Philip Glass

Legendary Composer Philip Glass at 85: His top works and film scores revealed

Iconic work Metamorphosis and film score Koyaanisqatsi top the charts as exclusive PRS for Music data reveals Philip Glass’ most popular works and film scores

Jamie MacMillan
  • By Jamie MacMillan
  • 31 Jan 2022
  • min read

The most popular works of film scores of Philip Glass have been revealed today, his 85th birthday, through exclusive data provided by PRS for Music.


One of the world’s most influential, accomplished and revered composers of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, Philip Glass has collaborated with music creators ranging from Leonard Cohen to David Bowie and Brian Eno. The charts list Philip Glass’ most streamed, downloaded, broadcast and performed works and film scores in the UK and overseas.


Topping the Most Popular Works chart is the iconic Metamorphosis. Released as part of the Solo Piano album over three decades ago in 1989, the work was inspired by the 1915 novella The Metamorphosis, by Franz Kafka.


Three tracks from Glass’ seminal 1982 Glassworks album also appear in the Most Popular Works chart: Facades, Opening, and Closing. One of his biggest commercial successes, Glassworks gained Philip Glass widespread recognition and remains just as popular forty years on. Also in the Most Popular Works chart is a concerto (Violin Concerto No 1), a symphony (Symphony No 3) and two string quartets (No 2 and No 3), highlighting Glass’ unique adaptability.


Koyaanisqatsi takes the top spot of the Most Popular Film Scores chart, taken from the 1982 American experimental non-narrative film produced and directed by Godfrey Reggio. Glass’ enduringly popular score for The Truman Show, starring Jim Carrey, (winner of Best Original Score at the 1999 Golden Globes) appears third in the chart, while his BAFTA-winning score for The Hours, the 2002 film starring Nicole Kidman, Meryl Streep, and Julianne Moore also appears.


PRS for Music: Philip Glass’ Most Popular Works Chart


1. Metamorphosis (from Solo Piano)

2. Violin Concerto No 1

3. Facades (from Glassworks)

4. Opening (from Glassworks)

5. Music in 12 Parts (from Music in 12 Parts)

6. Symphony No 3

7. Music with Changing Parts (from Music with Changing Parts)

8. String Quartet No 2

9. Closing (from Glassworks)

10. String Quartet No 3

PRS for Music: Philip Glass’ Most Popular Film Scores Chart

1. Koyaanisqatsi
2. Mishima
3. The Truman Show
4. Candyman 2
5. The Hours
6. The Visitors
7. Candyman
8. Mr Nice
9. The Secret Agent
10. The Fog Of War

Chart ranks based on UK streams, downloads, broadcasts, public performance and overseas usage data provided by PRS for Music for the period 1 January 2017 – 31 December 2021.