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Pierre Boulez breaks his shoulder

He has pulled out of two concerts at Lucerne that he was not expected to conduct, struggling as he is with poor eyesight.

But though the shoulder is an additional blow, he does plan to be in attendance at the festival’s academy for young conductors.

Here’s the press announcement:

boulez complete



Pablo Heras-Casado will conduct for Pierre Boulez at LUCERNE FESTIVAL in Summer 2013


Lucerne, August 5, 2013. Because of a fracture to his shoulder, Pierre Boulez will unfortunately be unable to conduct this summer in LUCERNE FESTIVAL’s concerts on 7 and 9 September. Nevertheless, he will, as planned, be in attendance as Artistic Director for the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY’s rehearsals, and he will be present for the discussions introducing the concerts on 7 and 9 September and will also host the LUCERNE FESTIVAL 40min concert format on 7 September.

Pablo Heras-Casado will take his place to conduct the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY Orchestra on 7 and 9 September in the following works:

7 September

Dieter Ammann: unbalanced instability for violin and orchestra (a commission by WDR and LUCERNE FESTIVAL with support from Pro Helvetia), Swiss premiere

Pierre Boulez:Cummings ist der Dichter / Le Soleil des Eaux


9 September


Anton Webern: Cantata No. 2, Op. 31 / Variations for Orchestra, Op. 30 / Cantata No. 1, Op. 29

Igor Stravinsky:Le Roi des Etoiles

Béla Bartók:Cantata profana, Sz 94

During this evening Pablo Heras-Casado will additionally conduct the other works on the program as originally scheduled: Alban Berg’s Lyric Suite for Orchestra, Op. 30 and Luciano Berio’s Corale (su Sequenza VIII).


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  1. Niall Hoskin says:

    Boulez continues to amaze: still uncompromising, still adventurous; and still programming really cutting-edge pieces. ‘Le marteau sans maitre’ is a crucial work – I still recall a Leeds performance of it over 30 years ago. His conducting of Pelleas et Melisande for Welsh National Opera was revelatory, too
    Several ‘grand old man’-type conductors could do well to take note. Of course we wish him a speedy recovery and look forward to more difficult and challenging stuff from him

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