EINSTEIN ON THE BEACH
PHILIP GLASS Born in Baltimore, Maryland, 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. The critically acclaimed films The Illusionist and Notes on a Scandal were released last year, with Notes earning Glass an Oscar nomination for best original score.
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. Glass’ latest symphonies, Symphony No. 7 and Symphony No. 8, premiered in 2005 with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, and Bruckner Orchester Linz at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, respectively. 2005 also saw the premiere of Waiting for the Barbarians, an opera based on the book by J.M. Coetzee. Glass’ orchestral tribute to Indian spiritual leader Sri Ramakrishna, The Passion of Ramakrishna, premiered in 2006 at Orange County Performing Arts Center.
Glass maintained a dense creative schedule throughout 2007 and 2008, unveiling several highly anticipated works, including a music theater piece, Book of Longing, based on Leonard Cohen’s book of poetry and an opera about the end of the Civil War titled Appomattox, which premiered at the San Francisco Opera. The English National Opera, in conjunction with the Metropolitan Opera, remounted Glass’ Satyagraha, which appeared in New York in April 2008. Recent film projects include a score to Woody Allen’s film, Cassandra’s Dream.
Glass’ most recent opera, based on the life and work of Johannes Kepler and commissioned by Linz 2009, Cultural Capital of Europe, and Landestheater Linz, premiered in September 2009 in Linz, Austria.
ROBERT WILSON Of Wilson's artistic career, Susan Sontag has added "it has the signature of a major artistic creation. I can't think of any body of work as large or as influential." A native of Waco, Texas, Wilson was educated at the University of Texas and arrived in New York in 1963 to attend Brooklyn's Pratt Institute. Soon thereafter Wilson set to work with his Byrd Hoffman School of Byrds and together with his company developed his first signature works including King of Spain (1969), Deafman Glance (1970), The Life and Times of Joseph Stalin (1973), and A Letter for Queen Victoria (1974). Regarded as a leader in Manhattan's then-burgeoning downtown art scene, Wilson turned his attention to large-scale opera and, with Philip Glass, created the monumental Einstein on the Beach (1976) which achieved world-wide acclaim and altered conventional notions of a moribund form.
Following Einstein, Wilson worked increasingly with major European theaters and opera houses. In collaboration with internationally renowned writers and performers, Wilson created landmark original works that were featured regularly at the Festival d'Automne in Paris, Der Berliner Ensemble, the Schaubühne in Berlin, the Thalia Theater in Hamburg, the Salzburg Festival, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival. At the Schaubühne he created Death Destruction & Detroit (1979) and Death Destruction & Detroit II (1987); and at the Thalia he presented the groundbreaking musical works The Black Rider (1991) and Alice (1992). He has also applied his striking formal language to the operatic repertoire including Parsifal in Hamburg (1991), Houston (1992), and Los Angeles (2005); The Magic Flute (1991), Madame Butterfly (1993); and Lohengrin at the Metropolitan Opera in New York (1998 & 2006). Wilson recently completed an entirely new production, based on an epic poem from Indonesia, entitled I La Galigo, which toured extensively and appeared at the Lincoln Center Festival in the summer of 2005. Wilson continues to direct revivals of his most celebrated productions, including The Black Rider in London, San Francisco, Sydney, Australia, and Los Angeles; The Temptation of St. Anthony in New York and Barcelona; Erwartung in Berlin; Madama Butterfly at the Bolshoi Opera in Moscow; and Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen at Le Châtelet in Paris.
Wilson's practice is firmly rooted in the fine arts and his drawings, furniture designs, and installations have been exhibited in museums and galleries internationally. Extensive retrospectives have been presented at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. He has mounted installations at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, London's Clink Street Vaults, and the Guggenheim Museums in New York and Bilbao. His extraordinary tribute to Isamu Noguchi has been exhibited recently at the Seattle Art Museum and his installation of the Guggenheim's Giorgio Armani retrospective have traveled to London, Rome and Tokyo.
Each summer Wilson decamps to the Watermill Center, a laboratory for the arts and humanities in eastern Long Island. The Watermill Center which brings together students and experienced professionals in a multi-disciplinary environment dedicated to creative collaboration. A three-day gala benefit and re-dedication of the reconstructed main building is scheduled for the summer of 2006.
Wilson's numerous awards and honors include an Obie award for direction, the Golden Lion for sculpture from the Venice Biennale, the 3rd Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize for Lifetime Achievement, the Premio Europa award from Taormina Arte, two Guggenheim Fellowship awards, the Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship award, a nomination for the Pulitzer Prize in Drama, the Golden Lion for Sculpture from the Venice Biennale, election to the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the National Design Award for Lifetime Achievement, and named as Commandeur des arts et des letters by the French Minister of Culture.
Childs graduated as a dance major from Sarah Lawrence College in 1962 (where she studied with Judith Dunn and Bessie Schönberg) and then studied at the Merce Cunningham studio. She began her professional career as a choreographer and performer in 1963 as an original member of the Judson Dance Theater in New York. After forming her own dance company in 1973, Ms. Childs collaborated with Robert Wilson and Philip Glass on the opera Einstein on the Beach, participating as a lead performer and choreographer, she also participated in the revivals of the opera in 1984,1992 and 2007, and is currently scheduled for involvement in the third revival of the opera at Lincoln Center, in November 2009. During 1977-78, Ms. Childs performed opposite Wilson, in his two-act play I Was Sitting On My Patio This Guy Appeared I Thought I Was Hallucinating, and in 1987-88, in Wilson's production of Heiner Muller's Quartett at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In 1996-97 Childs appeared in Wilson's production of La Maladie de la Mort by Marguerite Duras, opposite French actor Michel Piccoli.
Since 1979, Ms. Childs has collaborated with a number of composers and designers, including John Adams and Frank Gehry, on a series of large-scale productions. Among these projects was Dance, choreographed in 1979 with music by Philip Glass, and a film/decor by Sol LeWitt, for which Ms. Childs was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. Since 1981, Ms. Childs has received a number of commissions from major ballet companies; these include the Paris Opéra Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Berlin Opera Ballet, Lyon Opéra Ballet, Les Ballets de Monte-Carlo, Geneva Opera Ballet, Ballet du l’Opéra du Rhin, the Boston Ballet, and the Bayerisches Staatsballett of Munich.
In 2003, Ms Childs choreographed Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe, for the Geneva Opera Ballet and revived Concerto with music by Henry Gorecki, which was choreographed for her own company in 1993. In 2003, she also choreographed Opus One, a new solo for Mikhail Baryshnikov with music by Alban Berg, and then in 2004 she choreographed Bartok’s Mandarin Merveilleux for the Ballet de l’Opéra du Rhin. In 2005, Ms. Childs choreographed a Ten Part Suite for the Boston Ballet with music by Arcangelo Corelli, which premiered at the Wang Center in Boston.
In April 2007, The Bayerisches Staats Ballett in Munich revived Chamber Symphony, where it premiered in 1994, with music by John Adams. That same year she also appeared in Robert Wilson’s production of Bach’s Passion of Saint John at the Théâtre de Chatelet in Paris, before returning to the Opéra du Rhin to choreograph and direct Stravinsky’s Le Rossignol and Oedipus Rex.
Since 1992, Ms. Childs has worked extensively in the domain of opera, including Luc Bondy's production of Richard Strauss's Salome, which she choreographed for the Salzburg Festival, and in 1999, and then later revived for La Scala in Milan in March, 2007. In 1995 she choreographed Bondy's production of Verdi's Macbeth for the Scottish Opera, and Peter Stein's De Nederlandse Opera's production of Moise et Aron. That same year Ms. Childs directed her first opera, Mozart's Zaide, for La Monnaie in Brussels. In 2001, Childs choreographed the Los Angeles Opera’s production of Wagner’s Lohengrin, conducted by Kent Nagano. In 2002, Ms. Childs directed Gluck's Orfeo ed Euridice for the Scottish Opera and in 2003, Ms. Childs was invited to return to Los Angeles Opera to choreograph and direct a new production of Orfeo ed Euridice. Ms. Childs also choreographed Roland Aeschlimann's production of Wagner’s Parsifal, which premiered at the Grand Theatre de Genève in 2004, and most recently she choreographed John Adams new opera, Doctor Atomic, directed by Peter Sellars, which premiered in 2005 with the San Francisco Opera, was later revived by the Holland Festival in June 2007, and recently appeared at the Lyric Opera of Chicago in December 2007.
In 2004 Ms. Childs was appointed by the French Government to the rank of Commandeur dans l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.