Circles of Influence: Pierre Boulez

Music, Classical and opera
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New York Philharmonic Biennial. When conductor-composer Boulez led the Philharmonic for an aesthetically controversial stretch in the 1970s, he famously instituted a self-consciously casual "rug concert" new-music series (where the throw pillows were meant to offer a cushion that the fiercely atonal music had no interest in providing). The intimate Rose Theater space probably won't have any pillows on hand for this event—though this weekday afternoon concert does look rather like one of the maître's old-school avant-garde hoedowns. Philharmonic flutist Elizabeth Mann and guest pianist Margaret Kampmeier will join conductor Pablo Heras-Casado and the Orchestra of St. Luke's in a wide-ranging program that looks at Boulez's first draft of Mémoriale, as well as his rather recent (and suspiciously gorgeous) solo piano piece Une page d’éphéméride. U.S. premieres of works by Bruno Mantovani, Heinz Holliger, Philippe Manoury and Marc-André Dalbavie fill out the bill, and make the contemporary relevance of Boulez's music explicit.


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