The controversial cover of the Kronos Quartet's new recording of Steve Reich's WTC 9/11 is to be dropped and replaced by new artwork. The composer himself announced the decision in a message posted on the Nonesuch Records website, explaining that he did not want the cover to distract anyone from listening to his music.

The album cover image, a manipulated photograph of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, was variously attacked as tacky, tasteless and exploitative when it was unveiled online, although the documentary nature of the image also had its defenders.

Reich labelled the reaction to the cover as 'an outpouring of controversy mostly by people who had never heard the music'. He added: 'When WTC 9/11 was performed by the Kronos Quartet the reaction of the public and press was extremely thoughtful and moving. To have this reaction to the music usurped by the album cover seemed completely wrong. Accordingly, the cover is being changed.'