Born in 1936 in New York, Steve Reich is one of the best known representatives of minimal music. He learned to play the drums and studied philosophy at Cornell University in Ithaka, New York, and then composition at New York’s Juilliard University and Mills College in Oakland, California with Darius Milhaud and Luciano Berio. Using identical speech recordings on multiple tape recorders, Reich invented the technique of phasing, which he soon expanded to musical instruments. His music is strongly influenced by jazz, West African percussion and Balinese gamelan music. Exploring his family’s Judaic roots provided the impetus for works such as “Different Trains” for string quartet and tape (1988) and the multimedia opera “The Cave” (1993).