I couldnt find a thread and as Ive been getting into some of his music a lot lately, I thought Id make one.
Boulez was a student of Messiaen. A very ideological man with great passion and from what Ive seen and read, great intellect. In his younger days he was known for attacking certain schools of music which didnt fit in with his view of art, but he is a little more moderate nowadays. He's written in quite a few different styles, total serialism to gestural music, and convinced Stravinsky to start writing in a serial style. Hes written a few great masterpieces imo; the 2nd piano sonata which caused the pianist to burst into tears upon first sight of the score; Le Marteau Sans Maitre, a beautiful serialist song cycle exploring subtle differences in timbre.
He works slowly and often revises his works many times throughout his career.
Of course he is also a fabulous conductor who brings great clarity to the score. I value his recordings, and also enjoyed seeing him conduct and rehearse in the Concertgebouw.
The work im currently grappling are his Derives, particularly the 1st. Magnificent pieces.
If you are a fan, I can recommend the book; 'conversations with Boulez', which was really illuminating.