Composer Philip Glass Launches Season-Long Residency at Carnegie Hall
This Friday, December 8, world-renowned composer Philip Glass begins his season-long Carnegie Hall residency as holder of the 2017-2018 Richard and Barbara Debs Composer's Chair with a concert by the American Composers Orchestra in Zankel Hall.
The program, focused on the theme of musical lineage and reinvention, ranges from music by Glass himself to the generation of emerging composers he has mentored and inspired.
Included on the program is Glass' Violin Concerto No. 2, "The American Four Seasons," with Tim Fain as soloist, paired with new works by Pauchi Sasaki and Bryce Dessner. Dessner's New York premiere of Réponse Lutoslawski is the creative fruit of his study of Lutoslawski's string orchestra piece Musique funèbre. Sasaki's GAMA XVI, co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall, receives its world premiere and features the composer as electronics soloist, wearing and performing an original speaker-dress made from 100 speakers.
The series continues this winter and spring with five highly anticipated programs featuring a mix of Glass classics and premieres:
February 8: Nico Muhly and Friends Investigate the Glass Archive
This program features world premieres of Glass songs, as arranged by composer and collaborator Nico Muhly. Over his long career, Glass has written countless pieces of music for his ensemble: a band of his friends and close collaborators, performing them with his own community of musicians. In these brand-new arrangements, commissioned by Carnegie Hall, Muhly brings together a new community of innovative musicians to perform some of Glass's lesser-known music.
February 16: Philip Glass Ensemble
The Philip Glass Ensemble returns to Carnegie Hall after more than a decade for a performance in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage. Joined by the San Francisco Girls Chorus and students from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, they will play Glass' seldom-performed early masterpiece, Music with Changing Parts.
February 27: Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra
The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra make their Carnegie Hall debut with a concert inspired by exotic locations and an unconventional concerto. Glass's Days and Nights in Rocinha is an evocative tribute to the largest favela in Brazil, while La noche de los Mayas-a suite drawn from a score the Mexican composer Revueltas composed to a film that is now lost-is inspired by Mayan culture, culminating in a blaze of pulsing rhythms and wild percussion. There are more fireworks in Glass' Concerto Fantasy for Two Timpanists and Orchestra, a thrilling showcase requiring Olympian virtuosity from the two soloists Jim Atwood and Paul Yancich--who play nine timpani between them.
March 6: So Percussion and JACK Quartet
Two powerhouse new-music ensembles come together for an evening of premieres including the U.S premiere of Glass' String Quartet No. 8 and the world premiere of Donnacha Dennehy's Broken Unison for Percussion Quartet, both co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall. The program also includes the New York premiere of Dan Trueman's Songs That Are Hard to Sing for the two ensembles together.
April 21: Pacific Symphony
Glass' residency concludes with a Carnegie Hall debut by the Pacific Symphony with an evening commemorating the composer's famous collaborations with the legendary Ravi Shankar. The program includes Glass' "Meetings Along the Edge" from Passages, a piece based on a theme written by Shankar, as well as the New York premiere of The Passion of Ramakrishna, a quietly intense work of tremendous power honoring the Hindu holy man, which was originally co-commissioned, premiered, and recorded by the orchestra. Shankar's daughter, Anoushka Shankar, takes center stage as soloist in her father's Concerto No. 3 for Sitar and Orchestra. The Pacific Symphony will be led by its music director of nearly three decades, Carl St. Clair.
Tickets are available at the Carnegie Hall Box Office, 154 West 57th Street, or can be charged to major credit cards by calling CarnegieCharge at 212-247-7800 or by visiting the Carnegie Hall website, carnegiehall.org.
For Carnegie Hall Corporation presentations taking place in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage, a limited number of seats, priced at $10, will be available day-of-concert beginning at 11:00 a.m. Monday through Saturday and 12:00 noon on Sunday until one hour before the performance or until supply lasts. The exceptions are Carnegie Hall Family Concerts and gala events. These $10 tickets are available to the general public on a first-come, first-served basis at the Carnegie Hall Box Office only. There is a two-ticket limit per customer.
In addition, for all Carnegie Hall presentations in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage a limited number of partial view (seats with obstructed or limited sight lines or restricted leg room) will be sold for 50% of the full price. For more information on this and other discount ticket programs, including those for students, Notables members, and Bank of America customers, visit carnegiehall.org/discounts.
ABOUT Philip Glass:
Through his operas, his symphonies, his compositions for his own ensemble, and his wide-ranging collaborations with artists ranging from Twyla Tharp to Allen Ginsberg, Woody Allen to David Bowie, Philip Glass has had an extraordinary and unprecedented impact upon the musical and intellectual life of his times.
The operas-Einstein on the Beach, Satyagraha, Akhnaten, and The Voyage, among many others-play throughout the world's leading houses, and rarely to an empty seat. Glass has written music for experimental theater and for Academy Award-winning motion pictures such as The Hours and Martin Scorsese's Kundun, while Koyaanisqatsi, his initial filmic landscape with Godfrey Reggio and the Philip Glass Ensemble, may be the most radical and influential mating of sound and vision since Fantasia. His associations, personal and professional, with leading rock, pop and world music artists date back to the 1960s, including the beginning of his collaborative relationship with artist Robert Wilson. Indeed, Glass is the first composer to win a wide, multi-generational audience in the opera house, the concert hall, the dance world, in film and in popular music-simultaneously.
He was born in 1937 and grew up in Baltimore. He studied at the University of Chicago, the Juilliard School and in Aspen with Darius Milhaud. Finding himself dissatisfied with much of what then passed for modern music, he moved to Europe, where he studied with the legendary pedagogue Nadia Boulanger (who also taught Aaron Copland, Virgil Thomson and Quincy Jones) and worked closely with the sitar virtuoso and composer Ravi Shankar. He returned to New York in 1967 and formed the Philip Glass Ensemble-seven musicians playing keyboards and a variety of woodwinds, amplified and fed through a mixer.
The new musical style that Glass was evolving was eventually dubbed "minimalism." Glass himself never liked the term and preferred to speak of himself as a composer of "music with repetitive structures." Much of his early work was based on the extended reiteration of brief, elegant melodic fragments that wove in and out of an aural tapestry. Or, to put it another way, it immersed a listener in a sort of sonic weather that twists, turns, surrounds, develops.
There has been nothing "minimalist" about his output. In the past 25 years, Glass has composed more than twenty operas, large and small; eleven symphonies; three piano concertos and concertos for violin, piano, timpani, and saxophone quartet and orchestra; soundtracks to films ranging from new scores for the stylized classics of Jean Cocteau to Errol Morris's documentary about former defense secretary Robert McNamara; string quartets; a growing body of work for solo piano and organ. He has collaborated with Paul Simon, Linda Ronstadt, Yo-Yo Ma, and Doris Lessing, among many others. He presents lectures, workshops, and solo keyboard performances around the world, and continues to appear regularly with the Philip Glass Ensemble.
Photo Credit: Steve Pyke