Philip Glass, Composer in Residence, at 7th annual Telluride Musicfest

Philip Glass, Composer in Residence, at 7th annual Telluride Musicfest

[click “Play” to hear Susan’s conversation with Philip Glass]

Portrait2a There is nothing minimalist about Philip Glass when it comes to loving.

Last year, the iconic musical wizard came to town for the Telluride Musicfest just to watch his ladylove, bravura cellist Wendy Sutter, perform. Caught up in the electrifying energy of the world-class chamber music event, he wound up giving an impromptu performance in the Mais’ living room at the old Skyline Guest Ranch, home base for the concert series. At the end of the season, Glass asked artistic director, virtuoso violinist Maria Bachmann, if he could return as the 2009 Composer-in-Residence. Who would turn down the man described by renowned New Yorker critic Alex Ross as  “Without a doubt, America’s most famous living composer of classical music?”

Over the past 25+ years, Philip Glass has written more than 20 operas, eight symphonies, numerous concertos and Hollywood film scores such as “Koyaanisquatsi” and the Oscar-niminated “The Hours.” (He is a regular at the Telluride Film Festival.) Glass’s collaborations with pop stars, including David Bowie, Paul Simon, and Linda Ronstadt, are well known and always well publicized.  And today, his star in the classical world is shining more brightly than ever since the release last year of “Songs & Poems,” the sensuous duet he wrote for Ms. Sutter that caused even the most jaded of music critics to swoon –  the same ones who ignored his deep classical roots – Juilliard, Nadia Boulanger –  and dismissed Glass for relying on the same old bag of tricks: repetition, arpeggios, syncopated pulsing chords. Seems love does conquer all.

Other3a Between last June at Telluride Musicfest and today, Philip Glass has been pretty busy, performing all over the world, writing two new operas and several film scores. One of the classical pieces he agreed to write was commissioned by Martin Murray as a special birthday gift for his wife, Lucy Miller Murray, celebrating her 70th birthday and her 27 years as the founding director of Market Square Concerts. His “Sonata for Violin and Piano,” premiered in Harrisburg, PA, in February and got raves. Maria Bachmann was the violinist. Glass and Bachmann will perform Glass Sonata for Violin and Piano (2008), a Colorado premiere, on July 2 at the Mai resident.

On July 3, a special program at The Palm, features Philip Glass discussing the art of music in film  The evening also includes a screening of Paul Schrader’s “Mishima” and a Q & A session.

On July 5, at The Palm, the Trio Solisti and friends, all world-class musicians, will perform a work Glass wrote for Telluride Musicfest, Glass Sextet for Strings (2009). The event is a world premiere and the headliner of a program that also includes compositions by Schumann, Mendelssohn and Brahms.

To learn more, click the “play” button and listen to Philip Glass talk about his latest work and why he keeps coming back to Telluride for more.

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