Monday, August 20, 2007

Philip Glass

Philip Glass turned 70 on January 31, 2007, and various Bay Area organizations have commemorated this with concerts or commissions. Here's what's coming up around here:
  • Marin Alsop conducts Glass's Eighth Symphony at the Cabrillo Festival. Well, you missed this one - it was on August 11th.

  • Glass himself and cellist Wendy Sutter present a concert at Herbst Theater on September 28

  • A concert at Stanford Lively Arts includes a new commission, a setting by Glass of texts by Leonard Cohen

  • San Francisco Opera commissioned Appomattox, about Lee's surrender to Grant at the close of the Civil War

  • San Francisco nothing by Glass on its schedule for 2007-08, and played nothing of his last season. I'm only half-surprised by this. Last year, a new piece by Steven Stuckey was bumped from a concert in order to make room for a token work by Steve Reich commemorating his 70th birthday. MTT is living up to his reputation as an advocate for new music - in Europe and with the New World Symphony - but not, alas, in San Francisco.


Anonymous said...

I'm always surprised that MTT hasn't presented more new music at the SFS. He started out doing much more, and it makes me wonder if this is a fight he lost a while ago.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Could be. I wonder what might change that?

Unknown said...

Sounds like you are getting plenty of Glass there in general, though. Why MTT isn't doing him, I don't know, but it shouldn't detract from his reputation as a champion of contemporary music--Glass isn't exactly cutting edge.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Oh, wait until I post about contemporary music at SFS in the coming season - that'll detract from his reputation, all right.

Unknown said...

I look forward to it.

We'll have The Black Maskers here this year. Hardly contemporary, but unusual.

Alas, no Hicken scheduled so far--no honor or profit in my own country.

Henry Holland said...

Sounds like you are getting plenty of Glass there in general, though. Why MTT isn't doing him, I don't know

Um, maybe he doesn't like the music? Conductors/music directors have their likes and dislikes, nothing odd about that. Esa-Pekka Salonen only made it through the first year of a 5-year Shostakovich symphony cycle before bailing out and handing the other four seasons over to guest conductors. He wasn't really familiar with Shostakovich's music and I guess one season of 3 of the symphonies was enough to make up his mind!

Lisa Hirsch said...

That's fair enough, and (blush) hadn't occurred to me.