Day of the Giants / Pierre Boulez

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Boulez © Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch
Boulez © Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch

Celebrating Pierre Boulez, one of the giants of 20th century music, with Jill Richards, Waldo Alexander, a range of world premieres and many surprises!

On Sunday 28 June, legendary French composer Pierre Boulez will be celebrated at the “Day of the Giants” at the Goethe-Institut in Parkwood, Johannesburg. The event starts at 11.00 and ends around 17.00. Entrance is free.

In his 90th year, Pierre Boulez is one of the major figures of the 20th century: composer, iconoclast, polemicist and more. He is equally known as a brilliant conductor.

Jill Richards and Waldo Alexander will honour Pierre Boulez with a special event at the Goethe-Institut Johannesburg – an informal, informative and interactive day of fun and (serious and playful) music. They will explore Boulez’ work with performances of his Second Piano Sonata, Anthèmes for solo violin and live electronics, and Domaines for solo clarinet, performed by Morné van Heerden. These will all be South African premieres.

The event will also look at the relationship between Boulez, John Cage and Karlheinz Stockhausen, the other giants of the 20th century. All three were geniuses, and all three had profound influences on the music of their time.

In order to connect with the audience and hear back from them what they think and feel, there will be a Speakers Corner for people to comment. There will also be a panel with composer Andile Khumalo, musicologist Lindelwa Dalamba and Felicity Mdhluli.

A very special part of the day will be four new works, written specially for the day by young Johannesburg composers Samora Ntsebeza, Diale Mabitsela, Victoria Hume and Felicity Mdhuli. They will be responding to aspects of Boulez’ music, and those are going to be four world premieres.

There will also be a performance of John Cage’s legendary 4’33, with special guest Brooks Spector.

The public is invited to join this free event for a lively day of music, videos, food and discussion. No musical knowledge is required: bring along your ears and enjoy!

Generous sponsors of this event are the Goethe-Institut, the French Institute (IFAS) and Prosound (with Maestro speakers, DPA microphones and a Midas mixing console), who are specially rigging a 10 speaker array. The media partner is Creative Feel, and the piano is being supplied by Ian Burgess-Simpson pianos.

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