A Day for Pierre Boulez should be one of the essential classical musical experiences of the summer.
Tom Service of The Guardian has reviewed this year’s programme of the Lucerne Festival in Summer, which will be running from 14 August until 13 September.
Lucerne is where Boulez has arguably contributed the most to the future of new music in recent years, in his coaching and commissioning of composers, his tutelage of conductors, and above all his performances of the music he knows and loves the best with groups of astonishingly talented young musicians. (Tom Service, The Guardian, 19.02.2015)
Read the full article on The Guardian.
Pierre Boulez’ Rituel in memoriam Bruno Maderna will be performed together with the Australian première of Georges Lentz’ Jerusalem (after Blake) and Debussy’s La Mer on 18 February as part of the Sydney Opera House's Pierre Boulez Composer Weekend. David Robertson conducts the Sydney Symphony Orchestra.
Congratulations to Pierre Boulez for being awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
Martha Gilmer, a close colleague of Pierre Boulez, accepted the award on his behalf at yesterday’s ceremony.
We recently met conductor Pablo Heras-Casado in Salzburg to talk about the influence that his mentor Pierre Boulez had on him.
The full interview will be published in mid-March in the very first issue of our MusikSalon, which will be dedicated exclusively to Pierre Boulez.
Visit our #Boulez90 blog to keep track of the latest news on Pierre Boulez and MusikSalon.
“Fold by fold” – this is the English translation of the French title; the text was written by Stéphane Mallarmé – is a milestone in recent music history: in this work, Mallarmé – the revolutionary innovator of French poetry – meets Pierre Boulez, whose treatment of the text and instruments reveals him to be just as much a revolutionary innovator of music. Pli selon pli is therefore not just a “Portrait de Mallarmé”, but also one of Pierre Boulez. (Bálint András Varga)
On 3 February Matthias Pintscher, soprano Marisol Montalvo, the ensemble intercontemporain and the Orchestre du Conservatoire de Paris present an evening with Pierre Boulez’ Pli selon pli and Edgard Varèse’s Amériques at the Philharmonie de Paris.
Find out more on the website of the Philharmonie de Paris.
Watch an excerpt of Boulez conducting Pli selon Pli:
The full Aldeburgh Festival 2015 programme has been announced earlier this week. Find out more on our #Boulez90 blog.
That the orchestra accomplished so much in a single weekend […] is astonishing. Then again, it also makes perfect sense. That's what you do for someone you love. (Zachary Lewis, cleveland.com, 17.01.2015)
Each [of the five Notations] still seems as musically inevitable as the 1945 piano pieces did. Conductor and orchestra gave committed performances that surely would have pleased the French master. (Timothy Robson, bachtrack, 18.01.2015)
Tonight, on 15 January, the Cleveland Orchestra presents a special musical celebration to salute Pierre Boulez’ 90th birthday, featuring his own music and works he has led to acclaim in performances with the orchestra.
Joela Jones’ performance of 12 Notations will be followed by Notations I-IV and VII. Franz Welser-Möst conducts the Cleveland Orchestra.
Watch the Cleveland Orchestra’s 90th birthday celebration concert preview on YouTube:
The Recording Academy has announced its Special Merit Awards recipients: among this year’s honorees is Pierre Boulez.
A special invitation-only ceremony will be held during Grammy Week on Saturday, Feb. 7, 2015, and a formal acknowledgment will be made during the 57th Annual Grammy Awards.
After highly acclaimed performances of A Pierre Dream: A Portrait of Pierre Boulez (Pablo Heras-Casado conducted the CSO), the west coast première of A Pierre Dream will be performed at next year’s Ojai Festival by mezzo-soprano Peabody Southwell and the International Contemporary Ensemble (cond. Steven Schick).
Find out more on the programme of the Oija Music Festival.
Watch the trailer of A Pierre Dream:
On 4 November Yejin Gil, artist in residence at the Impuls Festival für Neue Musik in Sachsen-Anhalt, performed a solo recital, presenting pieces by Pierre Boulez, Unsuk Chin, György Ligeti and Olivier Messiaen.
Earlier in the year, Andrew Clements of The Guardian reviewed Yejin Gil’s debut disc, which features Pierre Boulez’ Incises:
“All the seeds of that iridescent score [of sur Incises] can be heard in the piano piece, wonderfully articulated by Gil; the torrents of repeated notes in its opening section are fabulously even, the writhing, decaying chords that arrive later are perfectly weighted.” (Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 5.3.2014)
But the music’s real triumph lies in its unfaltering sense of movement. […] From start to finish the work treads like some implacable giant, and because its two main climaxes emerge from the bowels of a unitary experience they generate a violence and despair that transcend rhetoric. The word is on the tip of my pen and I can withhold it no longer. There are elements of greatness in this work. (Peter Heyworth, The Observer, 04.06.1972)
Based on the homonymous allegorical painting by the sixteenth-century artist Pieter Bruegel, the 30-minute piece was first performed in 1972. This recording is from a performance by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Pierre Boulez.
In honour of Pierre Boulez’ 90th birthday next year, the internationally acclaimed pianist Taka Kigawa, “an expert negotiator between freedom and restriction” (La Nacion, 5.3.2014), will perform the composer’s Complete Solo Piano Music next Monday at (le) poisson rouge in New York. Boulez’ 12 Notations, Première Sonate, Deuxième Sonate, Troisième Sonate (including Sigle), Incises and une page d’éphéméride are on the programme.
The New York Times has previewed Kigawa’s Complete Solo Piano Works recital this Monday: “[Kigawa] has long made the solo piano works of Pierre Boulez a specialty in performances that bring out the exhilarating energy and myriad colorings in these fiercely difficult scores.”
Arnold Schönberg’s Pierrot lunaire, conducted by Pierre Boulez with Helga Pilarczyk as Sprechstimme, was the first ever long-playing record to be released on the German label WERGO, which was founded in 1962.
This historic recording – a highlight of the label’s early catalogue – has recently been reissued on CD, together with an 80-page booklet.
Find out more on the website of WERGO.
The internationally acclaimed pianist Taka Kigawa, who has recently been described as “an expert negotiator between freedom and restriction” (La Nacion, 5.3.2014), will perform Pierre Boulez’ Douze Notations on 18 June at the Greencastle Summer Music Festival.
On the morning the day after, he’ll do a Q&A with the audience at Classical 90.5 WUOL Louisville and give a free concert, performing Boulez’ 12 Notations, Première Sonate, Deuxième Sonate, Troisième Sonate (including Sigle), Incises and une page d’éphéméride. Find out more about the concert on WUOL.
In the evening of the same day, Taka Kigawa will be performing Boulez’ complete solo piano music at the DePauw University in Greencastle.
Read a preview article from Greencastle Banner-Graphic.
Kigawa will continue his piano recital tour on 25 August at Le Poisson Rouge in New York, followed by a trip to Japan in November.