Composer Philip Glass on fearless experimentation

Philip Glass' distinctive approach to music — blending rhythm, melody and harmony into one — has attracted both fandom and fury.
Philip Glass' work has attracted both fandom and fury. (Reuters)

Avant garde American composer Philip Glass made his career by defying convention, composing classical music that was heavily rhythmic but also destabilizing for his listeners. Needless to say, he wasn't always as well-received as he is now. Audience members used to howl in rage during his shows, and even tried to stop him in mid-performance. Some of his fellow musicians more quietly suggested he give up.

Despite years of pushback, today he's considered one of the most inventive composers of his generation.

Today he joins guest host Talia Schlanger to discuss his new memoir Words Without Music and his unflinching dedication to groundbreaking composition


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