Philip Glass 2006

The Event

Philip Glass

Waiting for the Barbarians

30 September 2006

Credit: Steve Pyke

Credit: Steve Pyke

Special Event ‘Waiting for the Barbarians’ Join us at Studio Atrium in the Amsterdam’s Muziektheater for a private discussion with the composer Philip Glass about his new opera Waiting for the Barbarians, based on the novel by Nobel Prize winner J.M. Coetzee.

WAITING FOR THE BARBARIANS A political opera thriller to music by Philip Glass. Performed by the Theater Erfurt. This special event is presented in cooperation with the Muziektheater.

Philip Glass is one of the late 20th century’s most influential composers and a founder of American Minimalism. His distinctive style – incorporating elements of ethnic and rock music – has been brought to bear on symphonies based on the works of David Bowie and Brian Eno. Waiting for the Barbarians premiered in September 2005 in Erfurt, Germany. 

J.M Coetzee is a South African novelist and winner of the 2003 Nobel Prize for literature. Waiting for the Barbarians was chosen by Penguin Books for their series ‘Great Books of the 20th Century‘. The Nobel Prize committee called Waiting for the Barbarians “a political thriller in the tradition of Joseph Conrad, in which the idealist’s naivety opens the gates to horror”.


The Speaker:

Philip Morris Glass[1] (born January 31, 1937[2]) is an American composer. He is considered as one of the most influential music makers of the late 20th century.[3][4][5] His music is also often controversially described as minimal music, along with the work of the other “major minimalists” La Monte Young, Terry Riley and Steve Reich.[6]

Glass has distanced himself from the “minimalist” label, describing himself instead as a composer of “music with repetitive structures.”[7] Though his early mature music shares much with what is normally called “minimalist”, he has since evolved stylistically.[8][9] Currently, he describes himself as a “Classicist”, pointing out that he is trained in harmony and counterpoint and studied such composers as Franz Schubert, Johann Sebastian Bach and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with Nadia Boulanger.[10]

Glass is a prolific composer: he has written works for the musical group which he founded, the Philip Glass Ensemble (with which he still performs on keyboards), as well as operas, musical theatre works, ten symphonies, eleven concertos, solo works, chamber music including string quartets and instrumental sonatas, and film scores. Three of his film scores have been nominated for Academy Awards.

source text:

For a more complete biography, visit the Philip Glass website


Philip Glass Website

Listen to some Philip Glass on Lastfm

The Philip Glass YouTube Channel

News on Philip Glass at The Guardian

The New York Times Review of “Waiting for the Barbarians”

A guide to Philip Glass’ music on the “Guide to Contemporary Classical Music” blog for The Guardian


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