Pierre Boulez (1925-2016)

From right, Pierre Boulez, Andrew Gerzso and Tod Machover at IRCAM, working on Répons
From right, Pierre Boulez, Andrew Gerzso and Tod Machover at IRCAM, working on Répons

From Tod Machover’s Facebook page:

Pierre Boulez – the great French composer, conductor and visionary (both imaginary and institutional) – died yesterday at the age of 90. Here is Paul Griffiths’ excellent obituary in The New York Times, which covers a great deal of Boulez’s career but does not mention his singular association with the LUCERNE FESTIVAL, which started in 2003 when he launched the Lucerne Festival Academy to give the best young music professionals an opportunity to create, perform and understand new music with an unparalleled mix of rigor and radicalism, the two qualities that Boulez always embodied. I was fortunate to work with Boulez at IRCAM when it started (1978-1985) and to work this past summer at the Lucerne Festival, participating in an amazing celebration of Boulez and his music on August 23, 2015. I’ll write more over the coming days, but just wanted to say without hesitation that Pierre Boulez marked the music and culture of our times as much as anyone – and perhaps more, considering his institution-building genius – and that we have lost a bold fighter for the seriousness and sophistication of music in a time when we have often forgotten how – or don’t have the time – to really listen.


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