What is minimalism?

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Classical Music, Sunday 2 November 2014, 9pm. Catherine Bott explores an often derided but very popular musical genre.

Philip Glass Glassworks minimalism

Fifty years ago, Californian composer Terry Riley burst onto the music scene with his experimental works, blending classical, jazz and Indian traditions. At the San Francisco Tape Music Centre, Riley worked alongside Steve Reich , who went on to become one of the most popular and important contemporary composers.

The term, 'minimal music' was cited first in 1968 by the composer and critic Michael Nyman

Today 'minimalism' has been extended to include the haunting, sparse works of 'holy minimalists', such as Arvo Part , Henryk Gorecki and John Tavener

Tonight Catherine explores the genre with music from all of these composers, as well as two other masters of the genre, Philip Glass and Lou Harrison.

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