Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Philip Glass Makes You Look Old

My latest for the St. Louis Riverfront Times:

The classical music of 75-year-old Philip Glass occupies an unlikely place in pop culture. It still attracts the same age group it did when the composer first performed his minimalist works more than 40 years ago.
This audience is ever present for the renowned artist's recent performance at the Kaufman Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas City's futuristically handsome new complex whose scallop-like frame of steel, concrete and glass curves elegantly to join Downtown's eclectic skyline. Here, a young set of cool, bespectacled 20-somethings have made a collective effort to shower, show up and Instagram the sunset.
After all classical music performances provide ample reason to unironically wear fur and suspenders. And, like, everyone they know is here. 
But the flock isn't just here to be seen. This migration of Kansas City's youthful urban bestiary towards the theater has plenty to do with Philip Glass's extraordinary ability to relate through compositions that seem to get better with age. At a time when classical music struggles to attract young audiences, Glass continues to be one of the kids.

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