PIERRE BOULEZ Biography - Theater, Opera and Movie personalities


Biography » theater opera and movie personalities » pierre boulez


Name: Pierre Boulez                                                                   
Born: 26 March 1925                                                                   
Pierre Boulez (b. March 26, 1925) is a French                                         
composer of contemporary classical music and conductor.                               
Boulez was born in Montbrison, France. He initially studied mathematics at Lyon       
before pursuing music at the Paris Conservatoire under Olivier Messiaen and the       
wife of Arthur Honegger, Andrée Vaurabourg. He studied twelve-tone technique         
with René Leibowitz and went on to write atonal music in a post-Webernian serial     
style. Boulez was initially part of a cadre of early supporters of Leibowitz,         
but due to an altercation with Leibowitz, their relations turned divisive, as         
Boulez spent much of his career promoting the music of Messiaen instead. The         
first fruits of this were his cantatas Le Visage nuptial and Le Soleil des eaux       
for female voices and orchestra, both composed in the late 1940s and revised         
several times since, as well as the Second Piano Sonata of 1948, a well-received     
32-minute work that Boulez composed at the age of 23. Thereafter, Boulez was         
influenced by Messiaen's research to extend twelve-tone technique beyond the         
realm of pitch organization, serialising durations, dynamics, mode of attack,         
and so on. This technique became known as integral serialism. Boulez quickly         
became one of the philosophical leaders of the post-war movement in the arts         
towards greater abstraction and experimentation. Many composers of Boulez's           
generation taught at the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik in Darmstadt,     
Germany. The so-called Darmstadt School composers were instrumental in creating       
a style that, for a time, existed as an antidote to music of nationalist fervor;     
an international, even cosmopolitan style, a style that could not be 'co-opted'       
as propaganda in the way that the Nazis used, for example, the music of Ludwig       
van Beethoven. Boulez was in contact with many young composers who would             
become influential, including John Cage.