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Philip Glass Ensemble to revive forgotten work, Music in Eight Parts, for performances in 2020 and 2

In 2020 and 2021, The Philip Glass Ensemble will perform Philip Glass' Music in Eight Parts, thought to be lost, for the first time in 50 years. Composed in 1970 shortly before Music in 12 Parts and Music in Similar Motion, Music in Eight Parts was played that year only at the Guggenheim Museum in New York and at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and was largely forgotten until the manuscript was recently auctioned at Christie’s.

Composer Alex Ring Grey writes, “Music in Eight Parts was completed in early 1970, premiering at the Guggenheim on January 16 with an early lineup of the Philip Glass Ensemble. It is described by Glass as ‘an abandoned piece,’ retired after only four performances. For years, he thought no manuscript had survived, having sold it to pay off debt incurred by the original production of Einstein on the Beach. Glass describes Music in Eight Parts as ‘actually for eight contrapuntal parts. The piece begins in unison and with each successive note the number of parts increases. As it goes on, you get eventually to a twelve-note figure and the piece comes to sound like an accordion: it keeps opening up and closing. That’s what I meant by ‘parts’ there.’ He later expanded upon these musical textures in Music in Twelve Parts, composed from 1971-74."

Photo: World premiere of Music in Eight Parts, 1970 at the Guggenheim Museum. l to r: Art Murphy, David Behrman, Beverly Lauridsen, Dickie Landry, Jon Gibson, James Tenney, and Philip Glass.

No recording of Music in Eight Parts currently exists. The PGE will be recording the work for release on Orange Mountain Music next year.

During the 2020–21 season, the PGE will focus on re-launching Music in Eight Parts in concert, as well as selections from North Star and A Descent Into the Maelström. Additional repertoire will include selections from Music in Twelve Parts, Music in Similar Motion, Glassworks, Einstein on the Beach, Koyaanisqatsi, and The Photographer.

For more information & booking inquiries, contact Christina Jensen:, 646*536*7864 x1

Visit to learn more about The Philip Glass Ensemble.

The Philip Glass Ensemble is the exclusive performer of its repertoire. Philip Glass will not personally appear with the Ensemble unless otherwise noted on the tour calendar.

By special arrangement with Philip Glass and Dunvagen Music Publishers, Inc.

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