A short film by Mitch Moore on the master interpreter of minimalist composer Philip Glass
By Abdullah Al-wali on April 14th 2016
Bruce Brubaker’s forte is understanding and reinterpreting the music of Philip Glass. He has cultivated an intense relationship with Glass’ compositions, encouraged by American critic and record producer Tim Page who first introduced Brubaker to the music of Glass. Since that time, which has spanned over 20 years, Brubaker & Glass have met on many occasions to discuss the reworks, instilling a deep understanding for Brubaker of Glass’ innermost intentions and idiosyncrasies.
Last summer he released Glass Piano via InFine; sublime solo piano versions of Philip Glass by a master interpreter of the legendary minimalist composer. Brubaker has honed his approach to these pieces to a microcosmic level. A lean, angular performance that navigates the looped repetitions and dovetailing melodies in an achingly beautiful manner.
What Brubaker creates during the recordings and when he plays the music of Glass, he is summoning the spirit of the original compositions and translating them into a new, unique form; a new language that communicates a similar feeling & mode but is represented in a brand new context.
Brubaker trained at the Juilliard School, where he received the school’s highest award, the Edward Steuermann Prize, upon graduation. At Juilliard, where he taught from 1995 to 2004, he has appeared in public conversations with Philip Glass, Milton Babbitt, and Meredith Monk. Brubaker has given master classes and forums at the Juilliard School, the Royal College of Music in London, Helsinki’s Sibelius Academy, Columbia University, the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and the École Normale in Paris. Brubaker’s articles about music have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Piano Quarterly, and Chamber Music magazine.
Directed and filmed by Mitch Moore
Edited by Abdullah Al-wali
Sound by Rick Blything