‘After Einstein on the Beach, I went back to driving a New York cab’

‘After Einstein on the Beach, I went back to driving a New York cab’


norman lebrecht

January 26, 2017

From Fiona Maddocks’ interview with the new octogenarian, Philip Glass:

After Einstein on the Beach I went back to driving a New York cab. I didn’t mind that. It was interesting work. I didn’t have an agent. I ran all the business side of it and the box office myself. I enjoyed it. I grew up in the music business. I was happy to do it. But it took at lot of time and work. In 1979 when we did our first Carnegie Hall concert we had to pay for it, and sell the tickets! Eventually I formed a publishing company and had people doing it for me. I didn’t do it for them!

More driving tips here.


  • Mario Denis says:

    His trilogy is superb, inventive, sounding newand fresh even today,
    that was creativity. His later works are mainly extensions of each other…..lots of very boring stuff like Dracula, Kundun, Belle et la Bête etc etc….
    Hydrogen Jukebox is a masterpiece, in my top 10 all time favorites. Wish I was rich to be able attend all his presentations around the world!

  • Jonathan Dunsby says:

    Thanks – and a bit of a swipe at Boulez, I reckon :

    [Q] Have the old divisions between musical styles – a source of surprisingly bitter contention in the last decades of the 20th century – now healed?

    [A] No no no no no. Those divisions never healed. Those people just died! The people who don’t want you don’t change their minds. You outlive them, if you’re lucky. They’re all dead now, the older guys. The battle was never won or lost. The army just went away….. It’s biology. Nothing more than that. They’ve just gone away… and we carry on playing.

  • Jake Salatino says:

    We want Einstein on the Beach to perform in Sacramento. Huge audience for it here.

  • JM Williams says:

    His is an inspiring story. The struggle for a career in music is never-ending, and I know exactly how he felt. I was working on the floor at office supply chain OfficeMax when I won a Grammy. I didn’t quit after that either. Summiting one mountain leads to the next, and the life skills found outside of music are invaluable additions to our musical arsenal.