Philip Glass and his relationship with Linz

On January 31, Linz celebrated the 85th birthday of composer Philip Glass at the Ars Electronica Center with a very special concert played by Dennis Russel Davies and Maki Namekawa.

The US-American Philip Glass is one of the most productive and most performed composers of our time. His particularly close relationship with Linz is probably also due to his friendship with the pianist and conductor Dennis Russel Davies, one of the most competent Glass interpreters, was opera director and principal conductor of the Bruckner Orchestra in Linz for 15 years. During this time, he also conveyed Glass's musical work. 2009 Linz became the provincial capital of culture and Glass composed his opera "Kepler" especially for this event; the celestial physicist Johannes Kepler worked in Linz for 16 years. At the opening of the Linz Music Theatre in 2013, Glass came in person and interpreted his own compositions on the piano. Some of his numerous symphonies and operas had their world or European premieres in Linz. The Japanese pianist Maki Namekawa, a mediator of contemporary music and also an accomplished Glass interpreter, is also based in Linz and has close ties with Glass. In 2013 Namekawa premiered in Perth and in 2017 performed again Glass's entire cycle of 20 etudes for solo piano in Linz.


"Finely balanced sound carpets with repetitive rhythm structures still form the basis of Glass's style today. Subtle metamorphoses constantly peel out of the sea of broad sounds, simplicity is paired with opulence, which definitely increases with the composer's increasing age" the ORF (Austrian Broadcasting) pays tribute to this extraordinary musician. diesen außergewöhnlichen Musiker.



The city of Linz honoured the 85th birthday of Philip Glass and the close relationship between the composer, the piano duo and the city with this very special concert. Dennis Russel Davies and Maki Namekawa played works composed especially for them by Philip Glass. The brilliant highlight of the concert was the piece "Four Movements for Two Pianos", played on two concert grand pianos 230VC. The digital real-time visualisations by Cori O'Lan were created live using a built-in microphone.


Foto: Ars Electronica Linz / Video