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Workshop – Pierre Boulez

Boulez: Composing – Performing – Reflecting

Workshop for young researchers in 20th and 21st century history of music
carried out in collaboration with the Holland Festival on June 1-2, 2015 with keynote speaker,

Venue: Amsterdam t.b.a.

Keynote – Mark Delaere (KU Leuven)
“Pierre Boulez, que me veux–‐tu?”

June 1, 2015 16:00
UT, room 301

This year, the Holland Festival honors the 90th birthday or French composer Pierre Boulez with a number of special concerts and events. For historians of 20th and 21st-century music this opens up a perspective on two central issues of their field. Boulez has given shape to 20th century music in many respects. He was active as a composer and conductor, he founded one of the major research institutions for researchers in sound and music, the Paris-based IRCAM, and he is the author of several volumes of critical and reflective writings. With the events at the Holland Festival another important perspective is added to this. Research on 20th- and 21st-century music history is happening under the condition of intense self-reflection. The question, how music history of the recent past can and should be investigated and written about is a major issue for musicologists, who, in addition face the mediated co-presence of historical times in the time span they are investigating.

Two events in this year’s programming of the Holland Festival were the point of departure of collaboration with this summer workshop. On June 1st, the eminent cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras will give a master class on how he worked with the composer on the referential recording of the piece Messagesquisse (1976/77). On June 2nd, the performance event Beyond the Score is scheduled in the Holland Festival, featuring a stage arrangement by Frank Gehry that integrates archival materials projected during the performance of a biographic overview of Boulez’ works.

The workshop will consist of the following constitutive elements. It will

  1. introduce into the work of Pierre Boulez (Introductory session Kursell/Beirens; keynote Mark Delaere);
  2. deepen the discussion of his historical embedding using a case study from the correspondences among the composers of serial music in the 1950s and 60s (workshop session Mark Delaere);
  3. discuss the use of live performance for assessing history and musical analysis (workshop session Kursell);
  4. and prepare the individual propositions for deliverables (intense workshop session Kursell/Beirens).

The students will be asked to prepare reading materials and deliver a report on the Masterclass as well as a paper of their own choice in the framework. The workload is calculated for 2 ECTS.

The workshop shall be advertised for enrollment via the Huizinga Institute; credit points being thus organized via the Huizinga Institute as well. Students from the Research MA Arts and Culture at the University of Amsterdam and the Research Master in Musicology at Utrecht University are the target group of the workshop. The workshop will be open for interested students (PhD or RMA) from The Netherlands and abroad. Students will have to pay a fee of 45,- Euro, which includes admission to the two events in the Holland Festival.