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Hear Philip Glass Quartet LIVE

American composer Philp Glass

American composer Philp Glass

Live from WFMT, Monday at 8:00 pm

WFMT’s weekly recital series, Live from WFMT, welcomes the Spektral Quartet on Monday to perform music by Stravinsky, Rands, Beethoven, and Glass.

Composer Philip Glass says when he first started composing, it was for string quartet. Admittedly, those were student pieces which he later discarded. Though only five are known to the public, Mr. Glass has written eight in all. He wrote his first published quartet in 1966, but didn’t return to the form until 1983 when he wrote incidental music for a dramatization of Samuel Beckett’s Company.

Company is a haunting tale of an old man who is lying alone in the dark when a ghostly voice pays him a visit, one that knows intimate details of his life.

Mr. Glass reworked Company’s incidental music for a concert piece, calling it String Quartet No.2, Company.


The Spektral Quartet: Russell Rolen, Doyle Armbrust, Clara Lyon, Austin Wulliman

Performers often comment on the intimate, introspective, and profound nature of the string quartet. Philip Glass says: “In an odd way, string quartets have always functioned like that for composers. I don’t really know why, but it’s almost impossible to get away from it. It’s the way composers of the past have thought and that’s no less true for me…It’s almost as if we say we’re going to write a string quartet, we take a deep breath, and we wade in to try to write the most serious, significant piece that we can.”

Philip Glass was born in Baltimore in 1937 and has become one of today’s most prominent composers. He’s also one of America’s most recognizable composers, thanks to his distinctive use of motoric rhythms and gradually unfolding textures, popularly known as minimalism. He’s written scores for dozens of films, including The Thin Blue Line, The Truman Show, The Fog of War, The Hours, and The Illusionist.

The Spektral Quartet started playing together in 2010. They are in residence at the University of Chicago and are activist musicians, pursuing new compositions and innovative ways to bring music to new communities. They’ve formed wide-ranging traditional and non-traditional partnerships in the creative arts, including with Rush Hour Concerts and comedian Dave Chappelle.

Live from WFMT airs weekly at 8:00 pm and is hosted by Kerry Frumkin.


Stravinsky: Concertino

Bernard Rands: String Quartet No.2

Beethoven: String Quartet No.15 in A minor, Op.132

Philip Glass: String Quartet No.2, Company

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