The Philip Glass Connection

philip glass

The World-premiere of Philip Glass's Piano Quintet No.1

with pianist Paul Barnes and the Chiara Quartet
with Byzantine Chant by Cappella Romana
and Philip Glass Piano Concerto No.2 (After Lewis and Clark)
UNL Symphony Orchestra, Tyler White, conductor
University Singers, Pete Eklund, conductor
April 17, 2018
Lied Center for Performing Arts, Lincoln, Nebraska

In celebration of over twenty years of collaboration between pianist Paul Barnes and composer Philip Glass, the Hixson-Lied College of Fine and Performing Arts at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln has commissioned Glass to write his first piano quintet to be premiered by Barnes and the Chiara Quartet on April 17, 2018 at the Lied Center for Performing Arts on the campus of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Glass will be present for this world-premiere performance. Based on their mutual love of ancient chant traditions, Glass is basing the second movement of the new piano quintet on a byzantine hymn for the Annunciation. Barnes has collaborated with Glass since they first met on a plane in March of 1995 and both share a love of ancient chant traditions. In addition to the premiere of the piano quintet, Portland-based Cappella Romana will perform traditional byzantine chant upon which the piano quintet is based.

This performance also commemorates the finding of the ancient Greek Orthodox Church of the Annunciation in Nazareth by an expedition lead by University of Hartford Professor Richard Freund. This unique expedition is a joint effort of Jewish, Muslim, and Christian organizations in Nazareth united in this effort to preserve this ancient church. A display featuring photos from the fifteen-year archeological site will be on display at the Lied Center. This special evening will conclude with a performance of Philip Glass's monumental Piano Concerto No.2 "After Lewis and Clark" with Barnes, Native American flutist Ron Warren, and the UNL Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Tyler White.

The Philip Glass Connection

A fortuitous meeting on an airplane in 1995 led to a successful musical collaboration between Paul Barnes and Philip Glass. Inspired by Glass' musical idiom and simplicity, Barnes set to work preparing transcriptions from the composer's operas, resulting in the Trilogy Sonata and the Orphée Suite for Piano. After the 2003 critically acclaimed recording of the Orphée Suite for Piano on the Orange Mountain Music label, Glass and Barnes agreed that the next step in their professional relationship was the commissioning of a new work for piano.

The approaching bicentennial commemoration of the Lewis and Clark expedition combined with Barnes' connections to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as Professor of Piano resulted in the Piano Concerto No. 2 (After Lewis and Clark).

Piano Concerto No. 2 (After Lewis & Clark)

Here are the program notes.

Orphée Suite
for Piano

Here are the program notes


Here is the Baltimore 2017 MTNA handout