Municipal Theater offers Philip Glass retrospective

Over the course of five concerts, works spanning the American composer’s 40-year career will be performed for private and public audiences. One of the most influential figures in musical minimalism, Glass makes his first trip to Chile for the concert series.


American composer Philip Glass spoke yesterday at Santiago’s Municipal Theater, which will host a retrospective of his 40-year career from Oct. 6-10. Though his works has been performed world over, Glass has never before made a personal appearance in Chile.

The performances at the Municipal Theater will be given by the Philip Glass Ensemble, a chamber orchestra formed by the composer in 1968 at the beginning of his career especially for performances of his work.

The programming of the Philip Glass series directly after an all Chilean performance of Rigoletto in the Municipal Theater reinforces the composer’s place in the classical music canon. The interest shown in more recent musical forms and styles from one of Santiago’s more traditional musical institutions similarly reinforces the value of contemporary music in Chile today.

For the first decade of his career, Glass composed almost exclusively the Philip Glass Ensemble, and these musicians continue to be the premier performers of his work. The ensemble has prepared three different programs for three public and two private performances to be given over a five-day period. The programs will cover a selection of works spanning the length and breadth of Glass’ career, with selections from operas, chamber works and larger-scale symphonic compositions.

Glass has composed 24 operas, 37 chamber works and 39 film scores amongst other works. Of those film scores, three have been nominated for Academy Awards. The composer’s prolific career and collaborations with other high-profile artists like Woody Allen and David Bowie have made him one of the most recognizable figures in contemporary classical music.

Glass’s minimalist works have become some of the most influential of the past 50 years, shaping the forward trajectory of contemporary classical music. In more recent years, Glass said at a press conference at the Municipal Theater, he has turned his attention toward young composers, who have begun incorporating sounds from jazz, electronic and world music.