The day after Christmas, on Wednesday, December 26, CBS broadcasts The 41st Annual Kennedy Center Honors. The eight deserving musicians being honored are jazz saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter, singer/actress Cher, country singer/actress Reba McEntire, composer/pianist Philip Glass, and Hamilton co-creators Thomas Kail, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Andy Blankenbuehler, and Alex Lacamoire.
Philip Glass is the 81-year-old American composer from Baltimore, Maryland. His family were Jewish emigrants from Lithuania. His father owned a record store and his mother was a librarian. In his memoir, Music by Philip Glass, Glass writes that his family was related to Al Jolson aka “The World’s Greatest Entertainer.” (Jolson was the inspiration for various versions of the film The Jazz Singer.)
Philip Glass studied flute as a child at the Peabody Institute before entering the University of Chicago at the age of 15 (mathematics and philosophy). He studied at the Juilliard School of Music where the keyboard became his main instrument, and received a Fulbright Scholarship (1964, Paris). Three of his scores for movies have been nominated for Oscars (Best Original Score) – Kundun (1997), The Hours (2002) and Notes on a Scandal (2006).