The legendary French composer and conductor, Pierre Boulez, passed away yesterday, January 5th 2016, at the age of 90. Boulez was, most recently, the Helen Regenstein Conductor Emeritus of the CSO and had a long relationship with the CSO during his illustrious career. He was a constant champion and advocate of new, contemporary music and truly was one of the biggest figures in all of classical music history. I, unfortunately, never got to see him conduct live in concert, but his tremendous influence on the CSO will always be revered and remembered in the city of Chicago.
A statement from CSO Zell Music Director, Riccardo Muti, on Boulez’s passing:
“With the loss of Pierre Boulez, the world of music today is infinitely poorer. As both an admirer and friend of the Maestro, I am deeply grateful for his contributions, as composer, conductor, and educator, to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, with which he had a collaboration of nearly fifty years, and served so brilliantly as its principal conductor and conductor emeritus. His great musical artistry and exceptional intelligence will be missed.” – Riccardo Muti
Rest in peace, Maestro Boulez.