Philip Glass

b. 1937

American

Summary

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Philip Glass is a graduate of the University of Chicago and the Juilliard School. In the early 1960s, Glass spent two years of intensive study in Paris with Nadia Boulanger and while there, earned money by transcribing Ravi Shankar's Indian music into Western notation. By 1974, Glass had a number of innovative projects, creating a large collection of new music for The Philip Glass Ensemble, and for the Mabou Mines Theater Company. This period culminated in Music in Twelve Parts and the landmark opera Einstein on the Beach, for which he collaborated with Robert Wilson. Since Einstein, Glass has expanded his repertoire to include music for opera, dance, theater, chamber ensemble, orchestra, and film. His scores have received Academy Award nominations (Kundun, The Hours, Notes on a Scandal) and a Golden Globe (The Truman Show). In the past few years several new works were unveiled, including an opera on the death of Walt Disney, The Perfect American (co-commissioned by Teatro Real, Madrid and the English National Opera), a song cycle entitled, Ifé, written for Angelique Kidjo, a new touring production of Einstein, and the publication of Glass's memoir, Words Without Music, by Liveright Books.

Critical Acclaim
Philip Glass must be one of the most influential living composers… — Christopher Monk, Musical Opinion

The genius of this composer is his ability to purge the ears and the minds of their preconceptions, and to create the musical universe anew. — The Star-Ledger

Biography

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Philip Glass is a graduate of the University of Chicago and the Juilliard School. In the early 1960s, Glass spent two years of intensive study in Paris with Nadia Boulanger and while there, earned money by transcribing Ravi Shankar's Indian music into Western notation. By 1974, Glass had a number of innovative projects, creating a large collection of new music for The Philip Glass Ensemble, and for the Mabou Mines Theater Company. This period culminated in Music in Twelve Parts and the landmark opera Einstein on the Beach, for which he collaborated with Robert Wilson. Since Einstein, Glass has expanded his repertoire to include music for opera, dance, theater, chamber ensemble, orchestra, and film. His scores have received Academy Award nominations (Kundun, The Hours, Notes on a Scandal) and a Golden Globe (The Truman Show). In the past few years several new works were unveiled, including an opera on the death of Walt Disney, The Perfect American (co-commissioned by Teatro Real, Madrid and the English National Opera), a song cycle entitled, Ifé, written for Angelique Kidjo, a new touring production of Einstein, and the publication of Glass's memoir, Words Without Music, by Liveright Books. In May 2015, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, performed the world premiere of a double piano concerto Glass wrote for Katia and Marielle Labèque.

In November 2015, the Washington National Opera premiered a revised version of Glass's opera, Appomattox, created in collaboration with librettist Christopher Hampton. Glass celebrated his 80th birthday on January 31st, 2017 at Carnegie Hall with the world premiere of Symphony No. 11. His 80th birthday season featured curated programming and premieres around the globe, including the US premieres of operas The Trial and The Perfect American, the Double Piano Concerto with the New York Philharmonic, and the world premiere of Piano Concerto No. 3, written for Simone Dinnerstein, and String Quartet No. 8, written for the JACK Quartet.

Glass holds the Carnegie Hall 2017-2018 Richard and Barbara Debs Composer's Chair. Glass's first Piano Quintet will premiere in Lincoln, Nebraska in April 2018. Upcoming commissions for Glass include a percussion work with Third Coast Percussion, and the highly anticipated Symphony No. 12, based on the album Lodger and a completion of the David Bowie and Brian Eno Berlin Trilogy. Symphony No. 12 will receive its world premiere at the Los Angeles Philharmonic in early 2019 and a European Premiere at the Southbank Centre in May 2019. Glass continues to perform around the globe with world renowned musicians.

— January 2018

News

Performances

28th June 2021Streamed event

PERFORMERS
London Contemporary Orchestra
CONDUCTOR
Robert Ames
LOCATION
Voces8 Centre, London, United Kingdom

7th July 2021

SOLOISTS
JU Xiaofu
PERFORMERS
Shanghai Conservatory of Music
CONDUCTOR
Jin Yukuang
LOCATION
Shanghai Conservatory of Music, Shanghai, China

8th August 2021

PERFORMERS
Mucha Quartet + guests
LOCATION
Albrecht House, Bratislava, Slovakia (Slovak Republic)

15th August 2021

SOLOISTS
Chelsea Fingal DeSouza, soprano; Adam Golka, piano
PERFORMERS
Parker String Quartet
LOCATION
Streaming, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY, United States of America

19th August 2021

PERFORMERS
Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra
CONDUCTOR
André de Ridder
LOCATION
Helsinki Music Centre, Helsinki, Finland

Features

  • Opera for Socially Distanced Performance
  • American Tone Poems
    • American Tone Poems
    • As the season gets underway and plans for future seasons take shape, explore this selection of tone poems by American composers from the catalogues of Wise Music Group.
  • A Collection of Chamber Operas
  • American Symphonies from Ives to Zwilich
    • American Symphonies from Ives to Zwilich
    • G. Schirmer & Associated Music Publishers is pleased to announce that a digital download of our critical edition to Charles Ives' Symphony No. 4 is now for sale by Classical On Demand.
  • Philip Glass at 85 in 2022
    • Philip Glass at 85 in 2022
    • Philip Glass, whose singular musical language has garnered international fandom and acclaim over the past half century, will celebrate his 85th birthday on January 31, 2022.

Photos

Discography