The American composer Philip Glass has enjoyed a degree of popularity unusual among contemporary composers. A pupil of Nadia Boulanger, he was influenced too by the Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar and has won a reputation as an exponent of minimalism, based on the systematic repetition of a motif, modified or extended.
Glass’s stage works Einstein on the Beach (1975–6), in collaboration with Bob Wilson, Satyagraha (1980) and Akhnaten (1983) have won particular favour in some quarters. He has written a number of theatre works since, including Hydrogen Jukebox (1990).
Glass has written a number of successful film scores, including The Hours and The Truman Show.
Philip Glass has developed the expressive power of his music in a phase that may be described as post-minimalist. His Violin Concerto of 1987 is a lyrical and dramatic work, written in a style characteristic of his compositions of the period, three years after the first performance of Akhnaten.