90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Composer Philip Glass

The remarkable composer Philip Glass joins us. We’ll listen from “Einstein on the Beach” to his latest “Symphony No. 9.”

U.S. composer Philip Glass listens during a news conference in Mexico City, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009. Glass is scheduled to play two concerts in the city this week. (AP)

U.S. composer Philip Glass listens during a news conference in Mexico City, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009. (AP)

Composer Philip Glass drove a taxi until he was 41, and wrote music after hours that drove people wild.  Some with exasperation.  Some with pure ecstasy.  Hypnotic, churning, relentless music.  Einstein on the Beach.  Satyagraha.  The score for Koyaanisqatsi.  Symphonies.  Operas.

Work with David Bowie and Woody Allen and Allen Ginsberg.  Linda Ronstadt.  Twyla Tharp.  Now he’s 75 and celebrated all over.

This hour, On Point:  a conversation with composer Philip Glass.

-Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Philip Glass, a classical music composer, his most recent composition – Symphony No. 9 – premiered in Linz, Austria in January.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New Yorker “Philip Glass’s place in musical history is secure. His sprawling, churning, monumentally obsessive works of the nineteen-seventies—“Music with Changing Parts,” “Music in Twelve Parts,” “Einstein on the Beach,” “Satyagraha”—have fascinated several generations of listeners, demonstrating mesmeric properties that are as palpable as they are inexplicable.”

NPR “Even on a frigid Saturday in January, the street outside Glass’ East Village home crackles with traffic and pedestrians. Inside his brick townhouse, where he composes, Glass says he has created what he calls an “oasis of tranquility.””

New York Magazine “Philip Glass turns 75 on January 31, and on that night the former cabbie, plumber, iconoclast, avant-gardist, and loft pioneer will get a resounding confirmation of his elder statesmanship: the U.S. premiere of his Ninth Symphony at Carnegie Hall. I decided to celebrate ahead of time and in private, by trying to overcome years of distaste for his music. Perhaps, I thought, I had never listened hard enough to get beneath the churning surface, and impression had hardened into prejudice. A friend of mine speaks of the “ecstasy” of listening to Glass; I wanted some of that, too.

Video: Philip Glass and Occupy

After a December performance of Philip Glass’s Satyagraha at the Metropolitan Opera in New York Occupy protesters try to get operagoers to ignore the police, walk down the steps, and join the demonstration. About three minutes into the video, Glass talks to the crowd and recites the closing lines of his opera, which come from the Bhagavad-Gita: “When righteousness withers away and evil rules the land, we come into being, age after age, and take visible shape, and move, a man among men, for the protection of good, thrusting back evil and setting virtue on her seat again.”

Photos

Check out these photos from the Tune-In music festival at the Park Avenue Armory in New York, February 2012.

Playlist

Symphony No. 9: Movement II
Symphony No. 9: Movement III
(1976) Einstein on the Beach – Act IV. Scene I – Building
Symphony No. 9: Movement I
The Truman Show Soundtrack “Anthem Pt.2”
Music in Fifths
Koyaanisqatsi soundtrack
Heroes Symphony
Passages –“Sadhanipa”
Songs and Poems for Solo Cello “Song V” with Wendy Sutter
LIVE Satyagraha: Act II (Tagore), Scene 3: Protest, preformed live at the Metropolitan Opera November 2011
LIVE Etude No. 2 – Philip Glass playing on Feb. 24, 2012 at Tune-in Musical Festival in NYC
Symphony No. 9: Movement III

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Mar 4, 2015
Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks during a keynote address at the Watermark Silicon Valley Conference for Women, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015, in Santa Clara, Calif.  (AP)

Hillary Clinton’s week of bad headlines: about her emails and foreign money going to the Clinton Foundation. We’ll dig in.

Mar 4, 2015
This photo taken July 31, 2012 shows a "tiny" house April Anson built in Portland, Ore. For the past couple of months, 33-year-old Anson and her friends have been planning, measuring, sawing and hammering their way toward completion of what might look like a child’s playhouse. (AP)

Tiny houses, micro-apartments. They’re hot. Americans are downsizing.

RECENT
SHOWS
Mar 3, 2015
This July 21, 2014 photo shows strawberry banana chia breakfast smoothie in Concord, N.H. Breakfast habits in America are changing, leading to dramatic shifts in business strategy. (AP)

Food guidelines are changing. So is what we eat for breakfast. Cereal? Out of favor. Eggs? Maybe OK. And all kinds of new menus. We’ll look at Americans and breakfast.

 
Mar 3, 2015
A group of community activists in San Francisco, CA celebrate that city's February 2014 embrace of the Fair Chance Campaign's efforts to alter background checks on employment and housing for convicted criminals. (Courtesy All of Us Or None)

Is it time to stop asking job applicants if they’ve been convicted of a crime? We’ll look at employment and unemployment after prison.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Answers To Your Questions On Black Holes
Tuesday, Mar 3, 2015

Yale University’s Priyamvada Natarajan answers your black hole questions in full. (Well, most of them.)

More »
Comment
 
Want To Listen To Lead Belly? Here’s Where To Start
Monday, Mar 2, 2015

Loved our show on Lead Belly, but unsure on where you should start to listen? Jeff Place of the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage offers his best picks for a beginning Lead Belly listener.

More »
Comment
 
Our Week In The Web: February 27, 2015
Friday, Feb 27, 2015

We won’t lead you into a debate on the color of #TheDress (it’s blue and black, end of debate), but we do wonder about the blurring lines between so-called Internet culture and general popular culture. Also, it’s snowing in Boston. Still.

More »
Comment