Tribute to Pierre Boulez on occasion of his 85th birthday

With Daniel Barenboïm and West-Eastern Divan Orchestra

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Hassan Moataz el Molla — Cellist

Michael Barenboim — Violinist

Hilary Summers — Contralto

West-Eastern Divan Orchestra

Daniel Barenboim — Conductor

Pierre Boulez — Conductor

Program notes

An exceptional concert in celebration of Pierre Boulez's 85th birthday!

Few twentieth-century composers have left as indelible a mark on music history as Pierre Boulez. His talent was noticed early on by Olivier Messiaen, his professor at the Paris Conservatory, who encouraged him to expand his musical horizons. The young Boulez asserted himself in short order as an important figure of the avant-garde, alongside powerhouses like Karlheinz Stockhausen, John Cage, and Luciano Berio. In addition to his influential work as a composer, Boulez was one of the world’s preeminent conductors and an ardent champion of contemporary music. To help instill an appreciation for avant-garde music in audiences and young artists, he founded concert society Domaine Musical, Paris research institute IRCAM, and the Lucerne Festival Academy in Switzerland.

On the occasion of Boulez's 85th birthday in 2010, the Berliner Staatsoper invited Daniel Barenboim and his orchestra, the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, to perform some of the French composer's masterworks: Messagesquisse, with the Egyptian soloist Hassan Moataz el Molla, Anthèmes 2 for violin solo (Michael Barenboim) and live electronics, and Le marteau sans maître with the Welsh contralto Hilary Summers.

Picture © Thomas Bartilla

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