The great hall of the Philharmonie de Paris has been named for its ‘spiritual father’, Pierre Boulez. The inauguration ceremony took place on 26 October in attendance of French Culture Minister Audrey Azoulay and Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris.
Our latest newsletter is out now:
- Friedrich Cerha at the Salzburg Festival
- A Pierre Boulez celebration at the Edinburgh International Festival
On 26 January Matthias Pintscher, Paavo Järvi, Bruno Mantovani, Yeree Suh, Andrew Gerzso, the Ensemble intercontemporain, Orchestre de Paris and the Elèves du Conservatoire de Paris paid homage to Pierre Boulez at the Philharmonie de Paris.
On the programme were Improvisation I, Messagesquisse, Improvisation II, Dérive 1, Notations I-IV and VII and extracts from Dialogue de l'ombre double.
You can watch the full concert here:
The memorial service for Pierre Boulez at the Saint-Sulpice church in Paris was attended last Friday by the French prime minister Manuel Valls, the culture minister Fleur Pellerin as well as the former culture minister Jack Lang.
The musician Daniel Barenboim spoke of Boulez’s legacy as a man of the future interested in many things beyond music – for Barenboim, Boulez was a “true man of the future”.
Laurent Bayle, president of the Philharmonie de Paris, recalled Boulez’ creative achievements including Boulez’s lifelong disdain for “les invalides de la nostalgie”.
The most moving and evocative homage was delivered ex tempore by the architect Renzo Piano, recalling Boulez’s lifelong search for beauty: “Merci, Pierre, Merci.”
Today at 7:30 CET/CEST, the Austrian radio station Ö1 presents the 2 1/2 hour programme In memoriam Pierre Boulez.
In the studio: Lothar Knessl, who knew Pierre Boulez since the post-war years, Christian Scheib, who was responsible for the script of “Pierre Boulez in Salzburg”, Florian Rosensteiner, who worked as a producer with Boulez, and Albert Hosp, who interviewed him for Ö1 on Mahler and Szymanowsky.
Beautiful – Georg Friedrich Haas’ Morgen und Abend and the “Total Immersion: Boulez at 90” programme made it into Fiona Maddocks’ best classical music of 2015 article:
In tribute to Pierre Boulez, this special evening brings together three great moments of musical and choreographic modernity and reunites two other major creative forces of the 20th century whose works Boulez has often conducted: György Ligeti and Igor Stravinsky.
Set to Boulez’ Anthèmes II, British choreographer Wayne McGregor’s ballet Alea Sands will première on 3 December at the Opéra national de Paris and be performed together with Polyphonie and Le Sacre du printemps.
Listen to a podcast produced by the Opéra national de Paris:
None of the dreams we indulged as adolescents at Oberlin would have even entered our minds without the intrepidity and the audacity of Pierre Boulez. […] In the words of Boulez himself, “Music is a labyrinth with no beginning and no end, full of new paths to discover, where mystery remains eternal.” (Claire Chase & Joshua Rubin, ICE co-artistic directors)
Honouring Pierre Boulez’ 90th birthday, conductor and bassoonist Pascal Gallois and the International Contemporary Ensemble present their Boulez 90 – New Dialogues programme at the National Sawdust – a new performance venue for contemporary music in Brooklyn – on 17, 18, 19 and 21 November. A selection of Boulez’ oeuvre will be performed alongside works of his contemporaries and those of young composers.
ICE is performing together with bassoonist Pascal Gallois on this project that was recently on tour in Paris and Brittany in France. A highlight of the concert series will be performances of Le Marteau sans maître with mezzosoprano Katalin Károlyi and Éclat.
The fully orchestrated versions, composed towards the end of the century, were laid bare by the presentation of the original piano pieces of 1945, written when he was just 20. It was a revelation. (Jonathan McAloon, The Telegraph, 24 August 2015)
Jonathan McAloon has recently reviewed A Day for Pierre Boulez for The Telegraph. The concert was held on Sunday, 23 August, at the Lucerne Festival.
“To browse through the album of Marion Kalter is much more than to look at portraits of musicians [...] it is to enter in deep contact with the impenetrable world of music and musicians.” (Pierre Boulez on Marion Kalter, Paris, December 2006)
No other photographer has been as close to Boulez as French photographer Marion Kalter. For several decades she has accompanied him not only in Paris, but also at other focal points of his musical creativity.
Tonight, 20 August, she presents “Pierre Boulez: Images Exposed” at Das Kino in Salzburg.
On 12 August, the Salzburg Festival presented a TerraceTalk with Daniel Barenboim, Helga Rabl-Stadler, Florian Wiegand and Wolfgang Schaufler.
Boulez is often perceived only as a structuralist, says Wolfgang Schaufler, a representative of Universal Edition. “Many don’t see the emotional side of the music, of course, since his music is new,” says Daniel Barenboim. “We cannot see all aspects of it yet.” Boulez himself has often discussed various elements of his music, but has said very little about emotionality, because that seems a matter of course to him. Everyone has different emotions when hearing the same piece. “Boulez has managed to feel with his head and think with his heart,” says Daniel Barenboim.
Read more on the website of the Salzburg Festival.
- Wolfgang Rihm: Die Eroberung von Mexico
- Kurt Weill: The Threepenny Opera
- Celebrating the 90th birthday of Pierre Boulez
- The Barber of Seville for children
Find out more about Universal Edition at this year’s Salzburg Festival in our current newsletter.
The Musik 21 Festival “Klang-Körper” kicks off today and will go on until Sunday!
Prominent guests of the festival will be pianists Tamara Stefanovich and Pierre-Laurent Aimard, who will be performing a selection of Pierre Boulez’ piano pieces, including Structures, Deuxième Livre for 2 pianos.
Furthermore, the Kairos Quartett will be performing Georg Friedrich Haas String Quartet No. 3 „In iij. Noct.” – a piece in which darkness is not present merely as an absence of light, but becomes the key theme of the work – on Saturday.
Find out more on Musik 21’s website.
Songbirds softened the severities of Boulez’s Improvisations sur Mallarmé, as if Messiaen, Boulez’s bird-loving teacher, were providing commentary.
Alex Ross has reviewed The Ojai Music Festival for The New Yorker.
Join Jill Richards and Waldo Alexander in their celebrations of the 90th birthday of Pierre Boulez: the “Day of the Giants” – an informal, informative and interactive day of fun and music – takes place on 28 June from 11:00 until 17:00 at the Goethe-Institut in Johannesburg.
On the programme: Boulez’ Anthèmes (with live electronics), Domaines, Deuxième Sonate as well as John Cage’s 4′33″ and four new compositions in response to the works of Pierre Boulez.
Find the full programme on the Facebook event page.