Philip Glass: Music Composer Essay

1281 words - 6 pages

My composer is known as an influential minimalist and has written a variety of works such as opera, musical theater, symphonies, chamber music, and film scores and much more. This composer’s identity is none other than Philip Glass. The major focus in this paper are to give a moderately brief background on Philip Glass, examining his style of music along with how others view it and describe one of Philip Glass’s musical pieces. The background or bio about Philip Glass has information primary associated with events surrounding his career. When we reach examining Philip Glass’s style of music, people’s opinions on his music and who he sounds similar too is discussed. The final part of paper basically discuss one of Philip Glass’s works and how it serves as an example to his other music.
Philip Glass’s musical career has been lengthy and essentially truly successful. For most of Glass’s early life he worked in his father’s store where he stumbled about unorthodox Western classical music (Sadur “Biography”). After uncovering this music, Glass began to study music. Once graduated from college, he went on to study composition in New York. However, finding modern music of his time distasteful, he moved to Europe, at the age of 23, where he studied under Nadia Boulanger and worked with composer Ravi Shankar (“Philip Glass: Biography”). While in Europe, Glass also discovered a variety of non-Western music. The style in this newly discovered music began to appear within Glass’s own compositions. After being away from the States for an extended time, Glass made his return to New York in 1967. Once settled in New York, Glass began forming a collection of “new music” (Sadur). During this point in Glass’s career, he constructed his own musical group known as The Philip Glass Ensemble. Even with the formation of The Philip Glass Ensemble, Glass’s early musical pieces were not recognized as a great or decent. Most of his early music was actually harshly reviewed. His climb to international stardom did not come until 1976 when he and Robert Wilson collaborated work produced the opera Einstein on the Beach (O’Mahony “When less means more”). Shortly after his successful opera, Glass was approached by Hans de Roo, Head of the Netherlands Opera, while on tour. Hans de Roo asked if Glass was ready to write a real opera (O’Mahony). Accepting Hans de Roo offer, Glass was commissioned by Netherlands Opera to write another opera. This opera is best known as Satyagraha. Once again Glass found himself on the very positive side of reviews after the premiere of this opera. Quickly after the success of Satyagraha, a commission from the Stuttgrat Opera to compose a third opera came to Glass (O’Mahony). While working on this his third opera, Glass composed an orchestral score for a film too. This switch to composing film scores was only the beginning of what was to come from Philip Glass. After completing his third commissioned opera, Glass began expanding his brand. This...

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