Webern: Six Orchestral Pieces
Pierre Boulez was one of the leading composers of the second half of the 20th century, with an oeuvre boasting famous serial scores like Le Marteau sans Maître and Pli selon Pli. As a conductor he is known for extraordinarily precise performances of contemporary works by Bartók, Webern and Varèse, among many others. In 1968 he was named Music Director of both the BBC Symphony Orchestra and New York Philharmonic. In 1969, the Cleveland Orchestra named him Principal Guest Conductor. In 1970 French president Georges Pompidou announced the experimental electronic music institute, Institut de Recherche et de Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM) to be under Boulez's administration. In 1975, he formed the Ensemble InterContemporain, an ensemble devoted entirely to the performance of new music, including Boulez's own. Still active in his eighties, Boulez's repertoire expanded to include works by such composers as Bruckner and Mahler.