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 founder of institutions. He was one of the dominant figures of the post-war classical music world.

Born in Montbrison in the Loire department of France, the son of an engineer, Boulez studied at the Conservatoire de Paris 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 uncompromising commitment to modernism and the trenchant, polemical tone in which he expressed his views on music led some to criticise him as a dogmatist.

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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Claude Debussy
Jeux - poème danse
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Jeux - poème danse
Claude Debussy
Danse sacrée et danse profane
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Danse sacrée et danse profane
Luciano Berio
Sinfonia - movement 3
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Sinfonia - movement 3

Sinfonia - movement 3

Ensemble
New Swingle Singers
Conductor
Maurice Ravel
Don Quichotte à Dulcinée
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Don Quichotte à Dulcinée
Maurice Ravel
Une barque sur l'ocean
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Une barque sur l'ocean
Igor Stravinsky
Petrushka - Tableau 1, Shrovetide Fair
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Petrushka - Tableau 1, Shrovetide Fair
Johann Sebastian Bach
A Musical Offering, BWV 1079 (Ricercar a 6 orch Webern)
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A Musical Offering, BWV 1079 (Ricercar a 6 orch Webern)
Claude Debussy
Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune
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Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune
Pierre Boulez
Mémoriale (...explosante-fixe...originel)
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Mémoriale (...explosante-fixe...originel)

Mémoriale (...explosante-fixe...originel)

Ensemble
Soloists of Ensemble Intercomtemporain
Conductor
Claude Debussy
Images for orchestra: ii. Iberia
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Images for orchestra: ii. Iberia
Pierre Boulez
Notations (pour orchestre) No.2 'Tres vif'
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Notations (pour orchestre) No.2 'Tres vif'
Arnold Schoenberg
Chamber Symphony No.2 - 1st movement
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Chamber Symphony No.2 - 1st movement
Gustav Mahler
Wo die schönen Trompeten blasen (Des Knaben Wunderhorn)
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Wo die schönen Trompeten blasen (Des Knaben Wunderhorn)
Igor Stravinsky
Zvezdolikiy - Le roi des étoiles
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Zvezdolikiy - Le roi des étoiles
György Ligeti
Piano Concerto (1985-88) - 1. Vivace molto ritmico e preciso - attacca subito
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Piano Concerto (1985-88) - 1. Vivace molto ritmico e preciso - attacca subito
Igor Stravinsky
The Soldier's Tale (The Little Concert)
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The Soldier's Tale (The Little Concert)
Igor Stravinsky
The Soldier's Tale (The Devil's Dance)
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The Soldier's Tale (The Devil's Dance)
Claude Debussy
Première rhapsodie
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Première rhapsodie
Richard Wagner
Tristan und Isolde (Prelude)
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Tristan und Isolde (Prelude)

Tristan und Isolde (Prelude)

Orchestra
Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra
Conductor
Pierre Boulez
Derive 1
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Derive 1
Maurice Ravel
Piano Concerto for the Left Hand
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Piano Concerto for the Left Hand
Anton Webern
Passacaglia
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Passacaglia
Maurice Ravel
Le Tombeau de Couperin for orchestra [after nos. 1, 3, 5 & 4 of piano work]
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Le Tombeau de Couperin for orchestra [after nos. 1, 3, 5 & 4 of piano work]
Maurice Ravel
Trois Poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé
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Trois Poèmes de Stéphane Mallarmé
Arnold Schoenberg
Heimweh (Pierrot Lunaire)
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Heimweh (Pierrot Lunaire)
Claude Debussy
Jeux de vagues (La mer)
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Jeux de vagues (La mer)
Igor Stravinsky
Le Sacre du Printemps - final scene from Part 2
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Le Sacre du Printemps - final scene from Part 2
Igor Stravinsky
Scherzo fantastique
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Scherzo fantastique
Claude Debussy
La Mer - From Dawn till Noon on the Sea
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La Mer - From Dawn till Noon on the Sea
Igor Stravinsky
Petrushka - Russian Dance
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Petrushka - Russian Dance
Maurice Ravel
Daphnis et Chloé (Lever du jour)
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Daphnis et Chloé (Lever du jour)
Maurice Ravel
Une barque sur l'ocean (Miroirs)
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Une barque sur l'ocean (Miroirs)
Claude Debussy
Premiere rhapsodie for clarinet and orchestra
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Premiere rhapsodie for clarinet and orchestra
Anton Bruckner
Symphony No.8 - Scherzo: allegro moderato
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Symphony No.8 - Scherzo: allegro moderato
Igor Stravinsky
Sinfonia (Pulcinella)
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Sinfonia (Pulcinella)
Arnold Schoenberg
Verklarte Nacht Op.4
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Verklarte Nacht Op.4
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)
Maurice Ravel
Piano Concerto in G major
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Piano Concerto in G major
Gustav Mahler
Lob des hohen Verstandes (Des Knaben Wunderhorn)
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Lob des hohen Verstandes (Des Knaben Wunderhorn)
Maurice Ravel
Le Tombeau de Couperin - Rigaudon
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Le Tombeau de Couperin - Rigaudon
Maurice Ravel
Alborado del gracioso
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Alborado del gracioso
Claude Debussy
Fêtes (Nocturnes)
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Fêtes (Nocturnes)
Claude Debussy
From dawn to midday on the sea (La mer)
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From dawn to midday on the sea (La mer)
Igor Stravinsky
Petrushka: Scene 1
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Petrushka: Scene 1
Maurice Ravel
Bolero
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Bolero
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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
2015-08-12T15:22:35
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12
Aug
2015
Proms 2015: Proms Extra

Proms 2015: Proms Extra

Royal College of Music
Proms 2008: Prom 40
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/ejw5v2
Royal Albert Hall
2008-08-15T15:22:35
15
Aug
2008

Proms 2008: Prom 40

Royal Albert Hall
Proms 2004: Prom 65
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/ecp2mb
Royal Albert Hall
2004-09-03T15:22:35
3
Sep
2004

Proms 2004: Prom 65

Royal Albert Hall
Proms 2002: Prom 33
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/evwc8g
Royal Albert Hall
2002-08-14T15:22:35
14
Aug
2002

Proms 2002: Prom 33

Royal Albert Hall
Proms 2001: Prom 51
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/e9f3d4
Royal Albert Hall
2001-08-29T15:22:35
29
Aug
2001

Proms 2001: Prom 51

Royal Albert Hall

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