Composer Philip Glass to perform at WCSU on Oct. 18

DANBURY, CONN. Philip Glass, internationally acclaimed composer of operas, symphonies and theatrical and film scores, will perform on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, at Western Connecticut State University in a benefit concert for a charitable organization providing shelter, education and care for abandoned children in Tibet.

Glass will be joined by longtime collaborator Jon Gibson, a composer and versatile wind instrumentalist, for the performance at 8 p.m. in Ives Concert Hall in White Hall on the university’s Midtown campus, 181 White St. in Danbury. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Tibetan Home of Hope, sponsor for the event; ticket reservations and information are available at (203) 837-TIXX or www.wcsu.edu/tickets.

Composer of contemporary opera classics including “Einstein on the Beach,” “Satyagraha” and “Akhnaten,” Glass has presented solo keyboard performances worldwide and continues to appear regularly with the Philip Glass Ensemble, which he founded in New York in 1967. He has come to be identified with a musical genre known as “minimalism,” though his website biography noted he “never liked the term and preferred to speak of himself as a composer of ‘music with repetitive structures.’

“Much of his early work was based on the extended reiteration of brief, elegant melodic fragments that wove in and out of an aural tapestry,” the biography said. “To put it another way, it immersed a listener in a sort of sonic weather that twists, turns, surrounds and develops.”

Glass has composed more than 20 operas, eight symphonies, and several concertos for piano, string and wind instruments. His prolific body of work covers a wide spectrum of musical styles and audiences, from soundtracks for films by directors ranging from Jean Cocteau to Martin Scorsese to experimental theater scores and solo piano and organ compositions. He has collaborated with many popular artists including Paul Simon, Linda Ronstadt, Twyla Tharp, Allen Ginbsberg, David Bowie, Yo-Yo Ma and Doris Lessing.

“His personal and professional associations with leading rock, pop and world music artists date back to the 1960s,” his biography observed. “Glass is the first composer to win a wide, multi-generational audience in the opera house, the concert hall, the dance world, in film and in popular music — simultaneously.”

One of his recurring collaborators in the Philip Glass Ensemble has been Gibson, who has established his own reputation over more than three decades as a composer, visual artist and performer on saxophone, flute and clarinet. His eclectic projects have ranged from performance in works by composers Steve Reich, Terry Riley and LaMonte Young to his involvement in preserving the work and legacy of the late modern dance choreographer Nancy Topf. Recent projects have included his collaborations with the Nina Winthrop Dance Company and dancers Elisabetta Vittoni and Hetty King, and his composition of the music/theater work “Violet Fire” about the inventor Nicola Tesla.

Gibson’s diverse creativity has branched out into visual art including drawings, videos and prints exhibited in solo and group shows in the United States and abroad. He has received grants from the New York State Council for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation and the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust.

The concert will be held to benefit the Tibetan Home of Hope, a nonsectarian home and school in the Tibetan region of Amdo that seeks to provide shelter, education and care for children who face abandonment. The organization’s continuing efforts to promote the well-rounded development of youths residing at the orphanage have been complemented by initiatives such as organic farming, artisan workshops and community outreach designed to assure the sustainability of the program.

The charitable organization, founded by Dr. Tashi Dolma, seeks “to contribute to the preservation of Tibetan culture while supplying the children with the best care and education possible within their homeland,” the mission statement on its website said. “A vital component to our mission is our dedication to the sustainability of the Tibetan people, their culture and the balance of nature.”

The Glass concert at WCSU will be held during the week of the visit by His Holiness the Dalai Lama to the university for two talks on Oct. 18 and 19.

For more information about the Tibetan Home of Hope, call (845) 268-2339.

Western Connecticut State University offers outstanding faculty in a range of quality academic programs. Our diverse university community provides students an enriching and supportive environment that takes advantage of the unique cultural offerings of Western Connecticut and New York. Our vision: To be an affordable public university with the characteristics of New England’s best small private universities.

 

 

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