Steve Reich: City Life - Britten Sinfonia - What's On - Concerts

Steve Reich: City Life

04 Mar 2022

Brett Dean

Pastoral Symphony

Dobrinka Tabakova

Barbican Glade (world premiere)

Steve Reich

City Life

© Jeffrey Herman



As an Associate Ensemble, Britten Sinfonia pays a unique tribute to the Barbican on its 40th birthday with a commentary on 21st century urban life with music by Steve Reich, Brett Dean and Dobrinka Tabakova.

The centrepiece is Steve Reich’s iconic City Life, famed for its use of digital samples alongside the acoustic instruments, capturing a wide variety of urban sounds from his home town of New York City. It is paired with Brett Dean’s Pastoral Symphony, an elegy to urban development’s encroachment on the natural world in his native Australia. The piece, Brett Dean says, “is about glorious birdsong, the threat that it faces, the loss, and the soulless noise that we’re left with when they’re all gone.”

The performance will also include the world premiere of a new piece by Dobrinka Tabakova, commissioned to mark the Barbican’s 40th birthday and written to reflect the theme from a European perspective.

Are you a student? Book your ticket through Student Pulse London to get it for just £5.

Listen to our Steve Reich playlist on Spotify for free:

Find out more about Brett Dean’s Pastoral Symphony in this short documentary:

This concert has been generously supported by the Cockayne Foundation.


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