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Composer Pierre Boulez dies at 90

Published 06/01/2016

French conductor and composer Pierre Boulez has died, Paris Philharmonic announced (AP)
French conductor and composer Pierre Boulez has died, Paris Philharmonic announced (AP)

Conductor Pierre Boulez, who moved between conducting, composition and teaching over a long career that made him one of the leading figures in modern classical music, has died at age 90.

A spokesman for the Paris Philharmonic, Hamid Si Amer, confirmed that Boulez had died in Baden-Baden, Germany.

Boulez led the New York Philharmonic and the BBC Symphony Orchestra during the 1970s.

Born in Montbrison, France, Boulez initially studied mathematics as a youth before switching to music and studying at the Paris Conservatory.

His work with the New York Philharmonic covered an enormous range, from his own compositions and those of other moderns such as Stravinsky and Stockhausen to older favourites such as Mahler and Beethoven.

He also worked with the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris and the London Symphony Orchestra. His recordings won more than 25 Grammys.

As recently as 2009, already in his mid-80s, he joined with fellow conductor Daniel Barenboim to conduct the complete symphonies of Gustav Mahler at Carnegie Hall.

"Pierre Boulez made French music shine throughout the world. As a composer and conductor, he always wanted to reflect on the ages," French president Francois Hollande said in a statement.

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