Talks & debates

Philip Glass' David Bowie Symphonies

Part of Classical Season 2018/19

Examine Philip Glass’ collaboration with David Bowie in this in-depth study day.

Over their more than half a century of friendship and professional collaboration, Philip Glass wrote two symphonies based on David Bowie’s albums (Symphony No.1 ‘Low’ and Symphony No.4 ‘Heroes’). But Glass maintains that ‘The two symphonies were of course originally intended to be part of a trilogy...’.

Now, to celebrate the European premiere of Philip Glass’s Symphony No.12 and the completion of his trilogy of David Bowie symphonies, we explore Glass’ Symphonies No.1 and No.4, and how these works came about and were received, along with what we know about Glass’ new Symphony No.12. With live music and expert guest speakers, we take an in-depth look at the music, the stories and the people behind it.

This study day complements the London Contemporary Orchestra’s performance of Philip Glass’ David Bowie-inspired symphonies on Thursday 9 May 2019, including the European premiere of Glass’ symphony No.12, co-commissioned by Southbank Centre.

Dates & times

27 Apr 2019
Approximate run time: 240 mins
Run times may vary, find out more


Royal Festival Hall
Level 5 Function Room, Green Side


Booking fee: £3.00 (Members £0.00)


25% off (limited availability)
Find out more about our Concessions policy