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|Philip Morris Glass|
|Birthplace||Baltimore, Maryland, United States|
Glass, Philip,1937–, American composer, b. Baltimore. Considered one of the most innovative of contemporary composers, he was a significant figure in the development of minimalismminimalism,
schools of contemporary art and music, with their origins in the 1960s, that have emphasized simplicity and objectivity. Minimalism in the Visual Arts
..... Click the link for more information. in music. Glass attended the Univ. of Chicago, Juilliard (M.A., 1962) and studied (1964–66) with Nadia BoulangerBoulanger, Nadia
, 1887–1979, French conductor and musician, b. Paris. Boulanger was considered an outstanding teacher of composition. She studied at the Paris Conservatory, where in 1945 she became professor.
..... Click the link for more information. in Paris. There he also met Indian musicians Ravi ShankarShankar, Ravi
(Robindra Shankar Chowdhury), 1920–2012, Indian sitarist and composer, b. Varanasi. He was the first Indian instrumentalist to attain an international reputation and is credited with introducing traditional Indian music to the West.
..... Click the link for more information. and Alla Rakha, whose music was to influence his own compositions strongly. In 1968 he formed the Philip Glass Ensemble, a small group that employs electronically amplified instruments. During the 1970s he became known for music that blended standard notation and tonality with electronics. These lengthy and highly rhythmic compositions employ a number of phrases that are repeated and slowly modified during the music's course. The purest form of this style is represented in the four-hour-long Music in 12 Parts (1971–74).
More traditional harmonies entered his music with the opera Einstein on the Beach (1976), a work written with Robert WilsonWilson, Robert,
1941–, dramatist, director, and designer, b. Waco, Tex. He began his arts career as a painter. A leading figure in postmodern theater since 1963, when he arrived in New York City, he has created lengthy, often controversial multimedia events that combine
..... Click the link for more information. that introduced the minimalist style to a mass audience and paved the way for a wider acceptance of contemporary opera. The meditative Einstein is without narrative plot and blends light, image, and sound as well as dance, words, and music into a hypnotic whole. Glass's work since has become more complex and varied. His more than two dozen operas have become his best-known compositions; Satyagraha (1980), Akhnaten (1984), The Fall of the House of Usher (1988), Hydrogen Jukebox (1990, a collaboration with Allen GinsbergGinsberg, Allen
, 1926–97, American poet, b. Paterson, N.J., grad. Columbia, 1949. An outspoken member of the beat generation, Ginsberg is best known for Howl (1956), a long poem attacking American values in the 1950s.
..... Click the link for more information. ), The Voyage (1992), and La Belle et la Bête (1994, composed for CocteauCocteau, Jean
, 1889–1963, French writer, visual artist, and filmmaker. He experimented audaciously in almost every artistic medium, becoming a leader of the French avant-garde in the 1920s.
..... Click the link for more information. 's film) followed Einstein. Three more had their American debuts in 2001—The Marriages between Zones 3, 4 and 5 (1997); the epic White Raven (1998), another collaboration with Wilson; and the smaller-scale In the Penal Colony (2001), based on KafkaKafka, Franz
, 1883–1924, German-language novelist, b. Prague. Along with Joyce, Kafka is perhaps the most influential of 20th-century writers. From a middle-class Jewish family from Bohemia, he spent most of his life in Prague.
..... Click the link for more information. 's short story. Later operas are Galileo Galilei (2002); Waiting for the Barbarians (2005), based on a CoetzeeCoetzee, J. M.
(John Maxwell Coetzee) , 1940–, South African novelist, b. John Michael Coetzee. Educated at the Univ. of Cape Town (M.A. 1963) and the Univ. of Texas (Ph.D.
..... Click the link for more information. novel; Appomattox (2007, rev. 2015); Kepler (2009); The Perfect American (2013), a surreal portrait of Walt DisneyDisney, Walt
(Walter Elias Disney) , 1901–66, American movie producer and pioneer in animated cartoons, b. Chicago. He grew up in Missouri, in the small town of Marceline and in Kansas City.
..... Click the link for more information. during his final days; and Drowning (2019), based on a five-page play by María Irene FornésFornés, María Irene,
1930–2018, Cuban-American playwright and director; she emigrated from Cuba with her family after her father's death in 1945. An early experimental work, Promenade
..... Click the link for more information. . Glass's other compositions include a dozen symphonies, concertos, string quartets, songs, a piano sonata, and film scores, e.g., the harmonically lush music for Koyaanisqatsi (1982), and a string quartet for a Broadway production of King Lear (2019). Glass's work has been extremely influential in the development of a new generation of composers.
See his Music by Philip Glass (1987) and his memoir Words without Music (2015); R. Kostelanetz, ed., Writings on Glass (1997); Philip Glass: Looking Glass (documentary, 2005).