Philip Glass turns 75

Posted on: January 31, 2012

Tuesday (1/31) on the NPR website, Tom Vitale reports, “Composer Philip Glass changed the landscape of American music. As a founder of minimalism, Glass came up with a new way to make music and, with it, brought a new audience to the concert halls. Tuesday is Glass’ 75th birthday, and the music world is celebrating in a big way with performances and festivals around the globe—including the premiere of Glass’ latest work at Carnegie Hall.” In the 1960s Glass, along with Steve Reich and Terry Riley, “made a conscious effort to reach the popular audience. Up to that point, much of 20th-century music had been focused on increasing harmonic and rhythmic complexity. ‘What Glass did was go back to the most basic tonality you could have—major keys, minor keys—and to take small segments of music and repeat them over and over, changing them slowly along the way in his early music,’ New York Times music critic Allan Kozinn says. ‘He called it “additive process.” ’ … Conductor Dennis Russell Davies has been collaborating with Glass on operas and symphonies for 30 years. ‘Philip has an unerring sense for the drama in music,’ Davies says. ‘There are parts in the pieces where people’s breath is taken away. And it’s this experience in music that so many listeners want to have—when you listen with your heart and not with your intellect.’ Tuesday night, Davies will lead the American Composer’s Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in the North American premiere of Glass’ Ninth Symphony.”

Posted January 31, 2012