Minimal: Glass at 75 - Programme highlights

Glasgow festival features, Scottish Ensemble, Bang On A Can and composer himself

Minimal: Glass at 75 - Programme highlights

Bang on a Can

How fragile is Glass? And how shattering? Audiences have had plenty of time of late to ponder the cause and effect of veteran New York composer Philip Glass’ considerable body of work. Glass himself appeared with his Ensemble to perform the dizzying soundtracks to Godfrey Reggio’s Qatsi trilogy of films as part of this year’s Edinburgh International Festival. Hot on its heels came a performance of 1000 Airplanes On The Roof, the Glass-scored ‘science-fiction opera’, featuring the Red Note Ensemble playing beneath a Concorde in a hangar at the National Museum of Flight.

The latter performance is repeated, sans Concorde, as part of the self-explanatory Minimal festival, which this year celebrates Glass’ 75th birthday with a weekend programme split between Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and Tramway. As well as 1000 Airplanes On The Roof, avant-chamber group Bang On A Can (pictured, below) will present free afternoon programmes at both venues showcasing some of Glass’ cutting-edge New York heirs, while a Saturday teatime Tramway show features some of the elder statesman’s more hardcore concoctions.

More intimate should be The Smith Quartet’s renditions of Glass’s string-works, while the Scottish Ensemble will feature violinist Robert McDuffie playing a double bill of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons alongside Glass’ The American Four Seasons, written especially for McDuffie. Moving beyond Glass even further, Bang on a Can and Red Note will converge for the weekend’s final performance of Music For Airports, Brian Eno’s 1978 suite that formed the first of his self-styled ‘Ambient’ series, pretty much inventing chill-out rooms as he went.

Minimal: Glass at 75. Tramway, Glasgow, Sat 29 Oct; Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow,

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Scottish Ensemble: Vivaldi's Four Seasons/Glass' The American Seasons

In celebration of Philip Glass' 75th birthday, the Scottish Ensemble plays Vivaldi's Four Seasons followed by Glass's own partner work The American Seasons, joined by violinist Robert McDuffie, for whom the piece was created. Part of minimal.

Bang On A Can: NY Sampler 1

New York's new music virtuosi present work by Glass, Reich, Andriessen and Lang, plus a selection of new music from their home city. Part of minimal. Booking is essential.

The Smith Quartet: The Glass Quartets 1–5

Philip Glass's string quartets are among his most beguiling and accessible pieces. This concert includes the austere and moving Company, created as music for a stage adaptation of a work by Samuel Beckett and the turbulent and brilliant Mishima, adapted from the score to Paul Schrader's masterwork. Part of minimal.

Bang On A Can: Music in Fifths/Music in Similar Motion/Closing

Early works of exhilarating hardcore minimalism by Philip Glass. Part of minimal.

Red Note Ensemble: 1000 Airplanes On The Roof

Philip Glass and David Henry (M. Butterfly) Hwang's music drama about alien abduction is staged with dazzling visuals by Jerome Sirlin, who worked with the composer on the original production.

Brian Eno's Music for Airports

Brian Eno's Music for Airports was originally created to reassure air passengers that their possible impending fiery death needn't be such a big deal; since then, it's been recognised as an ambient classic and is performed here by Bang On A Can and Scotland's own Red Note Ensemble. Whether a concert hall is the most…

Glass/Flux: Music from Einstein on the Beach

Philip Glass and Robert Wilson's opera Einstein on the Beach contains some of Glass's most viscerally exciting music, especially in the 'Knee Plays'. Here, the Einstein Knee Play music is performed alongside composers associated with the legendary art group Fluxus, including La Monte Young and Terry Riley. Paul Hillier…

Philip Glass: In Recital

The celebrated composer, pianist, pioneer minimalist and former cab driver is joined by violinist Tim Fain for an evening of new and old work to celebrate his 75th birthday, including the European premieres of Partita for Solo Violin in Seven Movements and Pendulum, written for the American Civil Liberties Union. Part of…


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