Pierre Boulez – avant-garde figurehead since the 1940s, musical giant on the world stage and author of some of the key progressive works in musical modernism – is celebrated over one weekend.
As well as hearing the composer himself conducting a special performance of his masterpiece Pli selon pli, with the esteemed Ensemble InterContemporain – which he founded in the 1970s – there is an opportunity to hear almost all his piano works played during one day by Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Tamara Stefanovich. Hear pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, composer Nico Muhly and Gillian Moore, Southbank Centre's Head of Contemporary Culture, discuss Exquisite Labyrinth in following podcast .
Pierre Boulez - avant-garde figurehead since the 1940s, musical giant on the world stage and author of some of the key progressive works in musical modernism - returns to Royal Festival Hall for a rare London concert as composer/conductor. He performs with the esteemed Ensemble intercontemporain, which he founded in the 1970s, soprano Barbara Hannigan and the young musicians of the Lucerne Festival Academy Ensemble as part of a collaboration project.
This concert is the culmination of a special weekend devoted to the composer's music and features a performance of Boulez's sonic masterpiece Pli selon Pli ('Fold upon Fold') for soprano and orchestra. Based on fragments from the French poems of Stéphane Mallarmé - known for their play on phonetics - it is a piece of dynamic contrasts, subtle textures and great beauty - a perfect vehicle for the supreme technical skill of Ensemble InterContemporain and Barbara Hannigan.