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Celebrating the Life of Pierre Boulez

With the passing of conductor and composer Pierre Boulez, Carnegie Hall celebrates the life of one of the most important and influential artists of the 20th century. Carnegie Hall was privileged to elect Pierre Boulez as an Honorary Trustee in 1995, and to appoint him as holder of the Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair from 1999 to 2003. During the 1999–2000 season, he was one of the Hall’s first Perspectives artists.

Boulez made approximately 75 appearances at Carnegie Hall, conducting close to 60 performances on our stages, and his works have been performed on more than 80 programs.



Pierre Boulez conducting the Chicago Symphony Orchestra on January 31, 2010. Photo by Steve J. Sherman.


A legendary composer, conductor, musical philosopher, and activist, Pierre Boulez was a visionary and trailblazing global force for modern music. As an arts educator, he was inspirational, challenging audiences to explore a new aesthetic of music through his musical research center IRCAM and offering profound insights to young musicians during the Professional Training Workshops he led through Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. Boulez’s work in Paris served as an inspiration in the conception of Zankel Hall, the opening season of which included performances by Boulez with Ensemble Intercontemporain.

Pierre Boulez will be deeply missed by all of us at Carnegie Hall and by the entire artistic community, though his brilliant musical legacy and pioneering spirit will stay with us all. 



Pierre Boulez leads Ensemble Intercontemporain in a 2003 performance of his Répons, a piece that calls for seven separate stages with the conductor in the middle. Photo by Steve J. Sherman.