Philip Glass has a new symphony for Kennedy Center’s 50th

Philip Glass has a new symphony for Kennedy Center’s 50th


norman lebrecht

April 06, 2021

The veteran minimalist leads seven commissions announced today for the Center’s 50th anniversary.

Others are by Mason Bates, Missy Mazzoli, Angélica Negrón, Joan Tower, James Lee III, and Peter Boyer.

Gianandrea Noseda will open the season in September with a 20th anniversary commemoration of the 9/11 terror attack.



  • I think this will be Glass Symphony #13. And practically indistinguishable from the first 12

  • guest 123 says:

    And they have a new composer in residence, Carlos Simon.

  • Anne says:

    I am asking this question with respect and curiosity. Can someone please explain to me why these organizations go for the same composers over and over? I am not a fan of Glass. Bates and Mazzoli are better but still this can’t be the best America has to offer. Why are so many other composers ignored? Thank you for your answers.

    • MWnyc says:

      Probably the best answer to your question, I would guess, is risk avoidance. You may not care for those composers, but a significant number of people do, and name recognition counts for an enormous amount in terms of ticket sales for classical concerts, even with contemporary music. Also, and maybe even more important, most (if not all) of these composers have experience writing for full orchestra (I presume these commissions are all for the national Symphony) and a record of completing commissions on time. No organization wants to announce and market a premiere and then postpone it because the music isn’t finished.

      • John Borstlap says:

        But also there is the reaction when confronted with something new: ‘But we have already something new, for years!’

    • Sorry you’re not a fan of Glass, but I am. Glass fans travel, have money, and will fill every seat of the hall. I don’t attend symphony orchestra concerts unless a PG work is going to be played. Since that rarely ever happens, I don’t spend much money going to otherwise boring symphony orchestra concerts. PG is a legend.

      • Anne says:

        Wow, that’s amazing. I didn’t know his fans travel to hear his music. Can you elaborate on why or what it is about his music that you like and are you a musician or a non-musician?

        Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    • John Borstlap says:

      It’s laziness.

    • Дымченко Игорь Александрович says:

      Philip Glass is one of the Greatest Composer in history of MUSIC.

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    The repeat markings will be followed by the number 50.

  • Jewel Dirks says:

    No no no No no no No no no No no no No no no No no no No mo no No no no No mo no No no no ad nauseam……

  • Mr. Bubbles says:

    Ohhhh my I’m so hyped about an other boring monotone arpeggio massacre!

  • John Borstlap says:

    Oh dear!

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    Instead of going “doe-da-dee-dah, doe-da-dee-dah”, this new one will go “dee-da-doe-dah, dee,da-doe-dah”. How utterly profound.