This concert took place in the concert hall without a live audience: you can (re)watch the livestream until 5 April.

🎟️🎫 Tickets (€5) available.


“All great music is contemporary. If it's still alive and kicking, then it's contemporary.” - Steve Reich

The Desert Music
(1983) shows us a milder Reich as he explores the new possibilities offered by a large orchestra and choir.

His ability to communicate social and philosophical questions in music also comes to the fore here: with the dark poetry of William Carlos Williams as the engine that unrolls a constant rhythmical canvas, Reich addresses the destructive whims of humanity.

Steve Reich was at the origins of a new musical style in the 1960s: minimal music. Repetitive motifs, powerful rhythms, music that stood on its own – the listener having no other hold than time, space and the surroundings in which it is heard.

In 1983, Reich was ready to set aside his reservations about large formations: until that time, he thought that symphonic ensembles lacked the rhythmic versatility and precision necessary for his music. The Desert Music shows that it can.


Steve Reich
The Desert Music (1983)

(version for reduced strings)

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programme booklet

Want to learn more about the music and the artists? Read the lyrics? Download your programme booklet.

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bbc podcast

BBC 's Stephen Johnson explores visions of nuclear armageddon in Steve Reich's The Desert Music.

listen to podcast


Have a look into what started it all for Steve Reich and other personal anecdotes.

watch the video


Steve Reich may have been inspired by him, but who was the American writer and poet William Carlos Williams actually?

read more


This concert will take place in the concert hall, even without a live audience: you can watch the concert via the livestream.

🎟️🎫 Buy your tickets (€5) here!
Livestream available until 5 April.