Personalities | Philip Glass | Modern Era | Opera

b. 1937, American

Philip Glass defies conventions of traditional music and performance practice. A minimalist who is constantly extending musical boundaries, Glass has written several slowly developing, repetitively patterned operas.

In the mid-1960s he became fascinated with Indian music when transcribing the work of sitarist Ravi Shankar, and he set off to explore the music of North Africa, India and the Himalayas. Returning to New York in 1967, he formed the Philip Glass Ensemble and teamed up with theatrical concept artist Robert Wilson. Their hallucinogenic four-hour opera Einstein on the Beach (1976) was a critical smash and brought minimalism to the mainstream. They then produced Satyagraha (1980), which used a traditional orchestra, and the more accessible Akhnaten (1984). They have also enjoyed many commissions, including The CIVIL warS for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics; The White Raven for Portugal’s Expo ’98; and digital 3D opera Monsters of Grace (1998). Among Glass’s other works are The Voyage (1992) and a trilogy based on Jean Cocteau films: Orphée (‘Orpheus’, 1993), La Belle et la Bête (‘Beauty and the Beast’, 1994) and Les enfants terribles (1996).

Introduction | Modern Era | Opera
Major Operas | Einstein on the Beach by Philip Glass | Modern Era
Personalities | Tito Gobbi | Modern Era | Opera
Techniques | Minimalism | Modern Era | Opera


An extensive music information resource, bringing together the talents and expertise of a wide range of editors and musicologists, including Stanley Sadie, Charles Wilson, Paul Du Noyer, Tony Byworth, Bob Allen, Howard Mandel, Cliff Douse, William Schafer, John Wilson...


Classical, Rock, Blues, Jazz, Country and more. Flame Tree has been making encyclopaedias and guides about music for over 20 years. Now Flame Tree Pro brings together a huge canon of carefully curated information on genres, styles, artists and instruments. It's a perfect tool for study, and entertaining too, a great companion to our music books.

Rock, A Life Story

Rock, A Life Story

The ultimate story of a life of rock music, from the 1950s to the present day.

David Bowie

David Bowie

Fantastic new, unofficial biography covers his life, music, art and movies, with a sweep of incredible photographs.