In 1976, the New York premiere of Philip Glass and Robert Wilson’s “Einstein on the Beach” captivated audiences, polarized critics and put both artists on the map of contemporary performance art. In four-and-a half hours, its famously reductive score, enigmatic text and limpid, tensile choreography (by Lucinda Childs) teases out the meaning of the time/space continuum. The work’s first New York revival in twenty years opens Friday evening as part of the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Next Wave Festival. On Wednesday, Philip Glass talked about the work—and a range of other pieces that have been performed at BAM over the years—with a former protégé, the composer Nico Muhly.
Affectionately coaxed by Muhly, speaking composer-to-composer, Glass reflected on his major operas, his work in collaboration with artists from other cultural traditions, and the evolution of his own musical style, which Muhly pointed out has become more lush, and (clearly jokingly) “decadent.”
For a man who is indeed a