In Chicago, musicians organize free concert honoring Boulez

Posted on: May 17, 2018

“Can we ever repay our enormous debt to Pierre Boulez? From 1991, when the eminent French composer and conductor began an annual series of residencies at the Chicago Symphony, he served a central role in the life of the orchestra, and in Chicago music,” writes John von Rhein in Wednesday’s (5/16) Chicago Tribune. “This coming weekend, Chicago musicians who worked with Boulez during his many years of service to the CSO are honoring his memory…. The North Shore-based chamber group Dempster St. Pro Musica, most of whose players are members of the CSO, will present a free concert of landmark 20th-century scores by composers he championed…. Cliff Colnot … will conduct…. The program … is the brainchild of CSO assistant principal oboe Michael Henoch, president and artistic director of Dempster St. … In 1969, subscribers walked out when Boulez led the CSO in Alban Berg’s ‘Three Pieces for Orchestra.’ Twenty five years later, subscribers … cheered when he conducted Luciano Berio’s no less challenging ‘Sinfonia.’ ” Says Henoch, “I think the people who are now coming to (CSO performances of contemporary music) are getting more out of them because of the work Boulez did during the nearly 20 years he was in residence with our orchestra.”

Posted May 17, 2018

Pictured: Pierre Boulez conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 2008. Photo by Chuck Berman / Chicago Tribune