Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Philip Glass is a graduate of the University of Chicago and the Juilliard School. In the early 1960s, Glass spent two years of intensive study in Paris with Nadia Boulanger and while there, earned money by transcribing Ravi Shankar’s Indian music into Western notation. Upon his return to New York, he applied these Eastern techniques to his own music.
By 1974, Glass had a number of significant and innovative projects, creating a large collection of new music for his performing group, The Philip Glass Ensemble, and for the Mabou Mines Theater Company, which he co-founded. This period culminated in Music in Twelve Parts, followed by the landmark opera, Einstein on the Beach, created with Robert Wilson in 1976.
Since Einstein, Glass has expanded his repertoire to include music for opera, dance, theater, chamber ensemble, orchestra, and film. His score for Martin Scorsese’s Kundun received an Academy Award nomination while his score for Peter Weir’s The Truman Show won him a Golden Globe. His film score for Stephen Daldry’s The Hours received Golden Globe, Grammy, and Academy Award nominations, along with winning a BAFTA in Film Music from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
Original scores for the critically acclaimed films The Illusionist and Notes on a Scandal were released in 2006. Glass has received an Oscar nomination for his Notes score. In 2004 Glass premiered the new work Orion—a collaboration between Glass and six other international artists opening in Athens as part of the cultural celebration of the 2004 Olympics in Greece and his Piano Concerto No. 2 (After Lewis and Clark) with the Omaha Symphony Orchestra.
Glass’ latest symphonies, Symphony No. 7 and Symphony No. 8, premiered in 2005 with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC and Bruckner Orchester Linz at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, respectively. 2005 also saw the premiere of Waiting for the Barbarians, an opera based on the book by J.M. Coetzee. Glass’ orchestral tribute to Indian spiritual leader Sri Ramakrishna, The Passion of Ramakrishna, premiered in 2006 at Orange County Performing Arts Center.
Glass maintains a dense creative schedule, including a musical theatre collaboration with Leonard Cohen, Book of Longing and an opera about the end of the Civil War entitled Appomattox (to be premiered by the San Francisco Opera). The English National Opera, in conjunction with the Metropolitan Opera, will perform Glass’ Satyagraha at their respective homes in London and New York.
Glass continues to regularly tour with Philip on Film, performing live with his ensemble to a series of new short films as well as classics like Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqqatsi, La Belle et La Bête, and Dracula. He is also planning to embark on a short tour performing his solo piano works.
For more information visit www.philipglass.com.