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Pierre Boulez (Philippe Gontier photo)

Pierre Boulez (Philippe Gontier photo)

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association congratulates Helen Regenstein Conductor Emeritus Pierre Boulez as a recipient of a 2015 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. The recognition is given to “performers who, during their lifetimes, have made creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording.”

In a message sent to Maestro Boulez earlier today, Music Director Riccardo Muti said, “Dear Maestro, 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.”

CSO bass Stephen Lester, chairman of the Members Committee, added, “The Musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra are very pleased that Pierre Boulez has been given this special Lifetime Achievement Award from the Academy. He is one of the most important and influential musicians and composers of our time. We in Chicago are proud to have had a rewarding and meaningful relationship with him for over thirty years. His contribution to music in Chicago, as well as the world, is important in many ways, helping to open all of our minds, and ears, at every opportunity. Congratulations, Maestro Boulez!”

“As peerless conductor, glittering composer, restless thinker, and polemical champion of the loftiest musical values, Pierre Boulez is simply sans pareil,” commented Gerard McBurney, the CSO’s creative director for Beyond the Score. “He has influenced, irritated, provoked, disturbed, and inspired us all, yes, even those sleepers who do not even dream, that they too have been touched by his ceaseless energy and powers of invention!”

With twenty-six Grammy Awards to his credit, Boulez—along with fellow Lifetime Achievement Award recipients the Bee Gees, Buddy Guy, George Harrison, Flaco Jiménez, The Louvin Brothers, and Wayne Shorter—will be honored at a special ceremony in Los Angeles on February 7, 2015, as well as during the Grammy Awards telecast on Sunday, February 8 on CBS.

The CSO’s Beyond the Score series, which “weaves together theater, music, and design to draw audiences into the concert hall and into the spirit of a work,” recently honored Boulez’s upcoming ninetieth birthday. The show was entitled A Pierre Dream by renowned architect Frank Gehry, who designed the production. Click here for a discussion with the creative forces, the genesis of the immersive experience, and a gallery of images from the production.

For more information on Pierre Boulez, click here for a complete list of his Grammy Awards, a complete list of his recordings with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, a timeline of his extensive partnership with the CSO, details of his debut with the CSO in 1969, and a select bibliography.

Update: A video of the world-premiere performances of A Pierre Dream can be viewed here. Also, Martha Gilmer, the CSO’s former vice president for artistic planning and audience development, accepted the award on behalf of Boulez in Los Angeles on February 7 (added March 10, 2015).

Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Tamara Stefanovich perform piano works of Boulez at Symphony Center on March 15, 2015.

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The CSO and Maestro Muti perform a program featuring Prokofiev’s Suite from Romeo and Juliet and Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9 (From the New World) at the historic Teatro di San Carlo for a capacity audience. Taking the podium to announce the evening’s encore—Giordano’s Intermezzo from Fedora—Muti noted “although, I’m 100% Italian, I’m 200% Southern Italian.” After the concert, Maestro Muti and his wife hosted the musicians of the Orchestra and distinguished guests for a post-concert dinner featuring traditional Neapolitan cuisine. On Sunday morning before the concert, Maestro Muti and three CSO musicians—Jennifer Gunn, piccolo; Charles Vernon, trombone; and Gene Pokorny, tuba—share an informal performance with young men and women at a juvenile justice center in nearby Nisida. The program was presented by the Negaunee Music Institute with assistance from the administrative staff of the Teatro di San Carlo. #CSOonTour 📸@toddrphoto
Musicians and staff travel from Paris to Naples. Called Napoli in Italian, its name is derived from the Greek word Neapolis meaning "new city.” The city is the birthplace of Riccardo Muti, as well as the birthplace of pizza! This tour stop includes the CSO’s first return to the world renowned Teatro di San Carlo with Maestro Muti since 2012. That appearance marked its first European tour appearance in Naples. 📸@toddrphoto
Riccardo Muti and the CSO spend less than 24 hours in Paris for a concert at the Philharmonie de Paris with a program featuring works by Wagner, Hindemith and Dvořák. The last time they performed in this hall was during their most recent tour to Europe in January 2017. #CSOonTour 📸@toddrphoto

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