Just in: What's Philip Glass doing on his 75th birthday? A ninth symphony, of course.

Never one to miss his timing, the ultimate minimalist has just announced the program for his 75th birthday concert at Carnegie Hall on January 31. It includes the US premiere of his ninth symphony which, according to this recent video interview, he only finished last week.

Philip Glass in conversation with Brian Ritchie

Press release follows.

AMERICAN COMPOSERS ORCHESTRA CELEBRATES
PHILIP GLASS’S 75TH BIRTHDAY
WITH CONDUCTOR LAUREATE DENNIS RUSSELL DAVIES
IN STERN AUDITORIUM/PERELMAN STAGE ON TUESDAY, JANUARY 31
Concert Features the US Premiere of Glass’s Ninth Symphony plus
New York Premiere of Arvo Pärt’s Lamentate

ACO Returns to Zankel Hall in March with Music Director George Manahan for
World Premieres by Gabriel Kahane and Ian Williams

On composer Philip Glass’s 75th birthdayTuesday, January 31, 2012 at 8:00 p.m., Conductor Laureate and American Composers Orchestra (ACO) co-founder Dennis Russell Davies returns to lead the orchestra in Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage. The celebratory program includes the US premiere of Glass’s Symphony No. 9 (co-commissioned by Carnegie Hall, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Bruckner Orchester Linz) and the New York premiere of Arvo Pärt’s Lamentate, with pianist Maki Namekawa.

The program notes describe Glass’s Symphony No. 9 as “a large scale, three movement work for orchestra, and while direct in form, it will be formidable in performance with piccolos doubled, horn section fortified, and with bass brass, and timpani doubled. The Ninth promises to be, in the composer’s words ‘big and unrelenting,’ with an avoidance of solo passagework, this piece will be a real team effort throughout. Each movement follows a similar plan: an opening theme broadly stated a contrasting highly energized middle section, and a slower ending with a newer version of the opening theme. Throughout the work becomes increasingly dense and contrapuntal thereby giving the whole work its overall dramatic shape.”

Philip Glass wrote his first purely orchestral work—his Violin Concerto—on a commission from ACO in 1987. He and Davies (who has been involved in the commission and/or recording of all of Glass’ symphonic works) have been musical collaborators for over 40 years.

The third and final performance of ACO’s Carnegie Hall season, titled Orchestra Underground: American Accounts, is conducted by George Manahan on Thursday, March 22, 2012 at 7:30 p.m.and features world premieres by Ian Williams and Gabriel Kahane, the New York premiere of Trail of Tears by Michael Daugherty, Milton Babbitt’s From the Psalter, and Aaron Copland’s Clarinet Concerto with clarinetist Derek Bermel. The program also features soprano Judith Bettina and flutistAmy Porter.

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