2017–2018 Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair
Carnegie Hall honored iconic composer Philip Glass, who also celebrated his 80th birthday year, as the 2017–2018 Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair. In December, violinist Tim Fain performed Glass’s Violin Concerto No. 2, “The American Four Seasons,” with the American Composers Orchestra. Glass’s lesser-known music was reimagined in world premiere arrangements by composer-pianist Nico Muhly and a community of his musical friends in a February concert. In that same month, the Philip Glass Ensemble returned to Carnegie Hall—after a long absence—to perform his groundbreaking Music with Changing Parts. As part of his residency, Glass wanted American orchestras to submit engaging programs that included his music. Two orchestras that have displayed a longtime affinity for his music did. The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra gave rousing performances of his Days and Nights in Rocinha, Concerto Fantasy for Two Timpanists and Orchestra, and music by Mexican composer Silvestre Revueltas. In April, the Pacific Symphony had its turn with a program that recalled Glass’s collaborations with sitar master Ravi Shankar, including “Meetings Along the Edge” from Passages (based on a Shankar theme), with Anoushka Shankar as soloist, and the New York premiere of the complete version of The Passion of Ramakrishna. There was also the US premiere of his String Quartet No. 8, a work co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall and performed by the JACK Quartet.