Composer Philip Glass turns 80 with series of concerts

Scarlett Johansson was seen without her wedding ring at the Women's March in Washington, DC last weekend. Carnegie Hall will be hosting concerts of Philip Glass' music, some of which are obscure works. Elton John returns to Broadway by writing music
Carnegie Hall will be hosting concerts of Philip Glass’ music, some of which are obscure works. PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

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 on Wednesday.

Unveiling its 2017-2018 season, the venerated New York concert hall announced Glass' year-long composer's residency and a series of concerts of some of his well-known as well as obscure works.

Glass, who turns 80 on Tuesday, will take part personally in a performance of Music With Changing Parts, one of his most influential pieces. The work 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 composer Leonard Bernstein's birth.

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


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 28, 2017, with the headline 'Composer Philip Glass turns 80 with series of concerts '. Print Edition | Subscribe