Born in Baltimore, Maryland on January 31, 1937, Philip Glass began music lessons at age six. At 19, Glass graduated from the University of Chicago with majors in mathematics and philosophy. Determined to become a composer, he moved to New York and attended the Julliard School.
At age 23, was living in Paris and spent two years of intensive study under Nadia Boulanger. In Paris, he was hired by a filmmaker to transcribe the Indian music of Ravi Shankar into notation readable to western musicians. In the process, he discovered the techniques of Indian music.
After researching music in North Africa, India and the Himalayas, he returned to New York, renouncing his previous music, and applying eastern techniques to his own work. By 1974, Glass had involved himself in a number of significant and innovative projects. This period culminated in Music in Twelve Parts, followed by the landmark opera, Einstein on the Beach created with Robert Wilson in 1976. Since Einstein, Glass has expanded his repertoire to include music for opera, dance, theater, chamber ensemble, orchestra, and films.
* Philip Glass' photo by WNYC New York Public Radio (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0]