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Boulez, Pierre

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Born: 1925 AD
Currently alive, at 89 years of age.

Nationality: French
Categories: Composers, Conductors

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1925 - Born on 26th of March in Montbrison, France. The most significant French composer of his generation, as well as a noted conductor and music theorist.

 

1944 - Studied with the composer and organist Olivier Messiaen at the Paris Conservatoire.

 

1945 - He studied the 12-tone technique with René Leibowitz, a pupil of its originator, Arnold Schoenberg.

 

1946 - In his Sonatine, for flute and piano, the 12-tone imitations and canons fly so fast as to leave an impression merely of movement and texture.

 

1952 - In Structures, Book I, for two pianos, the actual 12-tone series is simply taken from a work of Messiaen's; but Boulez elaborates it to a remarkable degree in strict permutations of pitch, duration, and dynamics.

 

1954 - Founded a series of avant-garde concerts, the Concerts Marigny, later called Domaine Musicale.

 

        - Le Marteau sans maître (The Hammer Without a Master) for voice and six instruments has florid decorative textures that flow into one another, with voice and instruments rising and falling with the utmost apparent spontaneity.

 

1960 - Gained an international reputation not only as a composer but also as a conductor, particularly of the 20th-century repertoire. He was affiliated with the Southwest (German) Radio Symphony Orchestra in Baden-Baden, West Germany.

 

         - Boulez' innovativeness was demonstrated in Pli selon pli (Fold According to Fold; first performed), in which performers must orient themselves by maintaining a constant awareness of the structure of the work. In his Piano Sonata No. 3, as in Pli selon pli, he introduced elements of aleatory (chance) music.

 

1964 - Wrote a number of theoretical works on 20th-century music, including Penser la musique aujourd'hui ("Thinking of Music Today"), Relevés d'apprenti ("Raised from Apprenticeship"), and Par volonté et par hasard ("By Choice and by Chance"). His writings are collected in Points de repère (Orientations).

 

1967-1972 - He was principal guest conductor of the Cleveland (Ohio) Orchestra.

 

                 - Named chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra (London) and music director of the New York Philharmonic.

 

1978 - Resigned after the season and returned to Paris to direct the Institut de Recherche et de Coordination Acoustique/Musique, the experimental music centre in the Centre National d'Art et de Culture Georges Pompidou.

 

1992 - Conducted part of the New York Philharmonic's 150th anniversary concert on 7th of December.

 


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Page last updated: 8:00pm, 03rd Jun '07