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Perspectives

Philip Glass Residency
Music in 12 Parts
Philip Glass with the Philip Glass Ensemble

Saturday 26th October 2019

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Philip Glass and his Ensemble take up a special residency at NCH in October 2019. Glass will perform his iconic works Music in 12 Parts and KOYAANISQATSI as well as curate with NCH one-off events as part of this unique weekend in Dublin. 
 
Philip Glass’s unique music has made him a cultural icon, reaching across generations. His visionary works are known for their hypnotic and dramatic structures and shape-shifting motifs. They are landmarks of modern music. 2019 also marks the 50th anniversary of the Philip Glass Ensemble. 
 
Further events as part of the residency will be announced at a later date. 
 
Philip Glass with Philip Glass Ensemble  
Music in 12 Parts  
 
Philip Glass and his ensemble will perform Music in Twelve Parts one of Glass’s landmark pieces composed by Glass for the Philip Glass Ensemble between 1971–74. It is one of the most original and revolutionary works of Glass’s oeuvre. Both a massive theoretical exercise and a deeply engrossing work of art, the score is the culmination of Glass’ explorations and theories on repetition. It is widely considered to be a masterpiece of minimalism and a seminal work of 20th century music. 
 
Music in Twelve Parts runs a total of five hours with two short intermissions and an hour-long dinner break.
 

Presented by NCH

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Philip Glass
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Philip Glass is a graduate of the University of Chicago and the Juilliard School. In the early 1960s, Glass spent two years of intensive study in Paris with Nadia Boulanger and while there, earned money by transcribing Ravi Shankar’s Indian music into Western notation. By 1974, Glass had a number of innovative projects, creating a large collection of new music for The Philip Glass Ensemble, and for the Mabou Mines Theater Company. This period culminated in Music in Twelve Parts, and the landmark opera, Einstein on the Beach for which he collaborated with Robert Wilson. Since Einstein, Glass has expanded his repertoire to include music for opera, dance, theater, chamber ensemble, orchestra, and film. His scores have received Academy Award nominations (Kundun, The Hours, Notes on a Scandal) and a Golden Globe (The Truman Show). In the past few years several new works were unveiled, including an opera on the death of Walt Disney, The Perfect American (co-commissioned by Teatro Real, Madrid and the English National Opera), a song cycle entitled, Ifé, written for Angelique Kidjo, a new touring production of Einstein and the publication of Glass’s memoir, ‘Words Without Music’, by Liveright Books. In May 2015, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, performed the world premiere of a double piano concerto Glass wrote for Katia and Marielle Labèque.
 
In November 2015, the Washington National Opera premiered a revised version of Glass’s opera, Appomattox, created in collaboration with librettist Christopher Hampton. Glass celebrated his 80th birthday on January 31st, 2017 at Carnegie Hall with the world premiere of Symphony No. 11. His 80th birthday season featured curated programming and premieres around the globe, including the US premieres of operas The Trial and The Perfect American, the Double Piano Concerto with the New York Philharmonic, and the World Premiere of Piano Concerto No. 3, written for Simone Dinnerstein, and String Quartet No. 8, written for the JACK Quartet.
 
Glass holds the Carnegie Hall 2017-2018 Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair. Glass’s first Piano Quintet will premiere in Lincoln, Nebraska in April 2018. Upcoming commissions for Glass include a percussion work with Third Coast Percussion, and the highly anticipated Symphony No. 12, based on the album Lodger and a completion of the David Bowie and Brian Eno Berlin Trilogy. Symphony No. 12 will receive its World Premiere at the Los Angeles Philharmonic in early 2019 and its European Premiere at the Southbank Centre in May 2019. Glass continues to perform around the globe with world-renowned musicians and the Philip Glass Ensemble.
Philip Glass Ensemble
Established by composer Philip Glass, the first performance by the Philip Glass Ensemble was held in May 1969 at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, City. Embraced first by the visual art community working in SoHo in the early 1970’s, the early concerts performed by the Philip Glass Ensemble were considered visual as well as musical events and were often performed in art galleries, artist lofts, and museum spaces rather than traditional performing art centers.  
 
Since that time, the members of the PGE have become known as the premiere performers of the music of Philip Glass and continue to be an inspiration for new work.  Over the past thirty years, the group has performed on four continents in some of the most prestigious music festivals and concert venues throughout the world.  They have been featured in Philip Glass’ opera Einstein on the Beach as well as the music theater projects Hydrogen Jukebox; 1000 Airplanes on the Roof; The Photographer; La Belle et la Bête; and Monsters of Grace. 
 
In June 2004, in Athens, Greece, Glass premiered Orion, a new work for ensemble and world musicians commissioned by the Cultural Olympiad 2001-2004. Following its world premiere in Athens, Orion was performed in Greece, Italy, France, London, Australia, as well as cities in the United States.
 
The Philip Glass Ensemble tours regularly with Music in Twelve Parts, Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqqatsi, La Belle et la Bête, and Dracula. In 2012-5, they also appeared in the international revival of Robert Wilson and Philip Glass’s seminal opera, Einstein on the Beach remounted in honor of the composer’s 75th Birthday season. 
 
In 2018, the Philip Glass Ensemble premiered a new orchestration of Music with Changing Parts, which was originally written for the Ensemble in 1970.  Expanded to include a brass and choral section, the piece premiered at Carnegie Hall in New York, performed by students from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the San Francisco Girls Chorus, conducted by Valérie Saint-Agathe. 
 
2019 will mark the 50th Anniversary of the Philip Glass Ensemble, and will be celebrated with a series of special performance events.