BBC Symphony Orchestra
21 Mar 2015, Barbican, London
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Total Immersion: Pierre Boulez at 90 Total Immersion: Pierre Boulez at 90 - 7.30pm Concert

BBC Symphony Orchestra
Total Immersion: Pierre Boulez at 90 - 7.30pm Concert
Sat 21 Mar 2015 Barbican Hall
Thierry Fischer conducts orchestral works by Boulez.
Thierry Fischer conducts orchestral works by Boulez.



Concert Information

It's hard to think of a more influential figure in post-war European music than Pierre Boulez. As a composer, conductor, thinker and cultural leader he has interrogated multiple pathways and possibilities in music, and asked the big questions. His relationship with the BBC Symphony Orchestra began in the 1960s, blossomed during his years as Chief Conductor, and went on to sharpen and invigorate the whole British music scene.

Pierre Boulez is undoubtedly one of the 20th century’s most innovative composers. Pli Selon Pli, literally translated as ‘fold by fold’, is widely regarded as Boulez’s seminal masterwork. His distinctive sound world is inspired here by the work of French poet Stéphane Mallarmé. As the five movements develop, Boulez reveals his portrait of Mallarmé. Each setting uses intriguing and different instrumental forces in a feast of combinations: 3 harps, mandolin, guitar, saxophones and a large percussion section sit alongside more standard orchestral forces. The BBC Symphony Orchestra musicians are joined by celebrated soprano Yeree Suh. French conductor François-Xavier Roth leads this and the 1pm concert earlier in the day.

In the 5pm concert, Alexander Soares performs all twelve of Boulez’s Notations for solo piano, composed in 1945. To open this 7.30pm concert, the BBC SO perform the five miniatures that Boulez revisited in the 1970s and 80s to orchestrate for full orchestra. This affords the listener a thrilling insight into the compositional development of a true provocateur.

Join us as we celebrate the 90th birthday of this iconic composer, thinker, conductor, and cultural leader.

Please note that this concert will be conducted by Thierry Fischer in place of the originally advertised Francois-Xavier Roth.