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Philip Glass (born January 31, 1937) is an American composer. His music is frequently described as minimalist, though he prefers the term "theatre music". He is considered one of the most influential composers of the 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 and counts many visual artists, writers, musicians and directors among his friends, such as Richard Serra, Chuck Close, Doris Lessing, the late Allen Ginsberg, Robert Wilson, Godfrey Reggio, Ravi Shankar, David Bowie, and the conductor Dennis Russell Davies, who all collaborated with him. He is Buddhist and 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 composed some remarkable scores for a number of films including the "Qatsi" trilogy by director Godfrey Reggio ("Koyaanisqatsi", "Powaqqasti" and "Naqoyqatsi"), Martin Scorsese's "Kundun", Peter Weir's "The Truman Show" and Stephen Daldry's "The Hours," in addition to a number of operas ("Einstein on the Beach" and "Satyagraha") and the quintessention of the minimalist tradition with "Music in Twelve Parts."
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