, some of which connect directly to the minimalist aesthetic of “Music for 18,” will be on display and for sale outside the recital hall.

The work calls for a minimum of four pianists, six percussionists, four female singers, two clarinetists, a violinist and cellist.

The concert will begin with a short conversation with Bush, hosted by Harley.

The concert is free.

Posted: 04/10/13 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 04/10/13 @ 3:16 PM | Permalink