Cleveland Orchestra’s 90th-birthday tribute to Boulez

Posted on: January 13, 2015

In Sunday’s (1/11) Plain Dealer (Cleveland), Zachary Lewis writes that on the cusp of composer-conductor Pierre Boulez’s 90th birthday, the Cleveland Orchestra “is highlighting his life and work. Over the course of concerts Thursday through Saturday, the ensemble under music director Franz Welser-Möst will pay homage to its friend with music straight from the Boulez canon…. An official tribute Thursday [will be] followed by related concerts the next two nights … [including] a few of the several composers for which the Boulez-Cleveland relationship remains iconic: Berg (Three Excerpts from ‘Wozzeck’), Debussy (‘Jeux’) and Mahler (Symphony No. 6). In a nod to the artist’s lifelong advocacy of living composers, the orchestra Friday and Saturday also will give the world premiere of ‘Etudes-Tableaux’ by Young Composer Fellow Ryan Wigglesworth…. [Principal keyboardist Joela] Jones said, [Boulez’s] music—complex, playful, enigmatic, and represented Thursday by the ‘Notations,’ in both their piano and orchestral versions—made her fluent in the 12-tone language and prepared her and the orchestra for other new music.” Boulez turns 90 in March and has been associated with the Cleveland Orchestra since 1965; the article notes that health issues have forced him to cancel recent appearances. 

Posted January 13, 2015