“Ultimately I think Boulez is a great optimist, despite the shadows that coloured his early years. In the end what he believes is simple: today’s music has to be different from the music of the past.
That’s a natural thing. Western music continues to evolve and transform and change. And those that don’t agree, well … they’re wrong!” (George Benjamin, The Guardian, 20.03.2015)
In his article “In praise of Pierre Boulez at 90” composer George Benjamin salutes Pierre Boulez. Find the full article on The Guardian.
Other recent articles that you might like:
Johannes Maria Staud’s Donum will be premièred by cellist Marc Coppey on 22 March at the Amphithéâtre Paris. Altogether, Coppey will play 10 commissions by the Philharmonie de Paris, and, together with 6 cellists, he will also perform Boulez’ Messagesquisse.
The full programme is available on the website of the Philharmonie de Paris.
“Horizons” summarizes the most interesting events held by the Lithuanian Ensemble Network between 2009 and 2014 and documents its best recordings, including Lied and O, King by Luciano Berio, Nichtstück and Eine kleine Nachtmusik by Vykintas Baltakas and Am Horizont by Wolfgang Rihm.
Find out more on the website of the Lithuanian Ensemble Network.
La Monnaie | De Munt is offering a free stream of Wolfgang Rihm’s Jakob Lenz in Andrea Breth’s production with Wolfgang Nigl as the protagonist of the same name.
Pierre Boulez celebrates his 90th birthday on 26 March. As a composer and conductor he is already an historic figure, not just for Universal Edition. His work has changed the world of music. This first edition of the MusikSalon, in which Boulez’ contemporaries and colleagues give us their thoughts, is dedicated to him.
“Parsing Boulez's complexity requires steady guidance, and they are two of the best at offering that.” (Dan Ruccia, Indy Week, 11.03.2015)
Find Dan Ruccia’s preview of Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Tamara Stefanovich performing the music of Boulez on Indy Week.
Their tour started on 8 March at Cornell University, further performances take place at the University of California, Berkeley (12 March), Chicago Symphony Center (15 March), Carnegie Hall (16 March) and the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill (18 March). Find out more on Harrison Parrott.
Also, we highly recommend that you check out Explore the Score: Pierre Boulez: Douze Notations, a project that Stefanovich recently launched together with the Ruhr Piano Festival:
“In view of his almost overpowering esprit and charm, I was constantly asking myself how I could meet the challenge and contend with him and his works.” (Anne-Sophie Mutter)
Find out what Claudio Abbado, Irvine Arditti, Mojca Erdmann, Lucas Fels, Nicolas Hodges, Anna Prohaska, Jörg Widmann and Anne-Sophie Mutter have to say about the composer:
Spider's Web for harp and string orchestra by Paul Patterson will be performed for the first time in the UK on 14 March at the West Road Concert Hall in Cambridge.
Elizabeth Scorah plays harp, Timothy Redmond conducts the Cambridge Philharmonic Orchestra.
Tonight, John Fulljames presents a new production of Bertolt Brecht’s and Kurt Weill's “furiously impassioned operatic satire” Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny. Find out more on the website of the Royal Opera House.
On Wednsday 1 April, Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny will be screened live in various cinemas all over the world – find out more with the ROH’s Screening search.
Arvo Pärt during rehearsals in Madrid with soprano Sylvia Schwartz and conductor John Storgårds
The Orquesta Nacional de Espana dedicates a retrospective to Arvo Pärt. The Spanish première of Swansong and a performance of Como cierva sedienta with Spanish soprano Sylvia Schwartz are among the highlights of the programme.
From 6 to 14 March, John Storgårds and Tõnu Kaljuste will conduct several orchestral works in Madrid, Arvo Pärt will be attending the festivities.
The problem with programming a day devoted to Wolfgang Rihm’s music is not deciding what to include, but what be can be excluded from an output of more than 400 scores. (Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 2 March 2015)
Andrew Clements of the Guardian has reviewed the Wolfgang Rihm festivities that took place on 28 February at Wigmore Hall.
Read the full review on The Guardian.
Musical thought today must be able to interact with the new technologies and to adapt itself creatively to every kind of space, exploring and reshaping it acoustically. The image of music as sound architecture is no longer a mere metaphor: it represent a concrete possibility. (Luciano Berio)
Arturo Tamayo conducts the ensemble ’900 at the Swiss première of Luciano Berio’s Ofaním for 2 children's choir, 2 instrumental groups, female voice and live-electronics on 1 March at the Auditorio Stelio Molo RSI in Lugano.
Also on the programme: O’King and Thema (Omaggio a Joyce).
Wigmore Hall dedicates a focus day to composer Wolfgang Rihm on Saturday 28 February. Almost a dozen works from the UE catalogue will be played, among them the UK première of Rihm’s Sextett, which will be performed by clarinettist Jörg Widmann, hornist Bruno Schneider and the Quatuor Danel.
Furthermore, Wolfgang Rihm will discuss his life and works with broadcaster Tom Service (read Service’s excellent Guide to Wolfgang Rihm’s music).
Find the full programme on the Wigmore Hall website.
Blacher wrote the opera in 1944 during the Dresden bombing. He condensed the drama into a thrilling and lyric 75-minute opera for 9 instrumentalists, 2 soloists and one vocal ensemble. An intense and highly celebrated operatic event; Philippe Forget led the ensemble.
Further performances will take place on 26 – 28 February and 1, 3 and 4 March.