Steve Reich (photo by Wonge Bergmann)
Steve Reich Awarded 2016 Nemmers Prize
Photo by Wonge Bergmann

Steve Reich Awarded 2016 Nemmers Prize

Steve Reich has been awarded the Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize in Music Composition from the Henry and Leigh Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University. Established in 2004, the Nemmers Prize in Music Composition honors “classical music composers of exceptional achievement who have significantly influenced the field of composition.” The prize includes a cash award of $100,000, a performance by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and a residency of two to three non-consecutive weeks at the Bienen School of Music where the recipient interacts with faculty and students. Nominations are solicited worldwide and the winner is determined by a committee comprising individuals of widely-recognized stature in the music community. Previous winners of the biennial award include John Adams (2004), Oliver Knussen (2006), Kaija Saariaho (2008), John Luther Adams (2010), Aaron Jay Kernis (2012) and Esa-Pekka Salonen (2014).

Reich will visit Northwestern Evanston campus for residencies in February and November 2017. There will be three concerts of his music performed by the Bienen School’s Contemporary Music Ensemble (CME), Bienen Contemporary/Early Vocal Ensemble (BCE) and Percussion Ensemble. Reich will also engage in other activities, such as coaching student ensembles, meeting with student composers, and participating in moderated discussions.

In addition to the Nemmers Prize in Music Composition, Northwestern University awards the Erwin Plein Nemmers Prize in Economics, the Frederic Esser Nemmers Prize in Mathematics, and the Mechthild Esser Nemmers Prize in Medical Science. All four Nemmers prizes are made possible through bequests from the late Erwin Esser Nemmers, a former member of the Northwestern University faculty, and his brother, the late Frederic E. Nemmers. Each prize is given every other year.

(from the press release)

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One thought on “Steve Reich Awarded 2016 Nemmers Prize

  1. Michael Robinson

    My sense is that more than anyone else, Steve Reich led the way for Western composers out of the desert of serialism. His example is a massive bedrock the rest of us may build upon in wildly varying directions. I will always be indebted to Steve for taking time out of his busy schedule (after being asked by Leonard Altman) to guide me with some extremely important pointers at a critical crossroad.


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