Steve Reich’s Piano Phase: What Are You Afraid Of?

It’s not everyday that a harpsichord recital leads to a riot, but apparently that’s what happened this past Sunday in Cologne. Iranian-American harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani attempted to perform a composer-sanctioned version of Steve Reich’s Piano Phase (1967) at the Cologne Philharmonie when members of the audience became disruptive. He was in the middle of a program of music taken from his recent recording, Time Present and Time Past, which sets the standard baroque harpsichord repertoire …

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