Philip Glass

American composer Philip Glass

Philip Glass is an American composer. He is often said to be one of the most influential composers of the late 20th century. His music is also often controversially described as minimalist, along with the work of the other "major minimalists" La Monte Young, Terry Riley and Steve Reich. He has distanced himself from the "minimalist" label, describing himself instead as a composer of "music with repetitive structures.
Philip Glass's personal information overview.
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News about Philip Glass from around the web
L.A. Opera announces 2018-19 season with 'Satyagraha,' 'Titus' and Off Grand world premieres
LATimes - about 1 month
Philip Glass’ “Satyagraha,” Mozart’s “The Clemency of Titus” and a world premiere by up-and-coming composer Ellen Reid will form part of Los Angeles Opera’s 2018-19 season, the company announced Thursday. “Satyagraha,” the third installment of Glass’ trilogy about world-changing thinkers, will...
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 LATimes article
NPR Music's Top 10 Classical Albums Of 2017
NPR - 2 months
From tributes to Philip Glass and French opera to the roaring silences of Morton Feldman and virtuosic choral singing, 2017 proved to be another vibrant year in classical music. (Image credit: Ari Magg/Deutsche Grammophon)
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 NPR article
The 25 Best Classical Music Recordings of 2017
NYTimes - 2 months
Our critics and writers choose their favorite albums of the year, including a new “Rigoletto,” Philip Glass piano works, and free-jazz arrangements.
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 NYTimes article
That Decisive Moment: Spitfire Fiddling: The Week’s 8 Best Classical Music Moments on YouTube
NYTimes - 4 months
Copland, Philip Glass and Leontyne Price were some of the highlights.
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 NYTimes article
A More Concise Philip Glass
Wall Street Journal - 5 months
Pianist Simone Dinnerstein performs the world premiere of Philip Glass’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with A Far Cry.
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 Wall Street Journal article
'When You Gonna Get A Real Job?': Philip Glass And Devonté Hynes Compare Notes
NPR - 5 months
Watch the two musicians, nearly 50 years apart in age, talk about the pains of striking out on your own, the pulse of New York, and the role of the artist today. Plus about a hundred other ideas. (Image credit: Mito Habe-Evans/NPR)
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 NPR article
The Pianist Vikingur Olafsson on Why Philip Glass Matters
NYTimes - 6 months
The Icelandic musician, who is making his New York recital debut at the Mostly Mozart Festival this weekend, spoke about his homeland and composers.
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 NYTimes article
Stephen Colbert's Wife Gushes About Her 'Sexy' Husband At Met Gala
Huffington Post - 10 months
In case you missed him amid the tulle and whatever Katy Perry was wearing at the Met Gala on Monday night, Stephen Colbert was also in attendance with his wife, Evelyn McGee-Colbert. The two, who’ve been married for nearly 25 years, probably won’t appear on any best dressed lists for their relatively tame getups, but they did share a so-cute-it-hurts moment with Humans of New York photographer Brandon Stanton. Stanton apparently had an all-access pass to the festivities and photographed the couple, after having a moment with Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds. He even got the typically emotionally averse Colbert to open up about their relationship and McGee to reveal why she finds her husband “sexy.” “He’s so sexy. And he taught me the importance of being silly.” “Being silly is so important. Silly is the opposite of grief. It’s throwing yourself into a moment without care. You can’t always maintain your status as a dignified person-- it gives you blinders. Whe...
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 Huffington Post article
Philip Glass, Pat Metheny, k.d. lang, Audra McDonald all turn out for a tribute to a Nonesuch guy
LATimes - 11 months
Robert Hurwitz regularly wears a suit to the kinds of musical events not too many others do. He wore one, though tieless, to an extraordinary concert at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on Saturday, a celebration of Nonesuch Records featuring the likes of John Adams, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, Pat...
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 LATimes article
9 Artists Honor the Man Who Put Brooklyn on the Map
NYTimes - about 1 year
Philip Glass, Mark Morris, Laurie Anderson and others remember Harvey Lichtenstein, who revived the Brooklyn Academy of Music and died on Feb. 11.
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 NYTimes article
Philip Glass Celebrates His Birthday with a World Premiere at Carnegie Hall
Huffington Post - about 1 year
By Christopher Johnson, ZEALnyc Contributing Writer, February 8, 2017 Well, folks, he did it: Philip Glass had his big birthday bash at Carnegie Hall on January 31, and he blew out all eighty candles. Not that there was actual cake--if they'd had a cake big enough to feed a house that size, packed with well-wishers, there wouldn't have been room onstage for the Bruckner Orchester Linz, at full strength and in fine fettle, nor for its chief conductor Dennis Russell Davies, never better and ready to party. Still, the program was the traditional three-layer affair, comprised of the New York premières of Glass's Days and Nights in Rocinha, his luscious tribute to Rio de Janeiro and its samba school, and Ifé: Three Yorùbá Songs, his collaboration with the great Beninese singer-songwriter and activist Angélique Kidjo, topped off with the world première of his Symphony No. 11. As icing on the cake, Davies and the Bruckner Orchestra delivered performances at once rich and tangy, befi...
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 Huffington Post article
Orpheus Chamber Orchestra Is 'Electrifying' at Carnegie Hall
Huffington Post - about 1 year
By Joshua Rosenblum, ZEALnyc Contributing Writer, February 7, 2017 On February 4 at Carnegie Hall, the famously conductorless Orpheus Chamber Orchestra presented a performance of Tchaikovsky's beloved Violin Concerto with a twist: the soloist Vadim Gluzman played the piece on the actual instrument that inspired the composer to write the piece. The violin in question was owned at the time by Leopold Auer, who was the concertmaster of the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow. Tchaikovsky wrote the piece for Auer to premiere, but the violinst, according to legend, declared the difficult work to be unplayable, and though he eventually warmed to it, Tchaikovsky didn't live to hear him perform it. Gluzman, the current proprietor of the very same 1690 Stradivarius, can no doubt give a spectacular rendition of the piece on any instrument, but these special circumstances turned this performance into something resembling a holy ritual. The audience was rapt as Gluzman drew dark, rich, opulent sou...
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 Huffington Post article
Philip Glass Discusses His Eleventh Symphony Before His 80th Birthday Celebration
Huffington Post - about 1 year
By Christopher Johnson, ZEALnyc Contributing Writer, February 6, 2017 On January 26th, Carnegie Hall announced the appointment of American contemporary composer Philip Glass to the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer's Chair for the 2017-2018 season. And last week Glass celebrated his eightieth birthday with the world première of his Eleventh Symphony at the hall on January 31. Just before this momentous occasion, Mr. Glass spoke with me about the Eleventh, about its première, and about his long, fruitful and happy relationship with Dennis Russell Davies and the Bruckner Orchester Linz. ZEALnyc: Are there things that you particularly want people to know about the new symphony? PG: I think it should be interesting that this relationship with the orchestra has gone on for a long time. Dennis Davies has been the conductor there for fifteen years, and I've done a number of symphonies with them. I've developed a relationship with an orchestra that any composer would envy, and tha...
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 Huffington Post article
Barenboim is Brilliant Leading the Staatskapelle Berlin in Bruckner and Mozart
Huffington Post - about 1 year
By Joshua Rosenblum, ZEALnyc Contributing Writer, February 3, 2017 Daniel Barenboim and the Staatskapelle Berlin are performing all nine Bruckner symphonies over the course of nine evenings at Carnegie Hall, coupling each symphony with a Mozart piano concerto, led by Barenboim from the piano. Night six (January 25) of this historic Bruckner cycle--unprecedented in this country--meant Symphony No. 6 in A major, plus Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 22 in E-flat major. The Sixth is rarely performed--the last three are the most popular. Some have even referred to it as the "ugly duckling" of Bruckner symphonies, but I doubt a single person in attendance Wednesday night would have agreed. Under Barenboim's leadership, at least, the piece was thrilling and consistently gorgeous. The shapely themes just kept unfolding. The first movement opens with a characteristically Brucknerian triplet accompaniment (reverently appropriated from Beethoven's Seventh) that sets up a broad, foreboding m...
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 Huffington Post article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Philip Glass
  • 2015
    Age 78
    Glass published his memoir, Words Without Music, in 2015.
    In May 2015, Glass's Double Concerto for Two Pianos was premiered by Katia and Marielle Labèque, Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
  • 2013
    Age 76
    In 2013 Glass contributed a piano piece "Duet" to the Park Chan-wook film Stoker.
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    In 2013, the all volunteer citizen's band of downtown New York City, The TriBattery Pops Tom Goodkind Conductor, recorded an album of Glass writings groomed by Glass sound designer Kurt Munkacsi.
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    On June 28, 2013, Glass's piano concert Two Movements for Four Pianos premiered at the Museum Kunstpalast, performed by Katia and Marielle Labèque, Maki Namekawa and Dennis Russell Davies.
    His opera, based on a play by Austrian playwright and novelist Peter Handke, Die Spuren der Verirrten (2007), premiered at the in April 2013, conducted by Dennis Russell Davies and directed by David Pountney.
  • 2011
    Age 74
    In August 2011, Glass presented a series of music, dance, and theater performances as part of the Days and Nights Festival.
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    In January 2011, Glass performed at the MONA FOMA festival in Hobart, Tasmania.
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  • 2010
    Age 73
    Glass also donated a short work, Brazil, to the video game Chime, which was released on February 3, 2010.
  • 2009
    Age 72
    In 2009 and 2010, Glass returned to the concerto genre.
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    It is Glass's first opera in German, and was premiered by the Bruckner Orchester Linz and Dennis Russell Davies in September 2009.
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  • 2008
    Age 71
    He was romantically involved with cellist Wendy Sutter from 2008 until 2010.
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    2008 to 2010 Glass continued to work on a series of chamber music pieces which started with Songs and Poems: the Four Movements for Two Pianos (2008, premiered by Dennis Davies and Maki Namekawa in July 2008), a Sonata for Violin and Piano composed in "the Brahms tradition" (completed in 2008, premiered by violinist Maria Bachman and pianist Jon Klibonoff in February 2009); a String sextet (an adaption of the Symphony No. 3 of 1995 made by Glass's musical director Michael Riesman) followed in 2009.
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  • 2007
    Age 70
    He provided a "hypnotic" original score for a compilation of Beckett's short plays Act Without Words I, Act Without Words II, Rough for Theatre I and Eh Joe, directed by JoAnne Akalaitis and premiered in December 2007.
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    Apart from this large-scale opera, Glass added a work to his catalogue of theater music in 2007, and continuing—after a gap of twenty years—to write music for the dramatic work of Samuel Beckett.
    In 2007, Glass also worked alongside Leonard Cohen on an adaptation of Cohen's poetry collection Book of Longing.
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  • 2005
    Age 68
    Two months after the premiere of this opera, in November 2005, Glass's Symphony No. 8, commissioned by the Bruckner Orchester Linz, was premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City.
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  • 1998
    Age 61
    In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Glass's projects also included two highly prestigious opera commissions, based on the life of two explorers, Christopher Columbus (The Voyage (1990), commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera, with a libretto by David Henry Hwang), and Vasco da Gama (White Raven) (1991), a collaboration with Robert Wilson and composed for the closure of the 1998 World Fair in Lisbon.
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  • 1992
    Age 55
    As Glass remarked in 1992, Akhnaten is significant in his work since it represents a "first extension out of a triadic harmonic language", an experiment with the polytonality of his teachers Persichetti and Milhaud, a musical technique which Glass compares to "an optical illusion, such as in the paintings of Josef Albers".
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  • 1979
    Age 42
    Shortly after completing the score in August 1979, Glass met the conductor Dennis Russell Davies, whom he helped prepare for performances in Germany (using a piano-four-hands version of the score); together they started to plan another opera, to be premiered at the Stuttgart State Opera.
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  • 1978
    Age 41
    In Spring 1978, Glass received a commission from the Netherlands Opera (as well as a Rockefeller Foundation grant) which "marked the end of his need to earn money from non-musical employment."
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  • 1975
    Age 38
    Composed in spring to fall of 1975 in close collaboration with Wilson, Glass's first opera was first premiered in summer 1976 at the Festival d'Avignon, and in November of the same year to a mixed and partly enthusiastic reaction from the audience at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City.
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  • 1971
    Age 34
    After differences of opinion with Steve Reich in 1971, Glass formed the Philip Glass Ensemble (while Reich formed Steve Reich and Musicians), an amplified ensemble including keyboards, wind instruments (saxophones, flutes), and soprano voices.
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  • 1970
    Age 33
    In 1970 Glass returned to the theatre, composing music for the theatre group Mabou Mines, resulting in his first minimalist pieces employing voices: Red Horse Animation and Music for Voices (both 1970, and premiered at the Paula Cooper Gallery).
  • 1969
    Age 32
    These pieces were performed by The Philip Glass Ensemble in the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1969 and in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in 1970, often encountering hostile reaction from critics, but Glass's music was also met with enthusiasm from younger artists such as Brian Eno and David Bowie (at the Royal College of Art ca. 1970).
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  • 1968
    Age 31
    The first concert of Glass's new music was at Jonas Mekas's Film-Makers Cinemathèque (Anthology Film Archives) in September 1968.
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  • 1967
    Age 30
    Between summer of 1967 and the end of 1968, Glass composed nine works, including Strung Out (for amplified solo violin, composed in summer of 1967), Gradus (for solo saxophone, 1968), Music in the Shape of a Square (for two flutes, composed in May 1968, an homage to Erik Satie), How Now (for solo piano, 1968) and 1+1 (for amplified tabletop, November 1968) which were "clearly designed to experiment more fully with his new-found minimalist approach".
    Shortly after arriving in New York City in March 1967, Glass attended a performance of works by Steve Reich (including the ground-breaking minimalist piece Piano Phase), which left a deep impression on him; he simplified his style and turned to a radical "consonant vocabulary".
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  • 1966
    Age 29
    Glass then left Paris for northern India in 1966, where he came in contact with Tibetan refugees and began to gravitate towards Buddhism.
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  • 1965
    Age 28
    In parallel with his early excursions in experimental theatre, Glass worked in winter 1965 and spring 1966 as a music director and composer on a film score (Chappaqua, Conrad Rooks, 1966) with Ravi Shankar and Alla Rakha, which added another important influence on Glass's musical thinking.
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    These significant encounters resulted in a collaboration with Breuer for which Glass contributed music for a 1965 staging of Samuel Beckett's Comédie (Play, 1963).
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  • 1964
    Age 27
    Together with Akalaitis (they married in 1965), Glass in turn attended performances by theatre groups including Jean-Louis Barrault's Odéon theatre, The Living Theatre and the Berliner Ensemble in 1964 to 1965.
    In 1964, Glass received a Fulbright Scholarship and went to Paris, where he studied with the eminent composition teacher Nadia Boulanger from autumn of 1964 to summer of 1966.
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  • 1962
    Age 25
    After leaving Juilliard in 1962, Glass moved to Pittsburgh and worked as a school-based composer-in-residence in the public school system, composing various choral, chamber and orchestral music.
  • 1959
    Age 22
    In 1959, he was a winner in the BMI Foundation's BMI Student Composer Awards, one of the most prestigious international prizes for young composers.
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  • 1954
    Age 17
    In 1954 Glass went to Paris for the first time, encountering the films of Jean Cocteau, which made a lasting impression on him.
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  • 1937
    Age 0
    Glass was born on January 31, 1937, in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Ida (née Gouline) and Benjamin Charles Glass.
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