Chicago Symphony to perform a Philip Glass symphony—a first for the orchestra

Posted on: February 15, 2022

Music Director Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra perform at Orchestra Hall, October 2021 (photo: Todd Rosenberg). Philip Glass photo by John Jeffreys

“Like plenty of 15-year-olds, Philip Glass liked to play hooky on Fridays. Unlike most 15-year-olds, he’d skip class to head to student matinees at the Chicago Symphony, where he’d marvel at then-music director Fritz Reiner’s interpretations of 20th century modernists like Bartók and Kodály,” writes Hannah Edgar in Sunday’s (2/13) Chicago Tribune. “The CSO has presented his music only twice: his ‘Façades’ in 1999, conducted by composer John Adams, and a suite from the Oscar-nominated score to ‘The Hours’ in the 2007-08 season. When CSO music director Riccardo Muti leads Glass’s Symphony No. 11 from Feb. 17-19, it will be the first time one of Glass’s symphonies has been performed by the orchestra…. The concerts will be in conjunction with ‘Scored by Glass,’ a monthlong film score retrospective at the Gene Siskel Film Center including ‘Koyaanisqatsi’ Feb. 19. One could arguably draw a straight line from Glass’s student years in Chicago … and his tilt towards symphonic writing decades later.” The article includes an excerpted conversation with House. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Md.) about Glass’s friendship with his late father, Marcus Raskin, a Juilliard-trained pianist who co-founded the Institute for Policy Studies think tank.”