“Few musicians in history have been as influential within their lifetimes as Pierre Boulez,” writes Rebecca Schmid in Wednesday’s (4/1) International New York Times. Boulez turned 90 on March 26. “As principal conductor of both the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic, principal guest conductor of the Chicago Symphony and a regular presence with leading institutions such as the Cleveland Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic, he introduced experimental performance formats and reshaped the canon with a 20th-century repertoire…. Despite an unbending commitment to modernist complexity, Mr. Boulez allowed a wide spectrum of schools to flourish side by side at Ircam,” the Paris-based Institute for the Research and Coordination of Acoustics and Music. Boulez “also carried forth the French tradition of impressionist color, from the early song cycle ‘Le Marteau Sans Maître’ … to ‘Sur Incises,’ one of his latest works … A commissioning program created in 2013 [at Switzerland’s Lucerne Festival] pairs young conductors and composers in a two-year process intended to create more dialogue between performer and creator.” The article includes comments from Matthias Pintscher, Daniel Barenboim, Pierre-Laurent Aimard, and Tod Machover.
Posted April 3, 2015