“I first heard Steve Reich’s music sometime in the early ’60s at a party,” writes Michael Tilson Thomas in the August issue of Vanity Fair (subscription required). “His early piece Come Out was played by the host at a late-night gathering of filmmakers, painters, poets, and other artistic types…. It seemed both to engage and provoke at the same time…. A few years later I began a series of new and unusual music concerts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra—the so-called Spectrum Series…. I called him up…. Somewhat reluctantly, he agreed to let us perform Four Organs…. The piece made a colossal impression … in Boston, and even more so [at Carnegie Hall] in New York City…. There were at least three attempts to stop the performance by shouting it down…. After the piece came to a close, there was a moment of silence followed by a veritable avalanche of boos. It was deafening…. I turned to [Steve] and said, … ‘You can bet by tomorrow everyone in the United States will have heard about you and your work and will be hugely intrigued to hear it for themselves.’ The scenario did play out much as I thought it would…. He’s already given us back so much joy in music. It’s exciting to think of what he’ll do next.”

Posted July 18, 2016