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Feb 16 & 17: The Philip Glass Ensemble gives special performance of Philip Glass’s Music in Twel

The Philip Glass Ensemble (PGE) will give a special performance of Philip Glass’s monumental four-hour work Music in Twelve Parts in the intimate setting of West Village club Le Poisson Rouge (158 Bleecker Street) over four sets on Sunday, February 16, 2020 at 4:30pm (Parts 1, 2, 3) and 7:30pm (Parts 4, 5, 6) and on Monday, February 17, 2020 at 6pm (Parts 7, 8, 9) and 9pm (Parts 10, 11, 12). Passes for all four sets as well as tickets for individual sets are now available. Each set will be approximately one-hour long. Click here for tickets and more details.

The Philip Glass Ensemble is the exclusive performer of its repertoire. Please note that Philip Glass will not be performing as part of these concerts. By special arrangement with Philip Glass and Dunvagen Music Publishers, Inc.

Music in Twelve Parts, written by Philip Glass between 1971 and 1974, is a deliberate, encyclopedic compendium of some techniques of repetition the composer had been evolving since the mid 1960s. It holds an important place in Glass’s repertory – not only from a historical vantage point (as the longest and most ambitious concert piece for The Philip Glass Ensemble) but from a purely aesthetic standard as well, because Music in Twelve Parts is both a massive theoretical exercise and a deeply engrossing work of art.

Of the work, Philip Glass writes, “Music in Twelve Parts would most likely be classified as a minimal work, it was a breakthrough for me and contains many of the structural and harmonic ideas that would be fleshed out in my later works. It is a modular work, one of the first such compositions, with twelve distinct parts which can be performed separately in one long sequence, or in any combination or variation.”

Watch The Philip Glass Ensemble perform Music in Twelve Parts: Part II

The Philip Glass Ensemble comprises the principal performers of the music of Philip Glass. In 1968, Glass founded the PGE in New York City as a laboratory for his music. Its purpose was to develop a performance practice to meet the unprecedented technical and artistic demands of his compositions. In pioneering this approach, the PGE became a creative wellspring for Glass, and its members remain inimitable interpreters of his work.

The artists of the PGE recognize their unique position in the history of music of the past half-century and passing on that legacy is part of their practice. A deep dedication to educating the next generation of musicians is integral to the PGE's work, both on tour and as the Ensemble-in-Residence at The Philip Glass Institute at The New School.

The PGE debuted at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1969, and in its early years performed primarily in the galleries, artist lofts, and museums of SoHo's then-thriving artistic community. In the five decades since, the PGE has performed in world-renowned music festivals and concert halls across five continents, and has made records with Sony, Nonesuch, and Orange Mountain Music.

Many of Philip Glass's most celebrated works were expressly composed for the PGE: its core concert pieces Music in Twelve Parts, Music in Similar Motion, and Music with Changing Parts; the opera and musical theater projects Einstein on the Beach, Hydrogen Jukebox, 1000 Airplanes on the Roof, Monsters of Grace; and the full-length dance works Dance (Lucinda Childs) and A Descent Into the Maelström (Australian Dance Theater). The PGE is most widely acclaimed for its soundtracks to Godfrey Reggio's trilogy of wordless films: Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqqatsi, and Naqoyqatsi. It is also featured in Glass's operas La Belle et la Bête and The Photographer.

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