Students Koninklijk Conservatorium, Pierre Boulez, John Cage

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What do the new generation of composers make of the pioneers of post-war European music? In four free lunchtime concerts at the Rijksmuseum underpassage, students of the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague give us their take on early works by Pierre Boulez.

In their resonance work Notations in Space, the programme for Thursday 4 June, a grand piano is surrounded by four large percussion set-ups, making Boulez’ piano work Notations (1945) resound as percussion in the space of the underpassage.

The programme for Thursday 11 June, Boulez vs Cage, centres on the use of chance in music and the fundamentally different point of view on this topic between Boulez and the American experimental composer John Cage. Fragments of a correspondence between Boulez and Cage from the early 1950’s are projected on video screens. Accompanied by electronically manipulated recordings of their music from this era, the letters show how the two composers, friends and musical allies initially, were slowly driven apart by their differing artistic ideas.

This performance was made possible with support by