Philip Glass (born January 31, 1937) is an Academy Award-nominated American composer. His music is frequently described as minimalist, though he prefers the term theater music. He is considered one of the most influential composers of the late-20th century and is widely acknowledged as a composer who has brought art music to the public (apart from precursors such as Kurt Weill and Leonard Bernstein), in creating an accessibility not previously recognised by the broader market.
Glass is extremely prolific as a composer; he has written ensemble works, operas, symphonies, concertos, film scores and for the piano. Glass counts many visual artists, writers, musicians and directors among his friends, including Richard Serra, Chuck Close, Doris Lessing, the late Allen Ginsberg, Robert Wilson, Godfrey Reggio, Ravi Shankar, David Bowie, the conductor Dennis Russell Davies, and electronic musician Aphex Twin, who have all collaborated with him.
He is a strong supporter of the Tibetan cause. In 1987 he co-founded the Tibet House with Columbia University professor Robert Thurman and the actor Richard Gere. He has two children from his marriage to JoAnne Akalaitis, a theater director (m. 1965, div. 1980), Zachary (b. 1969) and Juliet (b. 1971). Glass lives in New York and in Nova Scotia.