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The Philip Glass Ensemble

Music with Changing Parts

The Philip Glass Ensemble with Philip Glass pose for a photo in a concert hall

A rare opportunity to see the Philip Glass Ensemble, as they perform one of the composer’s early masterpieces for the first time in over 48 years in the UK.

A matrix of keyboards lay the foundations for the piece, Music with Changing Parts, which, unusually for Glass’s work, is semi-improvisatory in arrangement. The conductor highlights and extends brief melodic fragments, which swirl around the group to create a shimmering, hypnotic, and almost psychedelic texture. Tonight, it’s presented in its recently updated iteration, featuring new parts for brass and children’s chorus.

Premiered in New York in 1970, Music with Changing Parts was a transitional work in Glass’s career. Melding electronic and  acoustic instruments and voice, the piece saw Glass experiment with richer harmonies and increased contrapuntal complexity, hinting at the landmark piece that he was to create next – Music in 12 Parts. ­


Start time: 8pm

Approximate running time: 90 minutes, no interval

Produced by the Barbican


Unfortunately, due to a sudden illness while on tour in Europe, Philip Glass will be unable to travel to London to join The Philip Glass Ensemble for the newly re-envisioned arrangement and European premiere of Music with Changing Parts. The programme will proceed as planned with replacement Ensemble pianist along with the featured new parts for brass and children’s chorus.  We wish Mr. Glass a speedy recovery.


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