(Above, Steve Reich talks to members of 8bb prior to the world premiere of Double Sextet at the University of Richmond on March 26, 2008.)
Steve Reich’s Double Sextet, a work commissioned and performed all over the world by 8bb, has won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for music. According to the panel of judges, it is “a major work that displays an ability to channel an initial burst of energy into a large-scale musical event, built with masterful control and consistently intriguing to the ear.”
This is the second year in a row that an 8bb-commissioned and premiered piece has been nominated (Stephen Hartke’s kickass Meanwhile was given that honor in 2008), but the first time a commission has won the coveted prize. We will be recording the work in September for Nonesuch Records, and that recording will hopefully be released in 2010.
Before that, you can learn about the piece on our website! Over in the projects part of our site there is a section named for the touring show that involves the Reich, The Only Moving Thing. There you will find program notes, an interview with Reich about the piece, blog entries (including videos), press highlights and a short excerpt from one of the early performances.
A very hearty congratulations to the fabulous Mr Reich on behalf of all us 8bb folks! And a hearty thank you to all of the co-commissioning partners who made this piece a reality: The Carnegie Hall Corporation, The Abe Fortas Memorial Fund of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Liverpool Cultural Company – European Capital of Culture 2008, The Modlin Center for the Arts at the University of Richmond (our wonderful second home, where the premiere took place), Orange County Performing Arts Center, The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music – Music 08 Festival.
Update: NPR’s All Things Considered has a story on the Pulitzers this evening, which includes a short interview with Steve Reich and concludes with the last 30 seconds of 8bb playing Double Sextet.