In France, the literary world once elected the "prince des poètes" — the unofficial master of the game. The title "prince des compositeurs," shorn of gender, might go to György Kurtág, who celebrates his ninetieth birthday today. Above is his most recent work, Petite musique solennelle en hommage à Pierre Boulez 90, which was written for Boulez's ninetieth and which now sadly doubles as a memorial. An admiring world wishes Kurtág the best of health as he works on his opera Fin de partie, scheduled for a première at La Scala in November. Editio Musica Budapest has published a birthday greeting from Simon Rattle and a video of Kurtág playing Bach with his wife, Marta — "the most incredible team in classical music," as Rattle properly says. There will be a live stream of the Petite musique from the Berlin Philharmonic tomorrow, with Rattle conducting. I also strongly recommend Jeremy Eichler's 2007 profile of Kurtág.
Previously: Hold the Mozart.