Pierre Boulez

The Visionary

© Philippe Gontier

A revolutionary musician

Born 1925 in France, Pierre Boulez was a composer, conductor, theorist and cultural emissary who revolutionized music during his lifetime. A universalist who left his mark on many disciplines, he left a legacy for future generations that already began to take shape before his death in January of 2016. This unique concert hall named after him is a tribute to his relentless dedication to learning and his insatiable curiosity. The Pierre Boulez Saal, just one of the many fruits of a lifelong professional friendship with Daniel Barenboim, creates an ideal space for the ever-changing needs of classical and contemporary music, which Pierre Boulez so passionately sought to share.

One should essentially see concerts

as a means of communication, as animated contact between active participants, be they listeners or creators

Pierre Boulez


Music’s role as a means of communication is essential and universal. Pierre Boulez was keenly aware of this, and always emphasized a basic level of understanding between musicians and listeners. After music experienced a fundamental shift in the 1940’s forcing musicians to find new aesthetic direction, Pierre Boulez embodied a steadfast clarity and personal purpose of communication. This was reflected in his artistic beliefs and professional attitude. It is no coincidence that a "salle modulable" offering countless combinations for making music, is his namesake. Pierre Boulez, who meticulously planned music within spatial structures and contributed to redefining the concert hall experience, would have found great joy in working here.


... A composer should always be looking far ahead, looking for something new. He should be a trailblazer" said Pierre Boulez. As one of the most formidable minds in the history of music — questioning convention, discovering new forms of expression and calculating music with scientific exactness. It was clear to him that the more one invests themselves in learning about music the fuller their listening experience would be. It is our hope that his spirit will live on in the heart of Berlin’s cultural center, and that his curiosity will touch visitors for generations to come, imparting a desire to listen, learn, and discover.

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