LSO Chairman and Sub-Leader Lennox Mackenzie remembers conductor and composer Pierre Boulez, who has died at the age of 90.
The classical music world has lost a giant. When Sir Simon Rattle announced the news of Pierre Boulez's death at rehearsal today, a palpable aura of sadness and quiet ensued. Maestro Boulez was enormously respected and loved by everyone in the LSO. He was a regular visitor and his exceptional interpretations of the masterpieces of the last 100 years will remain with us forever. His visits were always warmly anticipated by one and all. Never one to use a baton, his minimal style of conducting brought great clarity and exhibited to the performers that it was the music that was important. The attention to detail allied to his deep, intellectual understanding of these masterpieces always brought revelations to his musicians in rehearsal. His hearing ability was legendary, able to pick out a slight intonational lapse perhaps from one musician, when a hundred were playing. Working with him was always compelling and intense. His ever-present, delightful and subtle sense of humour added to the pleasure that his rehearsals undoubtedly were.
We shall hugely miss the opportunity to make music with him again but his legacy will live on through his own highly-regarded and ground-breaking compositions, many of which the LSO have had the pleasure of performing with the great man over the years. Fond memories indeed.
Lead photo: Harald Hoffmann