Drama at the chamber concert

Dramatic life events inspired the works of the two American composers Philip Glass and Scott McAllister


Philip Glass

The works of two contemporary American composers will be performed at the Chamber Concert on July 3. Both of their compositions were inspired by dramatic, albeit very differing, life events.


Synonymous with minimalism, constructed from repetitive phrases and shifting layers, Philip Glass is regarded as one of the most influential composers of our time. The fifth movement of his String Quartet No. 3Blood Oath – gives a pretty good indication of the dark content matter behind the piece. The quartet was originally composed for Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters, a 1985 American biopic about the legendary Japanese writer Yukio Mishima, who famously attempted a coup and then committed suicide by seppuku.



Scott Mc Alister

Scott McAllister, a composer and clarinettist is particularly noted for his pieces featuring clarinet. The composer has described Funk as “a state of mind”, which takes its inspiration from the tribulations he was going through following the divorce from his wife.


Interestingly, McAllister’s writing style has been compared to that of Philip Glass. Clarinettist Richard Spece has said of Glass, “there is a tapestry of sound that he weaves melody in and out of […]. He has a sound, a colour sound mass behind that, and he is weaving melody in and out of that.” There are also similarities between the two in their minimalist techniques.


The works of Glass and McAllister feature alongside those of Maltese composers Verónique Vella and Joseph Vella, Japanese composer Makiko Kinoshita and Polish composer and conductor Krzysztof Penderecki. Each piece explores a different musical landscape.


To learn more about the programme, and to book tickets for the performance on July 3, click here.

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