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WQXR’s Q2 presents “Maximum Reich”

Q2, WQXR’s vibrant new 24/7 music stream dedicated to contemporary classical music, kicks off its first full festival, MAXIMUM REICH: A Celebration of Steve Reich, from December 10 – 16. This weeklong immersion into the work of one of the most landscape-changing composers of the last 50 years will include a comprehensive presentation of his recorded works; explorations of the influences both on and of Reich, including tributes from musicians and composers he has inspired, such as Nico Muhly, Sonic Youth, and David Lang; recent videos and exclusive downloads; and interviews and music recordings from the venerable archives of WNYC, the new owner of WQXR.

MAXIMUM REICH: A Celebration of Steve Reich will stream on Q2 from Thursday, December 10 to Wednesday, December 16. Q2 is available at, and can also be accessed through WQXR’s web site,  In addition, NPR Music will run the full stream and it will feature highlights from the festival, including select recordings of live performances and Steve Reich in his own words. NPR’s stream will be available at

“Steve Reich embodies all that is Q2, which is why he was the obvious choice for our first deep dive into the life and work of a living composer,” said Limor Tomer, WNYC’s Executive Producer for Music. “He’s unquestionably of New York, yet globally relevant; embracing of diverse genres but stylistically coherent; innovative but within a continuum of centuries of musical breakthroughs; embraced by both downtown and uptown, in clubs and concert halls; and through the strength and immediacy of his individual voice, has re-charted the course of contemporary classical music.”

MAXIMUM REICH will showcase Steve Reich’s illustrious history with WNYC, dating back nearly 30 years. In 1981, Tim Page first interviewed Reich as part of the “New, Old and Unexpected” series. Since then, Reich has made many memories with WNYC through show appearances, interviews and live performances, including:

  • “Meet the Composer” with Tim Page, 1985
  • American Music Festival: New Sounds Portraits with John Schaefer, 1986
  • Live performances as part of New Sounds Live, Steve Reich at 70, and a Composers’ Showcase at the Whitney
  • Interviews on Soundcheck, New Sounds, New York & Company, and The Leonard Lopate Show


 Highlights of the festival

  • Original and exciting new recordings of all of Reich’s recorded works, many with personal introductions by Reich himself
  • Exclusive rare performances and interviews from the WNYC archives, including visits with John Schaefer on New Sounds and Soundcheck, long-format interviews with Tim Page on Meet the Composer and with Leonard Lopate on The Leonard Lopate Show
  • Do You Q2 blog, with celebrity tributes from contemporaries, collaborators and admirers from different fields, including: David Lang and Nico Muhly, composers; Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo; So Percussion’s Jason Treuting; and Bang On A Can Allstars & Steve Reich & Musicians’ Evan Ziporyn
  • Reich (Remixed), a collection of Steve Reich material remixed by some of today’s most important DJs and remixers
  • Exclusive, time-limited download of Reich’s Dance Patterns, courtesy Nonesuch Records


Festival schedule

10pm nightly: Different versions of the iconic Reich composition, Music for 18 Musicians           

Noon & 8pm daily: Interviews with Reich from WNYC archives

Daily focus:       

Thursday: The Birth of a Style: Influences and Teachers

Friday:  Counterpoint: From Vermont to Cello

Saturday: Reich in Full Voice: Vocal, Choral and Tape

Sunday: The Cave (Reich’s only opera)

Monday: Live Concerts from the WNYC Archives

Tuesday: Music for Percussion

Wednesday: Reich Remixed: The Next Generation

Steve Reich is known for his innovative style and use of phase technique, human speech as melodic and harmonic source material, and his radical use of instruments and voices in combination with themselves and others. With a career spanning 50 years, Reich has influenced artists ranging from David Bowie to Akram Khan, from Radiohead and Sufjan Stevens to DJ Spooky. Reich recently won a 2009 Pulitzer Prize for Music for his Double Sextet, and he has been hailed by critic Kyle Gann as “America’s greatest living composer.”

WNYC Radio is New York’s premier public radio franchise, comprising WNYC FM, WNYC AM, and WQXR, as well as and As America’s most listened-to AM/FM public radio stations, reaching more than one million listeners every week, WNYC extends New York City’s cultural riches to the entire country on-air and online, and presents the best national offerings from networks National Public Radio, Public Radio International, American Public Media, and the British Broadcasting Company. WNYC 93.9 FM broadcasts a wide range of daily news, talk, cultural and classical music programming, while WNYC AM 820 maintains a stronger focus on breaking news and international news reporting. Classical 105.9 WQXR is New York City’s sole classical music station, which presents new and landmark classical recordings as well as live concerts from the Metropolitan Opera and the New York Philharmonic, among other New York City venues, immersing listeners in the city’s rich musical life. In addition to its audio content, WNYC produces content for live, radio and web audiences from The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, the station’s street-level multipurpose, multiplatform broadcast studio and performance space. For more information about WNYC, visit

Q2, available at as well as at Classical 105.9 FM WQXR HD-2 in New York, is a music station dedicated to exploring contemporary composers and the modern classical music movement. Q2 offers not only recordings by some of the most passionate and plugged-in musical minds of today, but also notable live events from venues around New York, including WNYC’s newly-opened broadcast studio and performance venue, The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, and the highly-regarded (L)e Poisson Rouge.

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© 21C Media Group, December 2009

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