Pierre Boulez is a French composer of contemporary classical music, a pianist, and a conductor.
He is known the world over having conducted most of the world's leading symphony orchestras and ensembles since the late fifties, he has been the chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra from 1971 to 1975, music director of the New York Philharmonic from 1971 to 1977 and currently he is the Conductor Emeritus of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
The orchestras which he has conducted in recent years include the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, the Ensemble InterContemporain, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, the Staatskapelle Berlin.
Pierre Boulez has also conducted and recorded many opera productions.
In 1966 he joined the Bayreuth Festival's roster for a production of "Parsifal", but he is perhaps most remembered for teaming with Director Patrice Chereau for the 1976 centenary production of Richard Wagner's "Der Ring des Nibelungen", recordings of which were commercially released in both audio and video formats- and remain available today on DVD.
Boulez again teamed with Chéreau in the late 70's for a production of Alban Berg's "Lulu" at the Paris Opera - the first ever production of the work!
In 2007 he took a production of Leoš Janácek's "From the House of the Dead" that originated at the Vienna's Theater an der Wien, to Amsterdam. Boulez said at the time it would be the last opera he would ever conduct but in 2004 and 2005 he returned to Bayreuth to conduct a controversial new production of Parsifal.
Other operas Boulez has conducted since include Berg's "Wozzeck" at the Paris Opera, Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde" (the Bayreuth, Japan tour), Bartók's "Bluebeard's Castle" at the "Aix-en-Provence Festival" and concert performances of Debussy's "Pelléas et Mélisande" at Covent Garden.