composer / filmmaker
Jack Gray
All content: Copyright © 2001-2015
by various publishers
Philip Glass
During 1985 and 1986, I produced and hosted a weekly radio program on the now-defunct KONC-FM in Phoenix. The program, entitled Music In The Present Tense, was primarily devoted to interviews with and music by composers living in Arizona. But, from time to time, I interviewed more well-known composers also, usually to help promote their appearances in Phoenix. On one such occasion in 1986, I spoke with Philip Glass by telephone. This is an excerpt from that interview.
Virgil Thomson
For one 24-hour period in 1986, I had the rare honor and privilege to serve as Virgil Thomson's host while he gave live public interviews in Phoenix and Tucson. If I live to be a million, I'll still never forget driving him from Tucson to Phoenix, listening to his stories about Stravinsky, Boulez, Paris in the 1920s, etc. Of course, his persona is well-known: he brooked no nonsense, and never hesitated to unleash his acerbic wit in the face of an ill-considered remark. But there was also a genuine, endearing quality about him as well. Of course, this all says nothing about his personal achievements as a composer and his historical gravitas. Suffice to say, I felt as if I was in the presence of a national treasure and a force of nature - 89 years young at the time! The interview was conducted by Wallace Rave of Arizona State University at the Phoenix Public Library.
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