Jon Lee


Glass Head On

Score Map

Source: Original manuscript

Program Notes

Though Philip Glass wrote chamber music for unconventional ensembles, and several string quartets, Head On remains his sole piano trio, written in 1967 for the occasion of a party hosted by his friend and founding member of the American Symphony Orchestra, Dorothy Pixley Rothschild. Glass premiered the piece on the piano, with Rothschild on violin.

Glass explains1:

It was really obsessive music, some minutes long, which began with the players playing different melodies. With each development of the piece, the differences started to become eliminated, so that by the time we came to the end, everyone was playing together. At the very end of the piece, there was a collision of all this music—that’s why it was called “Head On”—simplifying itself until it became a single melody.


Blue Rose Trio (2007) (3:14)

Boulanger Trio (2021) (3:40)


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