The Boulez Ensemble

Curiosity and Dialogue

© Philippe Gontier


Since the hall’s opening, the Boulez Ensemble has performed 19 programs at the Pierre Boulez Saal, appearing in 19 line-ups representing 19 completely different incarnations. At first glance, there may not be an easy answer to the question of who or what this ensemble is. But this is exactly why it represents this hall’s artistic DNA: not as a clearly defined formation, but as an expanding international family of musicians, an “ensemble modulable” for the “salle modulable.” Flexible and independent of permanent constellations, the ensemble’s aim is to implement what Pierre Boulez embodied throughout his life—to explore music of all eras, genres, and origins in a profound way, while always remaining open-minded, versatile, and curious.

In the 2019–20 season, familiar faces and familiar music will return while new pieces and new performers are added. For the first time, four “monothematic” concerts are dedicated to the oeuvre of a single composer: Pierre Boulez, György Ligeti, Igor Stravinsky, and Galina Ustvolskaya each will be at center stage for one night. Continuing a new tradition, the season once again ends with a world premiere: following compositions by Aribert Reimann and Jörg Widmann in previous years, the Boulez Ensemble will unveil a new work by Isabel Mundry, with Lahav Shani conducting.