The New York Philharmonic deeply mourns the passing of Pierre Boulez, our bold and innovative Music Director from 1971 to 1977 as well as a trailblazing composer and thinker. Under Boulez, the Philharmonic introduced concert formats that brought the audience in direct contact with composers and performers, including the informal Rug Concerts and downtown Prospective Encounters. He returned in 1986 for a 14- event series highlighting his work as conductor, composer, and leader of the Ensemble Intercontemporain. In 1992 he celebrated the Philharmonic's 150th anniversary in a concert also led by former Music Directors Zubin Mehta and Kurt Masur. In the same year Boulez was made an Honorary Member of the Society, an honor shared by such figures as Wagner, Stravinsky, and Bernstein. New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert said: "Pierre Boulez was a towering and influential musical figure whose Philharmonic leadership implicitly laid down a challenge of innovation and invention that continues to inspire us to this day. To me, personally, he also was an unfailingly gracious mentor and friend, from the years when I worked with him in Cleveland and when I was appointed to the Philharmonic to the last time I saw him in Baden- Baden on a Philharmonic tour. I will miss his musicianship, kindness, and wisdom." The New York Philharmonic family sends our love and compassion to his family.
Published by New York Times on Jan. 7, 2016.