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Arts and Entertainment

Modern music militant Pierre Boulez invites listeners to be disturbed


Vivian Goodman
Tonight (Thursday) guest conductor Pierre Boulez returns for a two-week engagement with the Cleveland Orchestra . He has led the ensemble more than 200 times since George Szell first called on him to challenge audiences to open their ears and minds to the avant garde. That was more than 40 years ago, but the French composer and conductor remains the world's most outspoken defender of contemporary music. He shared his views with us earlier this week at Severance Hall:
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The Cleveland Orchestra

Boulez biography

Listener Comments:

I accept that this style of music has its place in the history and future of classical music, yet I fail to see how it is any more 'intellectual' than say the works of Copland, Rachmaninov, or Vaughn Williams. If it were that much more intelligent, then why aren't we playing it in babies' ears while they sleep over Mozart as is suggested? Why aren't expectant mothers blasting Schoenberg or Webern rather than Beethoven?

Posted by: Ken (Austin, TX) on February 26, 2008 1:40AM
Pierre's comments are spot on. I always hear the phrase that music needs to be entertaining. Why can't it be intellectually and emotionanally stimulating as well. Are you not entertained when your brain is engaged?

Posted by: Tony Zilincik (Columbus, OH) on February 26, 2008 12:42AM
Great, great article, thank you for posting. I love the points that Boulez makes in this article. Now, it's time for me to try and finagle my way up to Cleveland for one of his concerts...

Posted by: Aaron Hynds (Illinois/Iowa) on February 24, 2008 12:06PM
Vivian: Thanks so much for the wonderful Pierre Boulez interview. Just hearing that marvelously accented voice reminds me of all this great man has done for our city's Orchestra and for the world. Boulez still surprises, even at 82. And he always will!

Posted by: Gary Cavano (Cleveland, Ohio) on February 8, 2008 6:43PM
Good interview, thanks for posting.

Posted by: eric St-Laurent (toronto) on February 7, 2008 8:33PM
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