Philip Glass celebrated his 80th birthday on Jan. 31 with the premiere of his Eleventh Symphony, a lengthy Carnegie Hall ovation greeting the onetime maverick. For anyone who remembers just how much of a pariah Glass’s minimalism once made him — audience members yelling or throwing eggs during concerts were not unheard-of — the flood of mainstream acceptance is astonishing.
Yet few composers of Glass’s age seem to enjoy so secure a stature. He has been fabulously well recorded: Some of his own performances of early works can be heard to bracing effect in a 24-CD box set from Sony, while many of his recent creations (including the first 10 symphonies) are available on his own Orange Mountain Music label. The author of well over 200 works, he remains a deeply engaged composer — a few years ago he rewrote his Civil War opera “Appomattox” in response to the Supreme Court’s gutting of the Voting Rights Act — and an active performer with the Philip Glass Ensemble.
Read the rest of article in the Boston Globe by David Weininger.