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Philip Glass (born January 31, 1937) is an American composer. His music is frequently described as minimalist, though he prefers to describe himself as a composer of "music with repetitive structures". He is considered one of the most influential composers of the 20th century, and is widely acknowledged as the first composer to win a wide, multi-generational audience in the opera house, the concert hall, the dance world, in film and in popular music – simultaneously. 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"), Paul Schrader's Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters, 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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