Pierre Boulez (conductor and composer)
born March 26, 1925
Pierre Boulez introduces and conducts Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring with the LSO at the Opera House, Frankfurt.
A meticulous conducting technique and a phenomenal ear for detail have made Boulez was of the most fascinating of modern conductors. He has championed the music fellow French composers but also performed a vast repertoire and continues to explore new composers. He has recorded extensively including a Mahler cycle as well as a critically acclaimed Ring cycle, made live at Bayreuth.
Boulez: a tribute by Pierre-Laurent Aimard
'I had the good fortune to programme a Boulez Festival in London last autumn. The great man himself directed his Pli selon Pli. The concert was one of the most uplifting I have ever heard. From this masterpiece, interpreted immaculately, emerged Boulez’s superior qualities. His lucidity (the result of paring away the unnecessary), his craft (which balances great respect for the score with total liberation), his genius for organisation. But, above all, his strangely rarefied originality, his poetic otherness. His conducting, concentrated to its essence, is the personification of economy, and the effacement of ego in the pursuit of his supreme goal: to serve the music. One of his major legacies is to have shown how genius and artistic morality can coexist. That this composer/conductor/thinker has always turned his attention to the music of others – and these days to education – reveals a world view where passion and artistic responsibility are interwoven.'
'Pierre Boulez at 70' (Gramophone, March 1995) by Stephen Plaistow