Louvre opens galleries for first time to musician
Experimental composer Pierre Boulez curates an exhibit of modern art and music at the Paris museum until February.
7 November 2008
PARIS - For the first time in its history, the Louvre museum Thursday featured a musician, the French composer and conductor Pierre Boulez.
The French celebrate the 83-year-old musician from the central Loire valley for his contributions to music and intellectual life.
Scheduled to run until 9 February, the show "The Louvre Invites Pierre Boulez" features art and music in an exhibition, 11 concerts, six filmed concerts and talks.
Curated by Boulez, the exhibition "Work:Fragment" gathers 70 works by Ingres, Cezanne, Degas, Delacroix, Kandinsky, Klee, Giacometti and Picasso with scores from Wagner, Bartok and Varese and works by writers from the 19th and 20th centuries.
"Modernism is based on the fragment," Boulez told AFP, pointing to a 1952 nude sketch by De Kooning, "while previously this would have been considered a preparory draft."
The sketch, one of a series of "Women", showed "something that hasn't yet taken shape but is on the way," Boulez added.
Also rarely on public show are Stravinsky's first drafts of "The Rite of Spring", a piece often conducted by Boulez.
Boulez, who began composing at 23, was one of the leaders of a post-war movement to greater experimentation in music and in 2002 won the Glenn Gould Prize for his work.
He has also directed some of the world’s leading symphony orchestras and ensembles, including the New York Philharmonic, and is currently Conductor Emeritus of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Visitors to the Louvre show can attend live concerts including a free 2 December performance of Boulez conducting Stravinsky's "The Firebird".
The musician also joins a debate with architect Jean Nouvel, the 2008 winner of architecture's top prize, the Pritzker, on the building of a Paris Philharmonic Hall, due to be opened in 2012.
[AFP / Benoit Fauchet / Expatica]