Glass was born in 1937 and grew up in Baltimore. He studied at the University of Chicago, the Juilliard School, in Aspen with Darius Milhaud and later with the legendary pedagogue Nadia Boulanger and worked closely with the sitar virtuoso and composer Ravi Shankar. He returned to New York in 1967 and formed the Philip Glass Ensemble.
There has been nothing “minimalist” about his output. In the past 25 years, Glass has composed more than twenty five operas, large and small; twelve symphonies; thirteen concertos including three piano concertos and concertos for violin, piano, timpani, and saxophone quartet and orchestra; two books of piano etudes and eight string quartets.