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New York, NY (Glass Houses Celebrating Philip Glass at 85)

September 23

Tickets and info here

The Village Trip partners with Victoria Bond and Cutting Edge Concerts to celebrate the legacy of ground-breaking composer Philip Glass.

About this event

Photo: Adam Tendler and Vicky Chow

Pianists Vicky Chow, Marilyn Nonken, Adam Tendler, Joan Forsyth, Emily Tong, and The Bond Trio (Pauline Kim Harris, violin; Chieh-Fan Yiu, viola; Coleman Itzkoff, cello) and others will pair Glass’s work with music that responds to the space he created. Homages, reactions – Ann Southam’s Glass Houses, Victoria Bond’s “Dancing on Glass”, Jonathan Dawe’s “Glass Harmonica” – plus works by Charles Wuorinen, Nico Muhly and Steve Reich.

“…what you hear depends on how you focus your ear. We’re not talking about inventing a new language, but rather inventing new perceptions of existing languages” – Philip Glass

From the East Village in the 1960s, composer Philip Glass turned the music world upside-down. Minimalist art and music reacted against the sheer difficulty of modernist practice, its density and complexity. Glass Houses Celebrating Philip Glass at 85 both celebrates and explores the new space his work opened up – a space that brought new musical challenges.

Five new music pianists will pair a Glass piece with music composed in response – some inspired by and in synch with Glass’s work, some in reaction. The program will include Glass’s “Etudes”, “Metamorphoses”, and “In Memory of Charles Wuorinen” plus works by John Dawe, Ann Southam, Charles Wuorinen and Steve Reich.

  • 7pm Prelude and performance by young artists from the Third Street Music Settlement School.
  • The main program begins at 7.30pm.
  • A reception with the artists follows the concert.

For composer Ann Southam (Glass Houses), early Glass was a revelation and an invitation to create something new – the collectionGlass Houses combines the Glass aesthetic with Reich’s processes of gradual changes, the Canadian fiddle tunes Southam had heard since childhood, and a luminosity all her own. She has said: “I was looking for a way of writing music that would have a feminist aesthetic, because what was thought of as feminist music back in those days was usually vocal music, and it would be the words that would give the feminist meaning. I wanted something where the very workings of the music would reflect a feminist aesthetic.”

Southam found that minimalist iterative compositions reminded her of “women’s work” – repetitive, monotonous tasks such as knitting and cleaning that nevertheless sustain life. She devoted her life to making music and making a difference – particularly when it came to advancing gender equality. She was a great supporter of the Canadian Women’s Foundation.

Jonathon Dawe was a student of arch-modernist Milton Babbitt and is celebrated for his five brilliant operas, often unfolding through processes where Baroque harmonies are fractalized in several different ways. He wrote “Glass Harmonica” as a homage to Philip Glass – fractalized minimalism. It and Charles Wuorinen’s “Andante Espressivo” from the Sonata for Piano and Guitar were written for and premiered by Forsyth and Anderson, who perform the works on this program. Wuorinen and Glass were at artistic odds, at opposite poles of the New York musical landscape. So Glass’s “In Memory of Charles Wuorinen” is a grand gesture to a composer with whom he had very little in common.

Composer Victoria Bond’s commissions include the American Ballet Theater, Jacob’s Pillow, Cygnus, Houston and Shanghai Orchestras, Cleveland and Indianapolis Chamber Orchestras, the American Opera Project and the Cassatt String Quartet. Performance highlights include the world premiere of Bond’s opera Clara at the Berlin Philharmonic Easter Festival; Mrs. President, performed by the New York City Opera, and The Miracle of Light premiered at Chamber Opera Chicago. Her compositions have been performed by the Dallas Symphony, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Irish National Orchestra, the Shanghai Symphony and members of the New York Philharmonic and Chicago Symphonies.

Bond is Artistic Director of Cutting Edge Concerts New Music Festival, which she founded in 1998. She is a frequent lecturer at the Metropolitan Opera.

Performers: Pianists Marilyn Nonken, Vicky Chow, Adam Tendler, Joan Forsyth, Emily Tong and others

Composers: Philip Glass, Jonathan Dawe, Victoria Bond, Ann Southam, Nico Muhly, Steve Reich, Eve Beglarian and Charles Wuorinen


September 23


St John’s in the Village 218 West 11th Street New York, NY 10014