Music for 18 Musicians

Ensemble Coaching

Micaela with Steve ReichMusic for 18 Musicians
is arguably Steve Reich’s most popular and best known work.  Following its completion in 1976, the piece was performed almost exclusively by Steve Reich & Musicians for over twenty years.  The modular score (available from Boosey & Hawkes) appeared only in 1997, so the work is still a relatively new discovery for even long-established ensembles.

Steve Reich himself suggests that Micaela Haslam knows Music for 18 Musicians better than anyone – including him!  She has performed and coached the piece with the composer for over 15 years, most recently for the South American premiere of the piece at Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires (with Steve Reich on piano), but also with London Sinfonietta, the Royal College of Music, bcn216 (Barcelona), St Paul’s School (London), Stockholm Philharmonic, Ensemble Intercontemporain (Paris) and the Colin Currie Group.

Coaching“This London concert was the best ever of all the many, many concerts I’ve given with my own, and now, other groups, over the years there. And without your coaching and direction it would never have reached the amazing confidence and accuracy it had.”

Steve Reich


Music for 18 Musicians works on a cue system, without conductor.  One could, of course, put the piece together after close study of the score and perhaps a video, but any performance will benefit hugely from further clarification of the composition, along with the many practical refinements that can only be gleaned through experience.  I should also mention that there are several mistakes in the published score and parts. [Boosey & Hawkes please note!!]


“Huge thanks and congratulations.  I don’t think that I’ve seen, even amongst all the terrific concerts that we have done here, a concert with such a feeling of joy and achievement.  The students who took part are still buzzing with excitement, and a realisation of just what they achieved.  And they wouldn’t have achieved it without your expert and infectious leadership and guidance.
Artistic Director – Royal College of Music

synergy-ccgHere’s how I can help:

  • Sort out the number of players and instrument allocations, if undecided (there are various options in this respect)
  • Audition vocalists, if required (could be instrumentalists or singers)
  • Ensure that everyone in the ensemble understands the way the whole piece works
  • Optimise the balance and speed for each section
  • Develop the ensemble’s pace and speed control
  • Establish reliable cue systems, both aural and visual
  • Coach the vocalists in microphone technique, if required
  • Work with the sound engineer on foldback and amplification



“I am so impressed by Synergy Vocals and would love to work with you in new future projects.  I am, if possible, even more impressed by you and your amazing leadership with Music for 18 Musicians. You were great and my musicians adored you!”
CEO and Artistic Director – Stockholm Philharmonic

If you are thinking of performing Music for 18 Musicians for the first time, or if you are an orchestra/ensemble that might benefit from a coaching session, please contact Micaela Haslam by email or telephone 07973 634564.