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Philip Glass

Philip Glass

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Glass: A Portrait Of Philip In Twelve Parts... Shine director Scott Hicks documents a year in the life of prolific composer... more info $29.98was $29.98 Buy Now

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Also Known As: Died:
Born: January 31, 1937 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Baltimore, Maryland, USA Profession: composer, director, musical performer, actor, American Airlines loader, crane operator, furniture mover, plumber, carpenter, taxicab driver

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Celebrated avant-garde composer Philip Glass carved out a significant niche for himself with innovative and bold orchestrations that won him an international reputation and cult following as the most recognized practitioner of minimalism. ROLLING STONE magazine has called the creator of the ground-breaking operatic classic "Einstein on the Beach" (1976) the most important living composer, and though many have dismissed his work as repetitive, he has effectively employed his hypnotic recycled arpeggios, staggered pacing and oft-glacial chord movements to enhance the visual elements in films, both documentary and fiction.

Celebrated avant-garde composer Philip Glass carved out a significant niche for himself with innovative and bold orchestrations that won him an international reputation and cult following as the most recognized practitioner of minimalism. ROLLING STONE magazine has called the creator of the ground-breaking operatic classic "Einstein on the Beach" (1976) the most important living composer, and though many have dismissed his work as repetitive, he has effectively employed his hypnotic recycled arpeggios, staggered pacing and oft-glacial chord movements to enhance the visual elements in films, both documentary and fiction.

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

1.
5.
 Chuck Close (2007)
7.
 Absolute Wilson (2006)
8.
 Source, The (1999) Himself
9.
 Truman Show, The (1998) Keyboard Artist (Christof'S World)
10.
 Christo in Paris (1990)
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

:
Raised in Baltimore, Maryland
:
Began studying the violin at age 6 and the flute at age 8
1962:
Was composer-in-residence, Pittsburgh Public Schools
1964:
Went to Paris on a Fulbright grant to study with Nadia Boulanger
:
While in Paris, hired to transcribe the Indian music of Ravi Shankar in notation readable by French musicians for the soundtrack to the film "Chappaqua"
1965:
First gained modicum of notice with "Music for Play", composed for a Mabou Mimes productions
1967:
Hitchhiked through Africa and India, after which he returned to New York
1968:
Formed the Philip Glass Ensemble
1969:
With wife JoAnne Akalaitis and others, co-founded Mabou Mines theater coompany (date approximate)
1971:
Created his own Chatham Square Productions in order to record his works
1974:
Composed the six-hour piece "Music In 12 Parts", considered a landmark in minimalism
1974:
Signed by the British rock label Virgin
1975:
Feature debut, as an actor, appearing in the experimental drama, "What Maisie Knew"
1975:
Composed first opera, "Einstein on the Beach," which toured throughout the USA and Europe; collaborated with stage director and scenic designer Robert Wilson
1978:
First feature music credit, "North Star: Mark Disuvero"
1980:
Composed the opera "Satyagraha"
1982:
Signed an exclusive composer's contract with CBS Masterworks, and released "Glassworks"
1982:
First collaboration with Godfrey Reggio, "Koyaanisqatsi"
1983:
Debut as a song performer, also credited for songs, Jim McBride's remake of "Breathless"
1984:
Appeared as himself in "Modern American Composers I"
1985:
Early TV music credit for the PBS special, "High Wire"
1985:
Contributed score to Paul Schrader's "Mishima: A Life in Four Acts"
:
Was resident composer, Tyrone Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis, Minnesota
1986:
Colaborated with director-wife JoAnne Akalaitis on documentary "Dead End Kids"
1986:
Premiere broadcast on PBS of "Einstein on the Beach"
1988:
Reteamed with Reggio for "Powaqqatsi"
1988:
Provided score that heightened the hypnotic effect of Errol Morris' landmark documentary "The Thin Blue Line"
1988:
Collaborated with David Henry Hwang and Jerome Sirlin on the performance piece "1000 Airplanes on the Roof"
1989:
First on-screen TV appearance, also credited for music and as a music performer, "Timeless Voices: The Gyuto Monks" (The Discovery Channel)
1990:
Network TV debut, provided music for the ABC special, "Peter Jennings Reporting: Guns"
1990:
Began composing a trilogy of operas using films of Jean Cocteau as librettos ("Orphee", "La Belle et la Bete" and "Les Enfants Terribles")
1991:
Third teaming with Godfrey Reggio, "Anima Mundi/The Soul of the World"
1991:
Credited for music supervision on the feature, "Closet Land"
1992:
Second collaboration with Errol Morris, "A Brief History of Time"
1992:
Wrote music for the eerie psychological thriller "Candyman"
1992:
Provided music for "Compassion in Exile: The Story of the 14th Dalai Lama", originally broadcast on PBS
1992:
Premiered the opera "The Voyage", a commission from New York City's Metropolitan Opera
1995:
Scored the sequel "Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh"
1997:
Enhanced sparse visual look of Sean Mathias' "Bent"
1997:
Composed score for Martin Scorsese's "Kundun", a film biography of the Dalai Lama
1998:
One of five collaborations with director-designer Wilson, "White Raven (O Corvo Blanco)", premiered in Lisbon; commissioned ten years earlier, it told the story of Portugueese explorer Vasco da Gamma
1998:
Contributed to the musical score for the motion picture "The Truman Show"
1999:
Composed new score for the 1931 classic "Dracula"
2002:
In honor of his 65th birthday, premiered "Symphony No. 6"
2002:
Reteamed with Godfrey Reggio for "Naqoyqatasi", the third in the trilogy of films
2002:
Composed score for the feature drama "The Hours"; received nominations for a Golden Globe and an Oscar for Best Original Score; earned a grammy nomination
2004:
Composed the music for the feature "Secret Window"
2006:
Composed the score for Neil Burger's "The Illusionist"
2006:
Received an Oscar nomination for Best Original Score for Richard Eyre's "Notes on a Scandal"
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Education

Peabody Conservatory: Baltimore , Maryland - 1945 - 1951
University of Chicago: Chicago , Illinois - 1952 - 1956
University of Chicago: Chicago , Illinois - 1952 - 1956
The Juilliard School: New York , New York - 1957 - 1962

Notes

Among his many honors, Glass has received a Broadcast Music Industry Award (1960), a Lado Prize (1961), Benjamin Awards (1961 and 1962), Young Composer's Awards from the Ford Foundation (1964-66), a Foundation for Contemporary Performance Arts award (1970-71) and a National Endowment for the Arts grant (1974-75).

Music America named him "Musician of the Year" in 1985.

His repetitive minimalist style inspired comedian Emo Phillips to joke: "A friend of mine gave me a Philip Glass record. I listened to it for five hours before I realized it had a scratch on it."

"There has been an idea in a lot of cases that if you're in Hollywood, people don't take your music seriously. But if you've been writing symphonies and operas and then do movies, it's OK. I'm forgiven for doing the films. No one holds it against me. If I started out as a film music composer it would have been hard to be taken seriously (in the classical arena). Shostakovich made a living doing film music. That's how he survived." --Philip Glass quoted in Chicago Tribune, January 11, 1998.

Throughout this period [the early 1970s], Glass supported himself as a New York cabbie and as a plumber, occupations that often led to unusual encounters. "I had gone to install a dishwasher in a loft in SoHo," he says. "While working, I suddenly heard a noise and looked up to find Robert Hughes, the art critic of Time magazine, staring at me in disbelief. 'But you're Philip Glass! What are you doing here?' It was obvious that I was installing his dishwasher and I told him I would soon be finished. 'But you are an artist,' he protested. I explained that I was an artist but that I was sometimes a plumber as well and that he should go away and let me finish." --From The Guardian, November 24, 2001.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
JoAnne Akalaitis. Theater director. Born on June 29, 1937; met in Chicago; married on July 15, 1965; separated in 1974 divorce finalized in 1980; co-founder of Mabou Mimes; former artistic director of NYC's Public Theatre; mother of Glass' two children.
wife:
Luba Burtyk. Doctor. Married in 1980; divorced.
wife:
Candy Jernigan. Died in 1991.
wife:
Holly Critchlow. Met in 1996; married in 2001.
VIEW COMPLETE COMPANION LISTING

Family close complete family listing

father:
Benjamin Charles Glass. Record store owner, radio repairman. Jewish; immigrated from Europe to USA.
mother:
Ida Glass. Jewish; immigrated from Europe to USA.
sister:
Sheppie Glass. Older; has worked for humanitarian causes.
brother:
Martin Glass. Businessman. Younger.
son:
Zachary Glass. Musician. Born in 1969; mother, JoAnne Akalaitis.
daughter:
Juliet Glass. Born in 1971; mother, JoAnne Akalaitis.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Music by Philip Glass" Da Capo Press

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