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Philip Glass at 80 / Second Inversion

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Philip Glass turns 80 today and Second Inversion is celebrating in great style with a 24-hour streaming marathon of his music. Tune in all day!

An early protagonist of the Minimalist movement, PG studied with Milhaud and Nadia Boulanger. His first job, assisting Ravi Shankar on a film soundtrack, heralded the start of his own successful cinema career, and to date he has scored over fifty movies. Early works tended to be abstract, but from the mid-1970s his attention shifted towards the stage. His first operatic triumph, Einstein on the Beach, did much to reinvigorate the international contemporary opera scene. Profoundly interested in traditional cultures, Glass often draws on Eastern traditions, as in Monsters of Grace (1997), a multimedia collaboration based on the writings of Rumi.

To also celebrate, Víkingur Ólafsson's brand new, and debut album on Deutsche Grammophon, has the Icelandic pianist performing selections of Philip Glass's Piano Etudes. Ólafsson's fascination with reinterpreting the Piano Etudesgrew as he toured and performed the works with Glass himself. "On the surface, they seem to be filled with repetitions. But the more one plays and thinks about them, the more their narratives seem to travel along in a spiral," he explains. "My approach to each of the etudes is to enable the listener to create his or her own personal space of reflection."