Glass, Philip

born Jan. 31, 1937, Baltimore, Md., U.S.

U.S. composer.

He studied mathematics and philosophy at the University of Chicago and then studied composition at the Juilliard School and with Nadia Boulanger in Paris. His later studies with the Indian sitarist Ravi Shankar in 1966 and the tabla player Alla Rakha produced a radical shift in his compositional style. He became the leading exponent of musical "minimalism," employing insistently repeated notes and chords, subtly shifting timbres, and blocklike harmonic progressions without contrapuntal voice leading. He achieved fame suddenly with the opera Einstein on the Beach (1975) and went on to write more than 20 operas, including Satyagraha (1980), Akhnaten (1984), and The Voyage (1992). His other works include many film scores, such as Koyaanisqatsi (1983) and The Thin Blue Line (1988), and the recordings Glassworks (1981) and Songs from Liquid Days (1986). He collaborated with a wide range of writers, artists, and musicians, including Robert Wilson, Allen Ginsberg, Doris Lessing, David Bowie, and Paul Simon. Glass's work appealed to fans of rock and popular music, and at the turn of the 21st century he was perhaps the world's most famous living composer.

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▪ American composer
born Jan. 31, 1937, Baltimore, Md., U.S.
 American composer of innovative instrumental, vocal, and operatic music.

      Glass studied flute as a boy and enrolled at age 15 at the University of Chicago, where he studied mathematics and philosophy and graduated in 1956. His interest in atonal music drew him on to study composition at the Juilliard School of Music (M.S., 1962) in New York City and then to Paris to study under Nadia Boulanger. His acquaintance there with the Indian sitarist Ravi Shankar (Shankar, Ravi) decisively affected Glass's compositional style, and he temporarily jettisoned such traditional formal qualities as harmony, tempo, and melody in his music. Instead he began creating ensemble pieces in a monotonous and repetitive style; these works consisted of a series of syncopated rhythms ingeniously contracted or extended within a stable diatonic structure. Such minimalist music, played by a small ensemble using electronically amplified keyboard and wind instruments, earned Glass a small but enthusiastic following in New York City by the late 1960s.

 Glass's opera Einstein on the Beach (1976), composed in collaboration with Robert Wilson, earned him broader acclaim; this work showed a renewed interest in classical Western harmonic elements, though his interest in startling rhythmic and melodic changes remained the work's most dramatic feature. Glass's opera Satyagraha (1980) was a more authentically “operatic” portrayal of incidents from the early life of Mohandas K. Gandhi. In this work, the dronelike repetition of symmetrical sequences of chords attained a haunting and hypnotic power well attuned to the religio-spiritual themes of the libretto, adapted from the Hindu scripture the Bhagavadgītā. The opera The Voyage (1992) had mixed reviews, but the fact that it had been commissioned by the New York Metropolitan Opera (to commemorate the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' arrival in the Americas) confirmed Glass's growing acceptance by the classical-music establishment.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • GLASS, PHILIP — (1937– ), U.S. composer and performer. Born in Baltimore, Glass began to study violin at six and flute at eight. At 12, he started composing while working at his father s record shops after school. At 15, he entered the University of Chicago… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Glass,Philip — Glass (glăs), Philip. Born 1937. American composer whose minimalist style of music contains elements of both rock and Indian music. His works include the opera Einstein on the Beach (1975). * * * …   Universalium

  • Glass, Philip — (N. 31 ene. 1937, Baltimore, Md., EE.UU.). Compositor estadounidense. Estudió matemática y filosofía en la Universidad de Chicago y después composición en la Juilliard School y con Nadia Boulanger en París. Sus estudios posteriores con el… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Philip Glass — (born January 31, 1937) is an American classical music composer who has been nominated for three Academy Awards. He is considered one of the most influential composers of the late 20th century [Naxos Classical Music Spotlight podcast: Philip… …   Wikipedia

  • Philip Glass — Philip Glass, Dezember 2007 Philip Glass (* 31. Januar 1937 in Baltimore, Maryland) ist ein US amerikanischer Musiker und Komponist. Er gilt zusammen mit Steve Reich, Terry Riley und La Monte Young als Popularisator der Minimal Music und mit John …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Philip Glass — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Philip Glass Philip Glass en diciembre de 2007 Información personal Nacimiento …   Wikipedia Español

  • GLASS (P.) — GLASS PHILIP (1937 ) Le compositeur américain Philip Glass naît le 31 janvier 1937 à Baltimore. Son père, disquaire et réparateur de radio, initie le jeune Philip à la musique en lui faisant écouter de nombreux disques. À l’âge de huit ans, il… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Glass — Glass, Philip (1937 ) a US ↑composer of modern ↑classical music, who was influenced by Indian music, and is famous for his minimalist style, in which short musical phrases are repeated again and again, with very slight changes …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Philip Glass — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Glass. Philip Glass Philip Glass …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Glass — /glas, glahs/, n. 1. Carter, 1858 1946, U.S. statesman. 2. Philip, born 1937, U.S. composer. * * * I Solid material, typically a mix of inorganic compounds, usually transparent or translucent, hard, brittle, and impervious to the natural elements …   Universalium

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