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Terry Riley


About this Artist

Composer TERRY RILEY is considered to be one of the founding fathers of the Minimalist Movement, His landmark composition In C established Minimalism as a vital force in contemporary music and his work continues to be a major influence today. His career, spanning five decades, far from being confined to the minimalist category, has always crossed boundaries and been marked by its effortless transformations and morphing from one strata of thought to another. Highly developed elements of Indian music, jazz, and African and Middle Eastern music can be heard in intricate melding in much of his work.

A gifted pianist, singer, and improviser, he has performed worldwide since 1955. He is a senior disciple of the late legendary North Indian vocalist, Pandit Pran Nath, and appeared in numerous concerts as the Master’s accompanist both on tabla and vocals. He has received numerous awards, including a John Simon Guggenheim, a Gerbode foundation grant, and two NEA grants. He has written for chamber, orchestral, jazz, rock, and world music ensembles. Most notable is his 25-year association with the Kronos Quartet. For Kronos he has produced 15 major works, including 13 string quartets and The Sands, a concerto for string quartet and orchestra. Recent works include The Cusp of Magic for string quartet and pipa and SolTierraLuna, a concerto for two guitars, violin, and orchestra.

Terry’s list of collaborators includes La Monte Young, Chet Baker, John Cale, Don Cherry, Krishna Bhatt, Gyan Riley, Stefano Scodanibbio, the Kronos Quartet, the Bang on a Can All Stars, artist Bruce Conner, and poet Michael McClure.

The London Times listed Terry as one of the “1000 makers of the 20th century.”