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Philip Glass champions artistic innovation

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Special concert: Composer Philip Glass

American writer-painter Henry Miller, known for his distinctly original, powerful prose in “Tropic of Cancer” and “Tropic of Capricorn,” will be in the spotlight in The City next week in what promises to be a memorable benefit for Big Sur’s Henry Miller Memorial Library.

Supporting the cause is celebrated composer Philip Glass, who will grace the Warfield stage on June 25, along with singer-songwriter-harpist Joanna Newsom and violinist Tim Fain.

The ever-busy Glass admits to having a full schedule this summer, but he says committing to the benefit was a no-brainer.

“The library is a very unconventional place,” Glass says. “The setting is gorgeous and Big Sur has a history of culture and innovation. There’s something inspiring about the environment, which allows people to find resources within themselves that they may not even have known about. I think that’s why artists go there.”

Glass has been involved in several events at the library over the years, participating in film festivals and poetry extravaganzas (through his Days and Nights Festival) and beyond.

The impetus for the current benefit, co-presented by folkYeah, continues an annual tradition that sprouted in 2004, when singer Patti Smith first performed at the library.

Smith, so captivated by the experience, spread the word to other musicians such as Laurie Anderson who, in turn, may have tipped Glass onto its unique fervor.

“The benefit concerts come from a love of the place, a love of the idea of performing music here,” says library executive director Magnus Toren.

Miller’s friend Emil White founded the library in the early 1980s. It houses a collection of Miller’s works and serves as a gallery that celebrates the icon’s literary, artistic and cultural legacy. The library hopes to raise $140,000 by fall to upgrade the water system and create a more sustainable enclave.


Philip Glass and Joanna Newsom, with Tim Fain

Where: Warfield, 982 Market St., S.F.

When: 8 p.m. June 25

Tickets: $62.50 to $140

(888) 929-7849, thewarfieldtheatre.com, www.henrymiller.org

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