90th-birthday tributes to Pierre Boulez, on both sides of the Atlantic

Posted on: March 26, 2015

In Wednesday’s (3/25) Los Angeles Times, Mark Swed assesses the legacy of Pierre Boulez, who turns 90 on Thursday, March 26. “Boulez has done as much as if not more than any other living composer and conductor to change the way we think about and make music…. There have been in the past week massive birthday tributes at London’s Barbican Centre and the new Philharmonie in Paris…. Boulez’s influence has been pervasive in the U.S. as well,” where he served as the New York Philharmonic’s music director from 1971 to 1977. “The Chicago Symphony and Cleveland Orchestra, two ensembles to which Boulez has had close ties, had their Boulez moment months ago” with concert programs devoted to Boulez. Composer John Adams “has long bristled against the hegemony of the European Modernism of which Boulez became a symbol. The fact is: No one can escape Boulez, whether it is as a follower or rebel.… The Ojai Festival … will pay considerable tribute in June with several Boulez chamber pieces programmed…. Boulez is said to be frail. Failing eyesight and a series of falls have kept him off the podium the past three years. But … his legacy has never been more assured.” The article also discusses new Boulez recordings from Deutsche Grammophon, Sony, and EuroArts.

Posted March 26, 2015

Pictured: Pierre Boulez conducts the Cleveland Orchestra, 2013