Kennedy Center Honors recipient Philip Glass: complex, uncategorizable

Posted on: November 30, 2018

“Philip Glass is hard to pin down,” writes Anne Midgette in Thursday’s (11/29) Washington Post. “There have been many different Philip Glasses over the composer’s 81 years. If you think you know who Philip Glass is, you probably don’t…. Glass is one of the most popular and prolific composers alive…. This year’s Kennedy Center Honors, which he will receive Sunday, is one of only a handful of major awards he’s received. … He [works] 10 to 12 hours a day [and has written] 27 operas, 11 symphonies, 8 string quartets, 20 piano études and 50-odd films, among many other works…. Less expected, though, is the evidence of how deeply Glass is steeped in the traditions of Western music….. He himself says the sound of Central European art music has been ‘a solid part of me from an early age,’ although it didn’t start to be ‘audible in my music until almost five decades later.’… And as the field of classical music desperately seeks ways to reach a wider, younger audience, and incorporate a wider range of musical traditions, Glass continues to write his music—which is very popular with a wider audience and incorporates diverse traditions—for anyone who wants to notice.”

Posted November 30, 2018