"There are enough conservatories and academies of music, of course," Pierre Boulez points out, "but they often give short shrift to contemporary music." Which is why he founded the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY in 2004, a sort of école supérieur in which 130 highly gifted young musicians from all corners of the globe deepen their performance of twentieth- and twenty-first-century music in daily rehearsals, workshops, and lessons. "We focus on a brief period, roughly three weeks altogether, and on a few special works and topics," Boulez explains. "And there are world premières every year, so the students can learn from practical experience what 'music of today' really means." One of the most acclaimed composers of our time, Boulez knows that the intention of a work and its execution can be worlds apart. Conversely, as a conductor he knows all too well the difficulties that orchestral musicians face with contemporary music. His first concern is therefore to unveil the meaning of the music, "why a particular piece was written this way and not another. All good music has its compelling justification. Only when that justification becomes clear to a certain extent does technique come into play, including the technique of listening and analyzing – whether a particular player is important or less important in a particular passage. I call this the culture of cohesion, the culture of collective performance. When the students rehearse this intensively for two or three weeks, they internalize the sound and know far better how this music must be played."
Click here for a detailed biography of Pierre Boulez.