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  • Los Angeles Philharmonic and Philip Glass Ensemble Perform Live Accompaniment to Godfrey Reggio’s Film Koyaanisqatsi in World Premiere of New Arrangement for Ensemble and Orchestra
  • Jul. 23, 2009
  • Philip Glass Makes Hollywood Bowl Debut

    Michael Riesman Conducts; Los Angeles Master Chorale Also Performs

    THURSDAY, JULY 23, 2009, AT 8:00 PM

    Esteemed composer Philip Glass makes his Hollywood Bowl debut with his own Philip Glass Ensemble, joined by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Los Angeles Master Chorale in the world premiere of a new arrangement of the score for Koyaanisqatsi: Life Out of Balance for ensemble, orchestra and choir, commissioned by the LA Phil. This performance, led by conductor Michael Riesman, accompanies Godfrey Reggio’s 1982 wordless film, Koyaanisqatsi, projected on the Hollywood Bowl’s large screens. The evening’s program also features three additional works by Glass: Opening, Facades, and Spaceship from his landmark opera Einstein on the Beach. “Philip Glass & Film with the Los Angeles Philharmonic” takes place July 23, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. at the Hollywood Bowl.

    Koyaanisqatsi has won passionate fans around the world and has been in theatrical release in over 60 countries, televised and on home video in over 30 countries, invited to over 70 worldwide film festivals, and performed live with the Philip Glass Ensemble to sold out audiences all over the world. The film represents one of the most significant collaborations between a composer and filmmaker in the 20th Century. "Since its premiere in 1983, Koyaanisqatsi has assumed the stature of a modern film classic. Godfrey and I worked over a period of three years assembling the image and music of Koyaanisqatsi. This is a collaboration of film and music that is unprecedented in its intensity” says Glass.

    Godfrey Reggio conceived Koyaanisqatsi in 1974 as a groundbreaking, non-verbal film integrating images, music and ideas. The title of the film is taken from the ancient Hopi Indian word meaning "life out of balance" or “a state of life that calls for another way of living.” As technology has progressed, humans have transitioned from nature as our host of life into mass technology as the environment of life. To some, Koyaanisqatsi is an environmental film. To others, it is an homage to technology. Conversely, to many, it is a prophecy or warning that our way of living is not sustainable. Reggio himself describes Koyaanisqatsi as a film about “awesome beauty, terrible beauty, and the beauty of the beast.”

    Without characters, actors, dialogue or sets to influence the viewer, the meaning of Koyaanisqatsi is completely left up to individual interpretation. Cinematographer Ron Fricke’s stunning and startling imagery takes center stage and Glass’ magnificent, relentless, and at times menacing orchestrations stir and provoke as much as the images themselves. A triangular relationship between the images, the music and the viewer ensues, making the viewer an active participant in the film’s meaning.

    To complete this monumental project, the team had the support of the Institute for Regional Education, IRE, a non-profit foundation based in Santa Fe. After its North American premiere at Radio City Music Hall in 1983, Koyaanisqatsi won the Audience Award for Best First Feature Film at Filmex and Philip Glass' score was voted Best Original Film Score by the Los Angeles Film Critics. It has been presented at numerous festivals throughout the world, garnering the Best Film award at the Sao Paulo Film Festival, The Critics Award at the Lisbon Film Festival and the City of Madrid Award at the Madrid Film Festival.

    PHILIP GLASS (composer, keyboards), 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 in 2006, with Notes earning Glass an Oscar nomination for best original score. Recent film projects include a score to Woody Allen’s film, Cassandra’s Dream.

    MICHAEL RIESMAN (conductor, keyboards) is a composer, conductor, keyboardist, and record producer, and is the Music Director of the Philip Glass Ensemble. He has conducted many recordings of works by Glass, including Einstein on the Beach, Glassworks, The Photographer, Songs From Liquid Days, Dance Pieces, Music in 12 Parts, and Passages, and almost every Glass film soundtrack including Koyaanisqatsi, Mishima, Powaqqatsi, The Thin Blue Line, Anima Mundi, A Brief History of Time, Candyman, Kundun, The Truman Show, Naqoyqatsi, The Fog of War, Secret Window, Taking Lives, Undertow, Roving Mars, and The Illusionist. He was the pianist for the Academy Award nominated soundtrack for The Hours, and has also recorded a solo piano arrangement of that score. He has received two Grammy nominations as conductor, for The Photographer and for Kundun.  He has conducted and performed on albums by Paul Simon (Hearts and Bones), Scott Johnson (Patty Hearst), Mike Oldfield (Platinum), Ray Manzarek (Carmina Burana), David Bowie (BlackTie/White Noise), and Gavin Bryars (Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet). 

    GODFREY REGGIO is an inventor of a film style, which creates poetic images of extraordinary emotional impact for audiences worldwide. Reggio is prominent in the film world for his QATSI trilogy, essays of visual images and sound, which chronicle the destructive impact of the modern world on the environment. Born in New Orleans in 1940 and raised in Louisiana, Reggio spent 14 years in a Roman Catholic religious order of men (the Christian Brothers) —living in community, dedicated to prayer, study, and teaching. Based in New Mexico during the sixties, Reggio taught grade school, secondary school and college. In 1963, he co-founded Young Citizens for Action, a community organization project that aided juvenile street gangs. Following this, Reggio co-founded La Clinica de la Gente, a facility that provided medical care to 12,000 community members in Santa Fe, and La Gente, a community organizing project in Northern New Mexico's barrios. In 1972, he co-founded the Institute for Regional Education in Santa Fe, a non-profit foundation focused on media development, the arts, community organization and research. In 1974 and 1975, with funding from the American Civil Liberties Union, Reggio co-organized a multi- media public interest campaign on the invasion of privacy and the use of technology to control behavior.

    One of the largest natural amphitheaters in the world, with a seating capacity of nearly 18,000, the HOLLYWOOD BOWL has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since its official opening in 1922, and is home to the best and brightest in all genres of music. The 2004 season introduced audiences to a revitalized Hollywood Bowl, featuring a newly constructed shell and stage and the addition of four stadium screens enhancing stage views in the venue. To this day, $1 buys a seat at the top of the Bowl for many of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's concerts. While the Bowl is best known for its sizzling summer nights, during the day California's youngest patrons enjoy "SummerSounds: Music for Kids at the Hollywood Bowl," the Southland's most popular summer arts festival for children, now in its 42nd season. In January 2009, the Hollywood Bowl was named Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue for the fifth year in a row at the 20th Annual Pollstar Concert Industry Awards; the Bowl's summer music festival has become as much a part of a Southern California summer as beaches and barbecues, the Dodgers, and Disneyland.


    JULY 23, 2009 AT 8:00PM

    HOLLYWOOD BOWL, 2301 N. Highland Ave. in Hollywood



    MICHAEL RIESMAN, conductor 

    PHILIP GLASS, piano


    LOS ANGELES MASTER CHORALE, Grant Gershon, music director 


    Philip Glass, keyboards

    Lisa Bielawa, keyboards, voice

    David Crowell, soprano, alto and tenor saxophone

    Dan Dryden, live sound mix

    Jon Gibson, flute, soprano saxophone

    Michael Riesman, conductor, keyboards

    Mick Rossi, keyboards

    Andrew Sterman, flute, piccolo, bass clarinet




    Spaceship from Einstein on the Beach







    Pruit Igoe

    Clouds and Building

    Slomo People

    The Grid


    Prophecies - Closing

    Tickets ($1 - $96) are on sale now at, at the Hollywood Bowl Box Office (Tuesday–Saturday, 12 p.m.–6 p.m.), or by calling Ticketmaster at 800.745.3000, and at all Ticketmaster outlets. Groups of 10 or more may be eligible for a 20% discount, subject to availability; call 323.850.2050 for further details or group sales. For general information or to request a brochure, call 323.850.2000.

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  • Contact:

    Sophie Jefferies,, 213.972.3422; Lisa Bellamore,, 213.972.3689; Photos: 213.972.3034