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date: 18 August 2019

Glass, Philiplocked

  • Edward Strickland

Extract

(b Baltimore, Jan 31, 1937). American composer and performer. Along with Reich, Riley and Young, he was a principal figure in the establishment of minimalism in the 1960s. He has since become one of the most commercially successful, and critically reviled, composers of his generation.

He began to study the violin at the age of six, then at eight the flute with Britton Johnson at the Peabody Conservatory. At 12 he started composing, while taking harmony lessons with Louis Cheslock and working in his father’s record shops after school. He left school at 15 for the University of Chicago (BA in Liberal Arts 1956) under their early entrance programme. In Chicago he was a piano pupil of Marcus Rasking, who introduced him to the 12-note technique, which he then adopted but abandoned by graduation. In 1956–7 he took extension courses at the Juilliard School, and then returned to Baltimore for six months to earn enough money as a crane operator at Bethlehem Steel to finance formal Juilliard studies. He enrolled in late ...

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