The Nice Philharmonic brings its Symphony Season to a close with a tribute to a French composer, conductor and music theorist.

Pierre Boulez, who celebrated his 90th birthday in March, is regarded as the most significant French composer of his generation, and is also a highly acclaimed conductor. During his illustrious career he has been the recipient of more than 20 Grammy Awards, and this year was awarded a Grammy for lifetime achievement.

Maestro Boulez is known as a fervent supporter of music by 20th century composers, and this concert, by the Nice Philharmonic under the direction of Philippe Auguin, features music by Béla Bartók – his Four Orchestral Pieces Opus 12, composed in 1912 – Arnold Schoenberg’s 1936 Violin Concerto, Opus 36 – written whilst he was in the United States – and Claude Debussy’s ‘poème dansé’, Jeux (Games), which he wrote in 1912 for Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes, and set to choreography by Vaslav Nijinsky.

The guest soloist in the Schoenberg concerto is violinist Michael Barenboim, Concertmaster of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra since 2003. According to a critic for the Chicago Sun Times, Mr Barenboim’s 2013 performance of this concerto was “as exciting a first appearance by an instrumental soloist as I can recall in years”.

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The Homage to Pierre Boulez for his 90th birthday takes place at the Opéra de Nice on 5th June at 20h00, and 6th June at 18h00. Reservations can be made online.

The month of June also sees the last of the season’s Matinées musicales, which has Philippe Auguin conducting the Nice Philharmonic in excerpts from Berlioz’ Symphonie fantastique – a series of episodes from the life of an artist with a self-destructive passion for a beautiful woman. The performance takes place at the Opéra de Nice on 7th June.

The final three performances in the Chamber Concert series take place in June as well. The program of the concert on 8th June features quartets by Haydn, Beethoven and Smetana, with soloists Hristiana Guerguieva and Dimitar Burov (violin), Joël Soultanian (viola) and cellist Zela Terry. It takes place in the Foyer Montserrat Caballé at 12h15.

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The concert on 15th June is devoted to music by Mozart – his Quartet with Piano No 1, and the Quintette for Clarinet and Strings. The soloists are Reine-Brigitte Sulem and Pascal Roederer (violin), Emmanuella Reiter (viola), with cellist Anne Bonifas, clarinettist Frédéric Richirt, and pianist Bruno Robilliard.

The final Chamber Concert of the season, entitled Fête de la musique, features the Küchl Quartet in a program of string quartets by Joseph Haydn, Albert Roussel, and Franz Schubert. It takes place in the Musée National Marc Chagall on 22nd June at 20h00.

Details of these performances can be found on the Opéra de Nice website and reservations can be made online.

Orchestre Philharmonique de Nice

Gilly Lloyd is a journalist, copy and creative writer, and editor of Preview, as well as a regular contributor to the Arts section of Examiner.com

 

Lead image “Pierre Boulez (1968)” by Joost Evers / Anefo – Nationaal Archief. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

 

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