A Pop Quiz on Philip Glass

Everything About 'Einstein on the Beach' Composer

Glass Works: Kate Moran, Helga Davis and Charles Williams perform in the revival of Philip Glass’s seminal 1976 opera, ‘Einstein on the Beach.’
Lucie Jansch
Glass Works: Kate Moran, Helga Davis and Charles Williams perform in the revival of Philip Glass’s seminal 1976 opera, ‘Einstein on the Beach.’

By Eileen Reynolds

Published September 18, 2012, issue of September 21, 2012.
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II. THE EUROPEAN AVANT-GARDE

In 1964, Glass traveled to Paris to study counterpoint with Nadia Boulanger, the legendary taskmaster and teacher of 20th-century American greats like Aaron Copland. While abroad, Glass also:

(A) got married.

(B) studied Indian music with sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar.

(C) became interested in experimental theater, especially plays by Samuel Beckett.

(D) wrote his first piece for the theater, a soprano saxophone duet to accompany Beckett’s “Play.”

(E) attended a couple of Pierre Boulez concerts and decided they weren’t for him.

(F) began thinking about additive and cyclical rhythms.

(G) all of the above.

Answer: G — and then some.

What did actresses JoAnne Akalaitis and Ruth Maleczech do in performances of Glass’s 1960s concert work “Music for Woodwind Quartet and Two Actresses”?

Declaimed a soufflé recipe over the music. Tragically, the work has been lost.

III. WHY MAKING MONEY IS DIFFERENT FROM SELLING OUT

Which two rock musicians attended a performance of Glass’s “Music With Changing Parts” (1970) at London’s Royal College of Art in 1971?

David Bowie and Brian Eno. Glass’s influence found its way into their work, and in 1992 Glass brought things full circle with his Symphony No. 1, which was loosely based around three themes from their 1977 album, “Low.”

For which film did Glass win the Golden Globe Award for best original score?

“The Truman Show” (1998). His scores for “The Hours” (2002) and “Kundun” (1997) also snagged Golden Globe nominations and, along with the score for “Notes on a Scandal” (2006), were nominated for Oscars. Other notable works for the big screen include the score for Errol Morris’s documentary “The Thin Blue Line” (1988) and the spooky piece Glass wrote for the Kronos Quartet on the occasion of the rerelease of “Dracula” (1931) in 1999.

Who wrote the lyrics for Glass’s pop-ish album “Songs From Liquid Days” (1986)?

Paul Simon, Suzanne Vega, David Byrne and Laurie Anderson. “Everybody was hoping that somehow, accidentally, I would write a hit song,” Glass later said of the project. He didn’t.

Philip Glass’s likeness was used to advertise which product?

Cutty Sark Scots Whisky, in a 1982 advertisement in Newsweek under the banner “Here’s to those who can make history out of the same 12 notes.”


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