Steve Reich and Philip Glass to share a stage at BAM’s 2014 Next Wave Festival

They resolved whatever it was that was bothering them for 40 years

Steve Reich, Philip Glass (right)

Steve Reich, Philip Glass (right) Photographs: Jeffrey Herman, Stewart Cohen

In a word (or acronym): BAM! Groups led by Steve Reich and Philip Glass—those long-feuding, cofounding composers of the late-1960s Minimalism movement—will both be appearing on the same program at this September’s Next Wave Festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. The New York Times reports that Reich’s ensemble will mount performances of the composer’s seminal pieces Drumming and Music for 18 Musicians, while Glass’s group will play excerpts from the large-scale works Music in 12 Parts, Koyaanisqatsi and Einstein on the Beach (all of which have been mounted in full, locally, in recent seasons).
The Reich-Glass programs are set to come during a stretch of shows dedicated to the reach and influence of Nonesuch Records. Glass hasn’t been a Nonesuch recording artist for over a decade; his recent music has come on his own Orange Mountain Music label. But he hasn’t shared a stage with Reich for far longer—since a falling-out in the early 1970s. Few people know exactly what their rift is even about. In 2010, composer John Adams—who came to Minimalism slightly after Reich and Glass—even wrote a satirical blog item, in quasi-Onion style, about a imaginary reconcilement between the composers. (Yes, John Adams maintains a satirical blog.)
In any event, the Times’ Allan Kozinn extracted a vague, let’s-move-on–style confirmation about the erstwhile bad blood, from a BAM spokesperson, who said: “My impression is that time has passed, and they are over whatever it was.… And they each have a long history with both BAM and Nonesuch, and they wanted to do this.”
That’ll work! We don’t need the men to hug each other onstage or anything. It will totally suffice to have them sharing concert bills once again. Various shows curated in celebration of each composer’s 75th birthday—Reich’s turn came in 2011, while Glass threw a yearlong bash in 2012—have been rapturously received by critics and fans alike. And while you can read all the old-school music journalism you want, regarding what it was like to check these guys out back in the day, there’s nothing quite like hearing these self-mounted revival shows for yourself.