Philip Glass has had more influence than most modern composers: since his minimalist beginnings in the 1970s he has straddled the world of the concert hall and Hollywood, and had a profound effect on musicians like David Bowie.
Chris Sharp, contemporary music programmer at the Barbican Centre in London, described to the Today programme's Jim Naughtie, Mr Glass' "interesting trajectory" of moving from the radical fringe into the musical mainstream.
"He was very disenchanted by the European art house music," he added.
"Its difficult to imagine how radical and fresh sounding his musical language was when it started to appear in Manhattan in the late 60s."
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