Pierre Boulez
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1925-03-26
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/3bce590b-479f-42ca-b9e0-82883e0db9a2
Pierre Boulez

Pierre Boulez Biography (BBC)

An industrialist's son, Boulez was born in Montbrison, near Lyons, in 1925. At 17 he went to Paris to pursue his musical ambitions, studying with Olivier Messiaen and René Leibowitz. The former opened his mind to rhythmic irregularity, to sonic dazzle, and to Asian and African cultures. From the latter, Schoenberg's chief apostle in Paris, he gained the passionate conviction that the future lay with serialism.

In 1945 he was taken on as music director of the theatre company run by Jean-Louis Barrault and Madeleine Renaud. His first acknowledged compositions date from the same year, introducing a voice in perpetual turmoil, influenced partly by the compressed rage and savagery he found in his favourite poets, Antonin Artaud and Rene Char. A Char sequence, Le marteau sans maitre (1952-54), crowned this period. At once explosive and calm, immediate and inscrutable, it made him the intellectual leader of a Europe-wide movement, a position he maintained through frequent articles, regular teaching at the Darmstadt summer school from 1955 to 1967, and, increasingly, conducting.

He became a conductor as head of the Domaine Musical, a Parisian concert series he founded in 1954, and whose innovative mixed programming (new music and 20th-century classics in the company of music from up to 500 years earlier) he took with him when he worked in the late 1950s with the Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam and German radio orchestras. Finding it harder to satisfy himself creatively, he abandoned compositions or kept them as 'work in progress' (for example, the Third Piano Sonata and Pli selon pli for soprano and orchestra). Meanwhile, his conducting career took off. He gave his first concert with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra in 1961, conducted Berg's Wozzeck at the Paris Opera in 1963, and made his British orchestral debut in 1964, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

The combination of immense gifts with a vision for the musical future was irresistible, and he was appointed concurrently Principal Conductor of the BBC SO (1971-74) and Music Director of the New York Philharmonic (1971-77). He broadened his repertoire rapidly, but stayed committed to innovation. At the end of his New York stint he spent time founding and developing the Institut de Recherche et de Coordination Acoustique/ Musique (IRCAM) in Paris. He drastically scaled down his conducting and began learning the new language of computer music, which he displayed spectacularly in Répons (1980-84).

In the early 1990s he began to increase his conducting commitments again, and to re-record much of the repertoire closest to him (Debussy, Stravinsky, Bartok, Webern, Ravel, Mahler). But he has also gone on composing, if slowly, his most recent works including further instalments of his Notations, in which he reconsiders for large orchestra, lavishly and gorgeously, some vivid ideas he set down as piano pieces when he was 20.

Profile © Paul Griffiths

Pierre Boulez Biography (Wikipedia)

Pierre Louis Joseph Boulez CBE (26 March 1925 – 5 January 2016) was a French composer, conductor, writer and organiser of institutions. He was one of the dominant figures of the post-war classical music world.

Born in Montbrison in the Loire district of France, the son of an engineer, Boulez studied at the Paris Conservatoire with Olivier Messiaen, and privately with Andrée Vaurabourg and René Leibowitz. He began his professional career in the late 1940s as Music Director of the Renaud-Barrault theatre company in Paris. As a young composer in the 1950s he quickly became a leading figure in avant-garde music, playing an important role in the development of integral serialism and controlled chance music. From the 1970s onwards he pioneered the electronic transformation of instrumental music in real time. His tendency to revise earlier compositions meant that his body of completed works was relatively small, but it included pieces regarded by many as landmarks of twentieth-century music, such as Le marteau sans maître, Pli selon pli and Répons. His commitment to the modernist project and the trenchant, polemical tone in which he expressed his views on music led some to criticise him as a dogmatist, a reputation which softened in later years.

This entry is from Wikipedia, the user-contributed encyclopedia. It may not have been reviewed by professional editors and is licensed under an Attribution-ShareAlike Creative Commons License. If you find the biography content factually incorrect or highly offensive you can edit this article at Wikipedia. Find out more about our use of this data.

Pierre Boulez Performances & Interviews


Featured Works


Pierre Boulez Tracks

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Maurice Ravel
Le tombeau de Couperin (Prelude)
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Le tombeau de Couperin (Prelude)
Claude Debussy
Fêtes (Nocturnes)
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Fêtes (Nocturnes)
Claude Debussy
Danse sacrée et danse profane
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Danse sacrée et danse profane
Maurice Ravel
Une Barque sur l'ocean
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Une Barque sur l'ocean
Claude Debussy
Jeux - poème danse
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Jeux - poème danse
Maurice Ravel
La valse
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La valse
Pierre Boulez
Le Marteau sans Maître: I. Avant L'Artisanat furieux. Rapide
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Le Marteau sans Maître: I. Avant L'Artisanat furieux. Rapide
Sir Harrison Birtwistle
The Triumph of Time
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The Triumph of Time
Pierre Boulez
Notations 1-4 and 7
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Notations 1-4 and 7
Maurice Ravel
Concerto for Piano Left Hand
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Concerto for Piano Left Hand
Maurice Ravel
Piano Concerto in G major (3rd mvt)
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Piano Concerto in G major (3rd mvt)
Béla Bartók
Piano Concerto no.1 (1st mvt: Allegro moderato)
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Piano Concerto no.1 (1st mvt: Allegro moderato)
Pierre Boulez
Notations - no 10
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Notations - no 10
Bach arr Webern, Berlin Phil & Pierre Boulez
Fuga (Ricercata) a 6 (Musical Offering, BWV1079)
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Fuga (Ricercata) a 6 (Musical Offering, BWV1079)

Fuga (Ricercata) a 6 (Musical Offering, BWV1079)

Composer
Bach arr Webern
Performer
Berlin Phil
Richard Wagner
Parsifal
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Parsifal

Parsifal

Performer
Chor und Orchester der Bayreuther Festspiele
Igor Stravinsky
The Firebird Suite (1910)
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The Firebird Suite (1910)
Maurice Ravel
Piano Concerto in G major (2nd mvt)
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Piano Concerto in G major (2nd mvt)
Gustav Mahler
Totenfeier (Funeral Rites), symphonic poem in C minor
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Totenfeier (Funeral Rites), symphonic poem in C minor
György Ligeti
Piano Concerto, 4th mvt
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Piano Concerto, 4th mvt

Piano Concerto, 4th mvt

Performer
Pierre-Laurent Aimard, Ensemble InterContemporain
Conductor
Igor Stravinsky
The Firebird: Game of the Princesses with the Golden Apples
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The Firebird: Game of the Princesses with the Golden Apples
Pierre Boulez
Le Marteau sans maitre
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Le Marteau sans maitre
Pierre Boulez
Memoriale (...Explosante-Fixe... Originel)
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Memoriale (...Explosante-Fixe... Originel)
Pierre Boulez
Sonatine for flute and piano
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Sonatine for flute and piano
Béla Bartók
Concerto for 2 Pianos, Percussion and Orchestra, Sz.115 (3rd mvt)
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Concerto for 2 Pianos, Percussion and Orchestra, Sz.115 (3rd mvt)
Arnold Schoenberg
Verklarte Nacht Op.4
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Verklarte Nacht Op.4
Maurice Ravel
Valse nobles et sentimentales
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Valse nobles et sentimentales
Arnold Schoenberg
Friede auf Erden Op 13
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Friede auf Erden Op 13
Anton Webern
Passacaglia for large orchestra Op 1
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Passacaglia for large orchestra Op 1
Arnold Schoenberg
Violin Concerto Op 36
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Violin Concerto Op 36
Arnold Schoenberg
Pierrot Lunaire, Part 2: Nacht; Gebet an Pierrot; Raub; Rote Messe
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Pierrot Lunaire, Part 2: Nacht; Gebet an Pierrot; Raub; Rote Messe
Franz Schubert
German Dance, D.820 No.2
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German Dance, D.820 No.2
Anton Webern
4 Lieder for voice and orchestra, Op.13
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4 Lieder for voice and orchestra, Op.13
Johann Sebastian Bach
Musical Offering, BWV 1079 (Ricercar a 6)
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Musical Offering, BWV 1079 (Ricercar a 6)
Anton Webern
Symphony Opus 21
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Symphony Opus 21
Pierre Boulez
cummings ist der Dichter (Proms 2016)
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cummings ist der Dichter (Proms 2016)
Pierre Boulez
Anthèmes 2 (Proms 2016)
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Anthèmes 2 (Proms 2016)
Arnold Schoenberg
Concerto Op 42 - final movement
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Concerto Op 42 - final movement
Arnold Schoenberg
Die Gluckliche Hand Op 18
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Die Gluckliche Hand Op 18
Anton Webern
Two Songs for voice and 8 instruments, Op.8
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Two Songs for voice and 8 instruments, Op.8
Anton Webern
5 Pieces Op.10 no.4
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5 Pieces Op.10 no.4
Anton Webern
Symphony Op.21, 1st Movement
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Symphony Op.21, 1st Movement
Arnold Schoenberg
Concerto for Piano, Op. 42
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Concerto for Piano, Op. 42
Arnold Schoenberg
Drei volkslieder: III. Schein uns, du liebe Sonne
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Drei volkslieder: III. Schein uns, du liebe Sonne
Arnold Schoenberg
Herzgewächse
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Herzgewächse

Herzgewächse

Ensemble
Soloists of Ensemble Intercomtemporain
Conductor
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Playlists featuring Pierre Boulez


Past BBC Events

Proms 2015: Proms Extra
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/ej9v2m
Royal College of Music
2015-08-12T20:54:49
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12
Aug
2015
Proms 2015: Proms Extra

Proms 2015: Proms Extra

16:45
Royal College of Music
Proms 2008: Prom 40
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/ejw5v2
Royal Albert Hall
2008-08-15T20:54:49
15
Aug
2008

Proms 2008: Prom 40

19:30
Royal Albert Hall
Proms 2004: Prom 65
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/ecp2mb
Royal Albert Hall
2004-09-03T20:54:49
3
Sep
2004

Proms 2004: Prom 65

22:15
Royal Albert Hall
Proms 2002: Prom 33
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/evwc8g
Royal Albert Hall
2002-08-14T20:54:49
14
Aug
2002

Proms 2002: Prom 33

19:00
Royal Albert Hall
Proms 2001: Prom 51
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/e9f3d4
Royal Albert Hall
2001-08-29T20:54:49
29
Aug
2001

Proms 2001: Prom 51

19:00
Royal Albert Hall

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