The Creative Pulse: A Conversation with Philip Glass (VIDEO)

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Composer Philip Glass discusses his music and how the process of artistic collaboration with exceptionally creative minds (including Robert Wilson, Allen Ginsberg, Ravi Shankar, and Godfrey Reggio, among many others), has shaped his musical output.  Their artistic partnerships have undoubtedly had an impact on New York cultural landscape and, in the process, have contributed noticeably to the creative economy of the city. As recently reported by the New Yorker, Philip Glass is actively composing and creating new music. To find more of Glass’ current work, visit this website.

Also in the program, Claire Chase, MacArthur Prize-winning flutist and director of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) will moderate a question-and-answer session with Glass and the audience.  Chase will also perform a piece for flute by Glass.

This program is part of the Lloyd Old and Constance Old Lectures, which is a series of talks and debates by major cultural figures addressing the changing consumption, creation, contexts, and valuations of today’s music. They are presented in midtown Manhattan by the Barry S. Brook Center for Music Research and Documentation of the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.  Also, this lecture is part of a yearlong initiative, beginning in the Fall 2013 called The Future of New York’s Creative Economy. Programs, under the motto “The life of the mind in the heart of the city,” will explore the city’s creative industries with eminent artists, journalists, cultural leaders, and scholars.

Philip Glass: The Creative Pulse
Tuesday, October 15, 2013, 6:30pm
The Elebash Recital Hall
The Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10016
Free. Reservaions Required

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Philip Glass is a graduate of the University of Chicago and the Juilliard School. In the early 1960s, Glass spent two years of intensive study in Paris with Nadia Boulanger and while there, earned money by transcribing Ravi Shankar’s Indian music into Western notation. By 1974, Glass had a number of innovative projects, creating a large collection of new music for The Philip Glass Ensemble, and for the Mabou Mines Theater Company. This period culminated in Music in Twelve Parts, and the landmark opera, Einstein on the Beach for which he collaborated with Robert Wilson. Since Einstein, Glass has expanded his repertoire to include music for opera, dance, theater, chamber ensemble, orchestra, and film. His scores have received Academy Award nominations (Kundun, The Hours, Notes on a Scandal) and a Golden Globe (The Truman Show).  Symphony No. 7 and Symphony No. 8—Glass’ latest symphonies—along with Waiting for the Barbarians, an opera based on the book by J.M. Coetzee, premiered in 2005. In the past few years several new works were unveiled, including Book of Longing (Luminato Festival) and an opera about the end of the Civil War entitled Appomattox (San Francisco Opera). Glass’ opera Kepler premiered with the Landestheater Linz, Austria in 2009 and his recent opera, The Perfect American about the death of Walt Disney premiered at the Teatro Real, Madrid in 2013 with additional performances by the English National Opera.  His Symphony #9 was completed in 2011 and was premiered by the Bruckner Orchestra in Linz, Austria in 2012 and his Symphony #10 received its European premiere in France that same year.  Glass’ most recent opera Spuren de Verirrten,  ‘The Lost’, premiered at the Landestheater Linz, Austria in 2013. . In August of 2011, Glass launched the inaugural season of The Days And Nights Festival, a multi-disciplinary arts festival in Carmel / Big Sur, California:

Our Guests in the News

May 3, 2013

Recently, the 2013 Lloyd Old and Constance Old lecturer Paul Griffiths contributed a piece to the Los Angeles Times for the centennial of composer Benjamin Britten.  Griffiths writes, “Innocence, freshness, a dash of daring. The composer transformed yearning into transcendent art.” For more of this article, click here.  Mr. Griffiths also recently wrote the obituary for composer Colin Davis for the New York Times, where he describes Davis as a composer “who brought immense authority and an almost palpable zest to his music-making on both sides of the Atlantic.”  To read the full article, click here.

Conductor Jeff Milarsky, the interlocutor for Paul Griffiths’ lecture, has been actively performing with the Columbia University Orchestra, giving two concerts in April.

Additionally, the composer Rebecca Saunders, whose piece “Song” will be performed at the 2013 lecture, was featured in an article in the New Yorker about contemporary women composers.  “The withdrawn, almost secretive atmosphere of Saunders’s music,” writes Alex Ross in the article, “also sets it apart from the sonic thunder of mainstream modernism. She has said that she is most interested in the way sound materializes out of silence.”  To read the full article, click here.

We Are What We Hear

Friday, May 10, 2013

The Spring 2013 Lloyd Old and Constance Old Lecture, We Are What We Hear, will be presented on May 10, 2013, at 6:30 pm.  Described as “admirably lucid,” Paul Griffiths’s music criticism has appeared in the New York Times, the New Yorker, and the Times Literary Supplement, among other major publications.  Griffiths has also written many seminal books on modern music as well as short stories, novels, and libretti.  Translated into German, Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Turkish, and Portuguese, his writings have shaped the scholarship and public discourse about music in the 20th and 21st centuries.

“If, as I think, a music critic should be distinguished by three features: an informed and passionate involvement with new music, an imaginative and civilised turn of phrase, and the readiness to warmly appreciate, Paul Griffiths has to be counted among the leading lights of this precarious trade” –Alfred Brendel

Mr. Griffiths has selected two relevant contemporary composers and two of their representative works to illustrate his talk:  Rebecca Saunders’ Song, for cello and piano (2001) and Hans Abrahmsen’s Herbstlied, for English horn, violin, viola, cello, and piano (2009).  This program, lasting less than 15 minutes, will be performed by some of the most outstanding graduate students of the DMA Music Program of the CUNY Graduate Center.  This short performance will be followed by a conversation between Paul Griffiths and renowned contemporary music conductor Jeff Milarsky.  A short Q&A session will follow.

Friday, May 10, 2013, 6:30 pm

Elebash Recital Hall

365 Fifth Avenue

New York, NY 10016

Admission Free. No reservations required



Jeff Milarsky is Conductor and Music Director of the Columbia University Orchestra and Columbia’s Manhattan Sinfonietta, which focuses on 20th- and 21st- century scores. In addition he is on the faculty of The Manhattan School of Music as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Percussion Ensemble as well as the Music Director of AXIOM, The Juilliard School’s critically acclaimed contemporary music ensemble.  In September of 2008 he was named to the conducting faculty of the Juilliard School.

Inaugural Lecture: The Challenges of Modernist Music (VIDEO)

Inaugural Lecture: April 18, 2012 6:30 pm

The Challenges of Modernist Music

Lecture and performance by Charles Rosen

Followed by a conversation with Daniel J. Wakin, Culture Department, The New York Times

Elebash Recital Hall
The Graduate Center, CUNY
365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016
Admission free

The first lecture of the series will be given by Charles Rosen, celebrated pianist and writer upon whom President Barack Obama conferred the National Humanities Medal in early 2012. Rosen is the author of the acclaimed The Classical Style, a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books, and a passionate advocate of new music. He will assess the impact of contemporary music in the 21st century, exploring issues such as the role of public and private institutions, the responsibility of education in keeping the arts alive, the divide between commercial popular music and the concert experience, and the challenges of art’s accessibility from the 18th century until today.



President Obama awards Charles Rosen a National Humanities Medal

President Barack Obama with Charles Rosen after awarding him a National Humanities Medal during a ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, D.C. on February 13, 2012. Photo by Alison Waldman

Freedom and the Arts — Essays on Music and Literature

Is there a moment in history when a work receives its ideal interpretation? Or is negotiation always required to preserve the past and accommodate the present? The freedom of interpretation, Charles Rosen suggests in these sparkling explorations of music and literature, exists in a delicate balance with fidelity to the identity of the original work.

Read more, purchase book here.