Philip Glass celebrates 80th birthday with a season at Carnegie Hall

US pianist and composer Philip Glass.
US pianist and composer Philip Glass.PHOTO: EPA

NEW YORK - Leading contemporary composer Philip Glass is celebrating his 80th birthday with a season that will bring a range of his music to Carnegie Hall, the venue announced Wednesday.

Unveiling its 2017-18 season, the venerated New York concert hall named Glass to a year-long composer's residency and announced concerts of some of his well-known as well as some more obscure works.

Glass, who turns 80 on Jan 31, will take part personally in a performance of Music With Changing Parts, one of his most influential pieces.

Music With Changing Parts premiered in 1970 but has rarely been performed in recent years. It is a key work of musical minimalism that inspired the ambient sound of Brian Eno, the producer and collaborator of David Bowie.

Among more recent Glass works, Carnegie Hall will stage 2006's The Passion Of Ramakrishna. The orchestra piece, accompanied by a massive choir, focuses on the 19th-century Indian mystic as he faced death from debilitating throat cancer.

The work will be performed by California's Pacific Symphony, which will also present a piece from Passages, an album Glass wrote with sitarist Ravi Shankar. The late maestro's daughter Anoushka Shankar, herself a sitarist and composer, will play it at Carnegie Hall.

As it increasingly looks to expand beyond traditional classical performances, Carnegie Hall will also mark the season with a series exploring the legacy of the 1960s in the United States.

The series will feature veteran folk-rock singer David Crosby and will include events across New York. The programme was devised with Robert A. Caro, the Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer of President Lyndon Johnson.

Other highlights will include a seven-concert Perspectives series of selected works by a rising star from Russia, 25-year-old pianist Daniil Trifonov. Janine Jansen was chosen to do a separate five-part series for violin.

The season will begin on Oct 4 as the Philadelphia Orchestra - led by Yannick Nezet-Seguin, incoming music director of the Metropolitan Opera - marks the 100th anniversary of Leonard Bernstein's birth.

The concert will include the symphonic dances of West Side Story and will also feature pianist Lang Lang, who will perform a separate world-famous work, Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue. AGENCE-FRANCE PRESSE