Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Philip Glass is a graduate of the University of Chicago and the Juilliard School. In the early 1960s, Glass spent two years of intensive study in Paris with Nadia Boulanger and while there earned money by transcribing Ravi Shankar's Indian music into Western notation. Upon his return to New York, he applied these eastern techniques to his own music.
By 1974, Glass had a number of significant and innovative projects, creating a large collection of new music for his performing group, The Philip Glass Ensemble, and for the Mabou Mines Theater Company, which he co-founded. This period culminated in Music in Twelve Parts, followed by the landmark opera, Einstein on the Beach, created with Robert Wilson in 1976. Since Einstein, Glass has expanded his repertoire to include music for opera, dance, theater, chamber ensemble, orchestra, and film. His score for Martin Scorsese's Kundun received an Academy Award nomination while his score for Peter Weir's The Truman Show won him a Golden Globe. His film score for Stephen Daldry's The Hours received Golden Globe, Grammy, and Academy Award nominations, along with winning a BAFTA in Film Music from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.
In 2003, Glass premiered the opera The Sound of a Voice with David Henry Hwang, created the score to Errol Morris' Academy Award winning documentary The Fog of War, and released the CD Etudes for Piano Vol. I, No. 1-10 on the Orange Mountain Music label. In 2004 Glass premiered the new work Orion, a collaboration between Glass and six other international artists opening in Athens as part of the cultural celebration of the 2004 Olympics in Greece and his Piano Concerto No. 2 (After Lewis and Clark) with the Omaha Symphony Orchestra. Upcoming in 2005 is his Symphony No. 7 with the National Symphony Orchestra and the opera Waiting for the Barbarians, based on the book by John Coetzee.