Philip Glass

American composer and pianist Philip Glass was born in Baltimore, Maryland on 31 January 1937 into a family of Lithuanian Jewish emigrants. His father owned a record store and Philip Glass was exposed to modern music and sounds from an early age. As a child he studied flute. He then took mathematics and philosophy at Chicago University. He visited Paris and was impressed by Jean Cocteau's films and by the bohemian life there. He studied keyboard and composition at Juilliard with fellow students Steve Reich and Peter Schickele. He won a 1959 BMI Student Composer Award, and studied with Darius Milhaud at Aspen in 1960.

On a Fulbright Scholarship, he studied in Paris with Nadia Boulanger (1964-66) and ackowledges that this made a profound influence on his work.

Moving away from the modernist music of Boulez and Stockhausen, he developed his own 'music with repetitive structures' which others have described as minimalism, and founded the Philip Glass Ensemble, which he performs with on keyboards.  He has become one of the main influencers of late twentieth century music.


A selection of articles about Philip Glass

Classical music news. Obituary - Peter Schickele (1935-2024)

CD Spotlight. A Common Thread - Music by Kjetil Bjerkestrand and Philip Glass, heard by Gerald Fenech. '... a must for contemporary music lovers ...'

Ensemble. Unstoppable Panache - Mike Wheeler listens to Amy Dickson and Martin Cousin

Ensemble. Songs of the Distance - Giuseppe Pennisi describes how American music is back, alive and well at the Spoleto Festival

Ensemble. Earth and the Future of Mankind - Giuseppe Pennisi experiences 'Koyaanisqatsi', by Philip Glass, in Rome

Ensemble. Siena Wins a Heroic Bet - Giuseppe Pennisi attends the opening performance of the completely re-designed Chigiana International Festival and Summer Academy

CD Spotlight. Baroque Minimalism and 21st Century Minds - Ona Jarmalavičiūtė listens to music for violin by Philip Glass. 'The magic of this iconic figure in American music is still aweing listeners.'

Ensemble. Special Moments - Adam J Sacks provides a Hong Kong snapshot on the classical music world

Ensemble. Exemplary Clarity - Haydn, Glass and Beethoven from the Marmen Quartet, heard by Mike Wheeler

Ensemble. Gábor Káli - Giuseppe Pennisi reports on the Salzburg Festival Young Conductors Award

Ensemble. The Romantic Connection - Kodály, Glass and Bruckner, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

Ensemble. Dancing Vigour - Percussionists Owen Gunnell and Oliver Cox, appreciated by Mike Wheeler

Somewhat Congested - Jonathan Scott plays the organ of Derby Cathedral, reviewed by Mike Wheeler

Ensemble. Echo of Globalization - France at the Festival of Nations, reviewed by Giuseppe Pennisi

Ensemble. A Great Success - Eleonora Abbagnato's 'Four Great Choreographers' at Teatro dell'Opera di Roma, appreciated by Giuseppe Pennisi

CD Spotlight. Out of the Ordinary - Eighth Blackbird's 'Meanwhile', heard by the late Howard Smith. '... an ear-catching feather in Cedille's musical cap.'

Ensemble. Woman for all Seasons - Gerald Fenech returns to Festival Maribor in Slovenia

CD Spotlight. Bewildering Delight - Valentina Lisitsa plays Philip Glass, impressing Gerald Fenech. 'A must for all Glass enthusiasts ...'

Ensemble. Geological Imagery - Sinfonia Viva's schools residency project moves Mike Wheeler

CD Spotlight. Unquestionably Recommended - Jennifer Koh and Jamie Laredo, heard by Howard Smith. 'This new performance ... undoubtedly earns a place ...'

CD Spotlight. A Curate's Egg - Satie, Glass, Feldman and Schubert, heard by Howard Smith. '... amiable verve ...'

Ensemble. Most Interesting - 'Satyagraha' by Philip Glass, reviewed by Maria Nockin

CD Spotlight. Subtle and Organic - Music by John Luther Adams, recommended by Malcolm Tattersall. '... vast silent landscapes ...'

CD Spotlight. Musical Finesse - Songs by Gregg Kallor, recommended by Howard Smith. 'Go to the top of the class.'

Ensemble. A New Dimension - Giuseppe Pennisi reports that chamber opera is alive and well

Ensemble. Invigorating Performance - Sinfonia Viva plays Judith Weir, heard by Mike Wheeler

Ensemble. Passionately Breathtaking - The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, reviewed by Lawrence Budmen

CD Spotlight. Intimate Mode - Quartets by Evans, Glass, Antheil and Herrmann, recommended by Howard Smith. '... wholly engaging ...'

Grand Scale - Mike Wheeler attends summer organ recitals by Tom Corfield and Johan Hermans

Ensemble. Fascinating Programming - A report from the Sarasota Music Festival 2007, by Lawrence Budmen

Record Box. A Fascinating Programme - Joseph Gramley plays music for percussion, reviewed by Patric Standford

Ensemble. Sunshine and Stars - The Australian Festival of Chamber Music 2006 continues, and Malcolm Tattersall sends a second report

Ensemble. Sanity to insanity - Lyric Opera Cleveland's 'The Fall of the House of Usher', reviewed by Kelly Ferjutz

Inner sounds - Philip Glass played in Calgary, and Gordon Rumson was in the audience

Fool's gold - An alternate meaning to the music of Philip Glass, from Gordon Rumson