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Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Tamara Stefanovich bring Boulez birthday to Orchestra Hall / Chicago Classical Review

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​Though Pierre Boulez has been a local legend as principal guest conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and since 2006 as conductor emeritus, most CSO patrons have had limited exposure to his compositions, and fewer still know the finer points of his place in history as a titan of postwar experimentalism. While his cool and exacting conducting style has formed the basis of his public persona since the 1960's, his uncompromising dedication to daunting compositional complexity has remained intact.

As part of his 90th birthday celebration Sunday at Orchestra Hall, the audience was treated to a marathon survey of his complete works for solo piano, with a two-piano work added for good measure.​

​There was a well-documented evolution in his style over the decades, but at no point did change represent a concession to popular tastes, even as younger composers explored avenues that seemed to thumb their noses at his generation's achievements. Pianists Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Tamara Stefanovich presented the survey in chronological order, with brief oral introductions.

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