|The First Art Newspaper on the Net
||Established in 1996
|| Thursday, May 25, 2017
|France's Pierre Boulez, world-renowned avant-garde composer who 'opened minds', dies|
This file photo taken on December 20, 2011 shows French composer and conductor Pierre Boulez directing the Paris Orchestra under the Louvre Pyramid during a free concert in Paris. French composer, conductor Pierre Boulez died at the age of 90 on January 5, 2016 in Baden-Baden.
By: Marie-Pierre Ferey
PARIS (AFP).- World-renowned French conductor-composer Pierre Boulez, one of the most influential voices in modern classical music who was no stranger to controversy, has died aged 90, his family said Wednesday.
A seminal figure in abstract music, Boulez constantly pushed the envelope by challenging the status quo, once suggesting: "We should burn down the opera houses."
It was not that he disdained opera, but rather Boulez, who died Tuesday in Baden-Baden, Germany, felt that operatic productions had become too amateurish and catered too much to popular demand.
"He helped open minds and hearts to new musical forms," said France's former culture minister Jack Lang. "He really invented a unique musical language."
Intrigued by maths, Boulez composed around 30 often demanding works, notably "Le Marteau Sans Maitre" (The Hammer Without a Master), which drew inspiration from surrealist poetry.
Several works he labelled "works in progress" were to be modified as the performer desired.
"He was a central player in the forward march of the music of our era, the music that... we would be playing tomorrow," said Stephane Lissner, director of the Paris Opera.
Boulez conducted some of the world's top orchestras, leading the BBC Symphony Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic, where he was musical director from 1971 to 1977.
Top US orchestras on Wednesday dedicated performances to Boulez.
Alan Gilbert, his successor as music director at the New York Philharmonic, described him as a "towering and influential musical figure whose Philharmonic leadership implicitly laid down a challenge of innovation and invention that continues to inspire us to this day."
Boulez's conducting style was legendary. Shunning the baton in favour of his hands, he used sharp, clear movements reminiscent of a traffic director.
Lissner, of the Paris Opera, called Boulez "one of the greatest composers of the 20th century" who had "left his mark on his era."
'He thought with his heart'
Born on March 26, 1925 in the Loire Valley town of Montbrison, Boulez studied at the Paris music conservatory with Olivier Messiaen, a leading composer and organist who influenced his early works.
Boulez's brusque statements added to his public image.
In 1952, he wrote an essay titled "(Arnold) Schoenberg Is Dead", vowing to take music to the next frontier a year after the death of his forerunner in atonality -- music that abandons classical scales.
"That means 'stop linking my generation to his discoveries and experimentations, we have gone past that'," said Laurent Bayle, director of the Philharmonie de Paris and a disciple of Boulez.
Boulez was invited by orchestras from Berlin and Vienna to Chicago and Cleveland, and despite his comment on opera, produced in the late 1970s a celebrated version of Richard Wagner's "The Ring of the Nibelung" with French director Patrice Chereau.
It was his exasperation with the relative conservatism of the French musical world that led him to make his home in the German city of Baden-Baden before heading to London and New York.
He returned however in 1974 to create an ensemble dedicated to contemporary music and the Institute for Acoustic/Music Research and Coordination.
He was the first musician named to the College de France, a prestigious research and teaching institute founded in the 16th century.
From there he was associated with several major musical projects such as the Cite de la Musique, inaugurated in 1995, and most recently the Philharmonie de Paris, whose inauguration last year he was too frail to attend.
Musicians worldwide have offered their remembrances of his singular talent in modern conducting and composing.
Julian Lloyd Webber, the principal of Britain's Birmingham Conservatoire, tweeted: "Even if you didn't whistle his oeuvres in the bath he certainly moved and shook!"
"He felt with his head and thought with his heart," said Argentinian conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim.
© 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse
January 7, 2016
Wildenstein art-dealing tax fraud trial in France suspended on technicality
Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld suspected of hiding 20 mn euros from French taxman: report
Vintage gelatin silver exhibition prints by Christer Strömholm on view at Pace/MacGill Gallery
India's Mumbai, home to famous neighborhood in "Slumdog Millionaire, to get 'world's first slum museum'
Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei to display bamboo, kites in first French exhibition
One of Italy's leading post-war cinema stars, Silvana Pampanini, dead at 90 according to local media
Music, film impresario Robert Stigwood, who produced "Saturday Night Fever", dies aged 81
Oklahoma City Museum of Art receives 50 photos from Brett Weston Archive and Christian K. Keesee Collection
One-person exhibition of over 60 paintings and works on paper by Ilse D'Hollander opens at Sean Kelly
Survey of paintings by Beijing-based painter Zhu Jinshi opens at Blum & Poe
Christie's announces its annual Ski Sale the only auction dedicated to ski posters worldwide
France's Pierre Boulez, world-renowned avant-garde composer who 'opened minds', dies
Hirschl & Adler Modern opens first comprehensive exhibition in America of works by Frank Walter
Indianapolis Museum of Art announces new Deputy Director for Horticulture and Natural Resources
Penelope Umbrico's inaugural exhibition at Bruce Silverstein Gallery opens in New York
La Biennale de Montréal 2016: Title, curatorial approach and advisory team
University of Michigan Museum of Art presents Ferhat Özgürs "Metamorphosis Chat"
Pig character in film poster gets the chop in Malaysia
Influential designer Richard Sapper dies in Italy
Brittany Nelson's first solo show with Morgan Lehman Gallery opens in New York
1960 Olympic Gold Medal for Boxing to be featured in Olympic themed auction
Exhibition of new works by Martha Tuttle on view at Tilton Gallery
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- Pissarro painting seized in WW II turns up in exhibition at the Marmottan Museum
2.- First comprehensive retrospective of Mark Tobey's work in Italy opens in Venice
3.- Apple-1 still tops the list of most-wanted tech collectibles
4.- Desire, love, identity: British Museum explores LGBTQ histories
5.- Exhibition focuses on the Nazi period and the acquisitions made during those years
6.- Tate Modern opens the UK's first major retrospective of Alberto Giacometti for 20 years
7.- MFA Boston reaches agreement with estate to retain 18th century porcelain
8.- Anish Kapoor's Descension installed at Brooklyn Bridge Park
9.- United States pavilion opens with Mark Bradford's "Tomorrow Is Another Day"
10.- Venice's 57th International Art Exhibition is a tonic for global woes
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.