Mark Swed, in the LA Times, recently noted a shortage of American orchestral tributes to Pierre Boulez in his ninetieth-birthday year. The New York Philharmonic, Boulez's former base, programmed nothing by him this season; likewise the LA Phil. Instead, as Swed observed, on Boulez's birthday both orchestras were playing works by John Adams. As one who laments the mindlessness of calendrically generated programming — despite my love for Strauss and Sibelius, I am boycotting their one-hundred-fiftieth anniversaries — I can't register too strong a complaint, but the omissions seem a little odd. (Let's recall that the neglect of Milton Babbitt, on his ninetieth birthday, was more severe.) In any case, SoCal Boulezians can converge on the Ojai Festival in June, where Steven Schick, this year's director, will offer a substantial Boulez tribute, with an Ojai in Berkeley series to follow. And, this Sunday in New York, David Robertson and the Juilliard Orchestra will perform Boulez's Rituel and the Originel from “…explosante-fixe…," alongside Debussy’s Prelude to "The Afternoon of a Faun" and Stravinsky’s Symphonies of Winds.
Update: The Chicago Symphony presented a pair of Boulez concerts last month.