Pierre Boulez is awarded a lifetime Grammy

He will be amused at sharing the award with George Harrison, the Bee Gees, country duo the Louvin Brothers, hard bop saxophonist Wayne Shorter and Texas Tejano musician Flaceo Jiménez.

The award was announced last night.

Boulez, 89, is thought to be too frail to fly to Los Angeles for the awards ceremony.

(So we’ll never get that shot of PB with a BeeGee).

boulez

Riccardo Muti wrote to him last night: ‘Dear Maestro, dear Pierre: The news that you are the recipient of the 2015 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award makes me and the entire Chicago Symphony Orchestra family extremely happy and proud. You are a giant in the musical world, and we are all so grateful for your great contribution to music. Congratulations with great admiration, affection and friendship.’

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  • ==He will be amused at sharing the award with George Harrison

    Boulez did once say in an interview (1970s, I think) that a song by the Beatles was far more sophisticated musically than a Hans Werner Henze opera !

    Has anybody seen Boulez recently – in the audience at concerts perhaps ?

    • to Mark Stratford ~

      I find your comment insanely funny and actually, quite true! As a former member of Solti’s Chicago Symphony Orchestra, one can never forget the day in rehearsal with Sir Georg Solti on the podium, scratching his bald head with a “what is this?” look, then saying to one of the aides to the Manager of our CSO, “We must have the composer here to figure out what he has written here in my score!” All of us were wondering How we could interpret Han Werner Henze’s marking in a particular spot of this rather vague sounding piece. The next day we were surprised to hear Maestro Solti introduce none other than Hans Werner Henze to us, sitting in one of the main hall rows of seats (about Row 5) looking up at us on the stage of Orchestra Hall (aka Symphony Center). He spoke with Solti in German and we were told Hans Werner Henze suffered, evidently, from severe migraine headaches at his Baden Baden home. Once Solti was instructed by Henze about the puzzling page of the violin sections, we were told to “rub your hands over that part of the page until directed to stop.” Some of my colleagues giggled to themselves — they had played under Reiner! — and off we went for our rubbing hands over that portion of the page part of the rehearsal. It was strange, indeed, but most of us managed to get a ‘good’ sound! The ending of this actual occurrence is that later, following Hans Werner Henze’s departure from the rehearsal, prior to its premiere in the evening, we were officially told about Hans Werner Henze’s severe migraine headaches and one of my savvy colleagues said, “No wonder he has such headaches, with all these loud noises coming out of the orchestra and then we get to rub our hands on the page to soothe our ears!” There were fits of laughter from many colleagues as the music was full of Loud and our rubbing hands on the page seemed the only relief! Go figure!? (As a musician having performed a number of very contemporary pieces of music, I do not wish this to be perceived as disrespect to the composer. It was just truly funny at the time!)

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