Pierre Boulez

French composer, conductor and writer


Born in Montbrison in the Loire department of France, the son of an engineer, Boulez studied at the Conservatoire de Paris with Olivier Messiaen, and privately with Andrée Vaurabourg and René Leibowitz. He began his professional career in the late 1940s as music director of the Renaud-Barrault theatre company in Paris. He was a leading figure in avant-garde music, playing an important role in the development of integral serialism (in the 1950s), controlled chance music (in the 1960s) and the electronic transformation of instrumental music in real time (from the 1970s onwards).


Olivier Messiaen

“Pierre Boulez was one of the most prominent conductors of his generation. In a career lasting more than sixty years, he was music director of the New York Philharmonic and the Ensemble intercontemporain, chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra and principal guest conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra.”