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Philip Glass: the popular radical

Forty years ago the composer Philip Glass’s minimalist aesthetic made him a radical outsider. Now he is one of modern classical music’s bestselling artists.

By Alexandra Coghlan   May 2015

"Musical guru and man of the people": Philip Glass playing in the Czech Republic in 2013

Words Without Music  by Philip Glass (Faber & Faber, £22.50)

In a 2011 New Yorker cartoon a man and a woman sit in two upright armchairs, adrift in a giant interior with an oversized canvas—a single wavy line—on the wall. The caption reads: “Only the rich can afford this much nothing.” There has always been…

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