Steve Reich

Following in the footsteps of La Monte Young and Terry Riley, composer Steve Reich is widely considered the third major pioneer of minimalism; credited as the innovator behind phasing -- a process whereby two tape loops lined up in unison gradually move out of phase with each other, ultimately coming back into sync -- his early experiments in tape manipulation also anticipated the emergence of hip-hop sampling by well over a decade. Reich was born October 3, 1936, in New York City, and later studied philosophy at Cornell University; while at the Juilliard School of Music, he turned to composition, finally landing at Mills College in Oakland, CA, under the tutelage of avant-garde composers Luciano Berio and Darius Milhaud. During his collegiate years, Reich supported himself by drumming professionally; however, when his academic career drew to a close in 1963, he turned to driving a cab.