On December 26th CBS broadcast the annual Kennedy Center Honors which included a tribute to honoree Philip Glass. Jon Batiste performed “Opening” from Glassworks, Jennifer Koh and St. Vincent performed music from Mishima, and the Philip Glass Ensemble played a bit of Koyaanisqatsi, and Knee Play 5 from Einstein on the Beach.
This was followed on January 6th with the launch of The Philip Glass Institute at The New School in New York, with PGE member Lisa Bielawa as the institute’s inaugural Composer-in-Residence and the PGE as Ensemble-in-Residence. The event featured a performance of a sampling of Bielawa’s opera VIREO LIVE (recording coming out on OMM March 28) and a performance by the PGE to celebrate the event, and its own recording “50 Years of the Philip Glass Ensemble” out on OMM March 1.
Only a few days later the Los Angeles Philharmonic presented the world premiere of Philip Glass’s Symphony No.12 “Lodger.” Quite unlike his other two “Bowie” symphonies, No.1 “Low” and No.4 “Heroes”(a dance symphony), Symphony No.12 seems to have broken the mold according to the LA Times glowing review. Composed not with Bowie’s melodies in mind, but rather with his lyrics as poetry front and center, with Angélique Kidjo as vocalist and organist James McVinnie playing a substantial pipe organ part with the LA Phil under the direction of John Adams, it was quite the experience. The piece will be heard in London in May (on a program with all three Bowie symphonies SOLD OUT), Germany in November as well as in Paris. Speaking of Paris, Glass will be part of a Philip Glass Weekend at the Philharmonie in Paris in May including performances of the Complete Piano Etudes and Passages for orchestra with Anoushka Shankar.
On January 18th, Orange Mountain Music released the limited edition vinyl of Piano Concerto No.3 with Simone Dinnerstein and A Far Cry. Dinnerstein presented the UK premiere of the concerto in November with the London Symphony, which the BBC made available online. Dinnerstein has performed the new Glass concerto 29 times to date. And trumpeter Craig Morris earned a Grammy nomination for his album “Three Pieces in the Shape of a Square.”
February 7th is the annual Tibet House Benefit Concert. This years participants include Stephen Colbert, Jon Batiste, Laurie Anderson, and much more.
On February 15, OMM will release a digital EP of pianists Maki Namekawa and Dennis Russell Davies performing “Three Pieces for Four Hands.” Other forthcoming Orange Mountain Music projects include double bassist Robert Black’s recording of Glass’ “The Not Doings of an Insomniac” (In the form of a Partita for Solo Double Bass) and Glass’ music for bass and timpani “Prelude to Endgame.” Also on the schedule is the March 29 release of Grammy-winning Third Coast Percussion’s “PERPETULUM” including the new Glass percussion ensemble piece of the same name. Other future releases include Brooklyn Rider and Paul Barnes performing Piano Quintet “Annunciation” and String Quartet No.8, the soundtrack to Bernard Rose’s “Samurai Marathon 1855,” Michael Riesman’s “Glass Soundtracks Vol.II,” a new recording of Symphony No.5 (CD + DVD), The Fall of the House of Usher with Wolftrap Opera, The Descent into the Maelstrom orchestral version with the Arctic Philharmonic, and “Africa Sings” with Angélique Kidjo and the Bruckner Orchester Linz under Davies.