Monday, June 13, 2011

Philip Glass at the Metropolitan Museum

"Self-esteem comes from your parents. Somebody tells you that you can do whatever you want, and you believe them."

This Saturday, June 11th, I had the pleasure to be just a few meters away from the genius of minimalism, Philip Glass! He was present at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, for a quick Q&A, followed by an orchestra playing his compositions... 

I confess I did not know much about him, before I went... I knew I knew his name, and I knew he composed soundtrack for films, but that was about it...

So, I researched:

Philip Glass was born January 31st, 1937 (74 years old), in Baltimore, Maryland. He is a composer who brought "art music" (serious music/erudite music) to the public and one of the most influential of the 20th century. 

Glass describes himself as "classicist", and his biggest influences were Beethoven and Schubert (his favorite composer). He is a minimalist [music with repetitive structures], and went to the Juilliard School of Music where the keyboard became his main instrument. 

He went to live in Paris, where he worked with Godard and Truffaut, and later Samuel Beckett. In 1967, he came back to NYC (where he currently lives),  and became Richard Serra's regular studio assistant, and lived in the art/gallery world. Glass also worked as a plumber and a cab driver!

His influences: rock, ambient music, electronic music and world music. 

Glass is a vegetarian, and a supporter of the Tibetan cause!

My point of view of Saturday: 

I was extremely excited to go see Philip Glass play the piano... I arrived there... Naturally you get inspired with all the art and just the simple idea of being at that amazing place... Seats were comfortable, our seats were pretty good, at the mezzanine, with the piano placed in the middle of the stage, and where it was faced our direction. It started 10 minutes late, interviewer Richard Guerin and Philip Glass finally enter stage and sit down. Philip seemed distracted touching the microphone to see if it was working, even though interview had began. (Was funny!). Interviewer asked a couple of questions, but I couldn't really understand the answers. In 20 minutes, the music began. I had understood wrong, I thought Glass would be playing, but 4 different people was playing his music. 

It was okay, until the last 30 minutes where an incredible violonist, Tim Fain, began to play. Absolutely unbelievable and inspiring young man who apparently did the soundtrack for "Black Swan"! 

I have to say, it was worth it. 

"Motivation will make up for a lot of failings."

"You practice and you get better. It's very simple."

 "I work every morning without fail."

"I always knew what I wanted to do and I did it." 


  1. I felt the same! I loved Tim Fain, but thought the others were mediocre. I liked the space and our seats. Next time we'll make sure Glass is playing!

  2. Very interesting piece. I didnt go but now faith will lead my way...