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

29th March 2020

SOLOISTS
Gwen Coleman Detweiler, Ron Witzke
PERFORMERS
Village Presbyterian Church
CONDUCTOR
Will Breytspraak
LOCATION
Village Presbyterian Church / Prairie Village, KS / United States

31st March 2020

PERFORMERS
Orquesta Sinfónica Universidad de Navarra
CONDUCTOR
Borja Quintas
LOCATION
University Museum of Navarra / Pamplona / Spain

5th April 2020

PERFORMERS
Concerto Budapest
CONDUCTOR
Zoltan Racz
LOCATION
MÜPA / Budapest / Hungary

10th April 2020

PERFORMERS
Orchestre d’Avignon
CONDUCTOR
Mara Waldman
LOCATION
Marseilles / France

22nd April 2020

SOLOISTS
Daniel Hope, violin; Alban Gerhardt, cello
PERFORMERS
London Philharmonic Orchestra
CONDUCTOR
Karen Kamensek
LOCATION
Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, London, UK

Features

  • 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

Photos

Discography