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The Glasshouse

Friday 28 October 2022 | 8:00pm  


RNS Play Glass: The Bowie Symphonies

RNS Play Glass: The Bowie Symphonies

RNS Play Glass: The Bowie Symphonies

Part of Innovators


Robert Ames conductor
Royal Northern Sinfonia

Philip Glass Symphony No. 1 ‘Low’
Philip Glass Symphony No. 4 ‘Heroes’

Experience the music of David Bowie as you’ve never heard it before, reimagined and transformed into symphonies by minimalist composer Philip Glass.

Inspired by the innovative work of David Bowie and Brian Eno in the late 1970s which combined pop and rock with world and experimental music influences, Glass notes that ‘just as composers of the past have turned to music of their time to fashion new works, the work of Bowie and Eno became an inspiration and point of departure of for a series of symphonies of my own.’

Symphony No 1 takes three instrumental tracks on the album Low – Subterraneans, Some Are and Warszawa –  as the foundation for three symphonic movements while Symphony No 4 features six tracks from Heroes, reworked with original material for an exciting fusion of pop and classical music.

ℹ️ Useful Information

Download your FREE concert programme here

This concert will last around 2 hours, including a 20 minute interval.

Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.

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Introducing RNS Plays Glass: The Bowie Symphonies

Ahead of Royal Northern Sinfonia’s performance of Philip Glass’ Bowie Symphonies, music journalist Dave Simpson spoke with conductor Robert Ames about the music of the time and his role in the exchange between classical and contemporary music – READ HERE ?

Pre-Concert Video on the Concourse: Philip Glass - Composing Myself

Want to know more about the man behind the music? Join us on the Concourse at 7.15pm to enjoy a free, short film on our large screen. Hear composer Philip Glass discuss how he writes his music and what has inspired him over the years. The film lasts approximately 15 minutes and will be captioned. The hall will open at the end of the film. We hope you’ll join us!

Robert Ames

Robert Ames

As a conductor, curator and arranger, Robert Ames has been a key exchange agent between the classical tradition and contemporary music. He works closely with many of the leading figures in new music including Philip Glass, Hildur Guðnadóttir, Bryce Dessner, Mica Levi, Nico Muhly, Richard Reed Parry, Meredith Monk, Terry Riley, Jonny Greenwood, Anna Meredith and Steve Reich. Recent collaborations include Vivienne Westwood, Burberry, Nike and Alexander McQueen from the world of fashion and with musicians who inhabit the pop/electronic and film music world, including Taylor Swift, Actress, Frank Ocean, Jonsi, Little Simz, Sigur Rós, Alex Somers, The National, Thom Yorke, Justice, Kelly Lee Owens, Celeste,William Basinski, Jed Kurzel, Jamie XX, Olafur Arnalds, Owen Pallett, Darkstar, Radiohead, Rival Consoles and Labrinth.

Recent conducting engagements include performances at The Royal Festival Hall, Barbican Centre,Royal Opera House, De Doelen, The Brooklyn Academy Of Arts, Philharmonie De Paris and The Sydney Opera House, as well as five televised appearances at the BBC Proms in as many years. Robert has worked with many of the world’s leading orchestras including the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC Concert Orchestra, L’Orchestre National De Lyon, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Scottish National Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Manchester Camerata, Moscow New Music Ensemble and Aarhus Symphony Orchestra.

He was the youngest ever shortlisted nominee for the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Conductor award in 2019, is the co-Founder, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the London Contemporary Orchestra and an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music. In 2021 Robert released his debut album”Change Ringing” following up with “CARBS” in 2022 on Berlin based label Modern Recordings, a division of BMG