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.
The legend of Pierre Boulez as a towering icon of the avant garde precedes him, but what I want to bring to our retrospective is my overriding impression of his humanity. Pierre is a man who is passionate, loyal and very human – an outstanding leader but also modest and generous. (Pierre-Laurent Aimard)
From today until Friday, the Aldeburgh Music Festival honours Pierre Boulez with a range of performances of the composer’s works, including A Pierre Dream: A Portrait of Pierre Boulez.
Find the full programme on the website of the Aldeburgh Festival.
The music is crystalline in its sheer beauty and in the mysterious network of quasi-neural connections that Boulez creates between every sound and moment in the piece. But Répons also has an awesome, torrential energy, in the streams of surreally fast music that careen throughout the ensemble, and in the collective, multi-dimensional sonic spectacular that the collective acoustic and electronic ensemble can create. (Tom Service, The Guardian, 12 June 2015)
A clearly impressed Tom Service has reviewed the Matthias Pintscher’s and the Ensemble Intercontemporain’s recent performance of Répons for The Guardian.
Find out more about Pierre Boulez on our #Boulez90 blog.
The show was conceived by Gerard McBurney as part of Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s acclaimed Beyond the Score series, keypieces from the Boulez’ oeuvre will be performed live together with the showing of rare archival footage and new interviews with the composer and conductor.
Once, only Boulez himself could have achieved such a performance: fortunately he clearly now has successors who are equal to the task. (Gavin Dixon, bachtrack, 24 April 2015)
Péter Eötvös and the London Symphony Orchestra dedicated a concert to Pierre Boulez on 23 April at the Barbican in which they performed Rituel in memoriam Bruno Maderna and other works.
Read Gavin Dixon’s full review on bachtrack.
If people complain of its atonality and difficulty, they should think of music from other cultures, which can sound equally alien and provide unequivocal evidence for tonal systems being the result of cultural conditioning. In this way, Boulez’s music can be seen as a universal music, rooted in the equally universal language of mathematics. (Emiel de Lange, Felix Online, 5.4.2015)
On 23 April, Peter Eötvös conducts the London Symphony Orchestra in a concert dedicated to Boulez, on 28 April a birthday salute by ensemble intercontemporain and Matthias Pintscher takes place. Read more about the concerts by clicking the respective links.
When Boulez turned 90 on March 26, he did so as perhaps the world’s most complete musician, and without doubt one of its very greatest conductors. The old stereotype has been almost perfectly inverted: Boulez is now lionized not only for his mastery of modern and contemporary works, but for the ability to elicit fresh sonic and structural details in works stretching back to the 19th century.
David Weininger on the Deutsche Grammophon’s 44-CD set “Pierre Boulez – 20th Century”. Find the full review on The Boston Globe.
The relationship between Pierre Boulez and Universal Edition, which has been publishing his music since 1953, can only be described as serendipitous. Boulez has endowed the UE catalogue with many of his masterpieces and conquered new terrain with his use of electronics. Boulez is a pioneer whose roots are firmly embedded in tradition, including the one which UE publishes.
As a conductor, his unflagging commitment to the Vienna School has affirmed its place in the repertoire.
His esteemed and exemplary performances of music by Mahler, Bartók, Janáček, Szymanowski, Berio and many other UE composers crowns the good fortune of our collaboration.
Universal Edition congratulates Pierre Boulez on his 90th birthday.
“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:
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:
Inspired by the mystical visions of Blake and the grim world about us, Lentz's work has a certain apocalyptic force about it, but it's not in any way negative or intimidating. Instead, he carves these great chunks of sound from the madding crowd on stage in a way that is strangely gripping and coherent. I was deeply moved. (Harriet Cunningham, The Sydney Morning Herald, 19.01.2015)
Read the full review on The Sydney Morning Herald.
Read Georges Lentz’ work introduction to Jerusalem (after Blake).
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.