“It’s gritty and rigorous, but also sumptuous and fanciful…the sheer visceral excitement of being caught in the middle was like nothing else in music.”
The New York Times

Pierre Boulez was a French composer and conductor who helped blaze a radical new trail in classical music during the 20th century, composing innovative scores that showcased his musical creativity. And no work better showcases his compositional audacity than Répons, a work constructed on various types of calls and responses between a combination of acoustic instrumentation from an ensemble with soloists whose sounds are digitally transformed and regenerated live.

Rarely staged in concert halls given its unconventional configuration of the space, this spatial masterwork is realized at the Armory with the ensemble positioned in the center of the audience, who is surrounded by the soloists and amplification with waves of sound spiraling and circling throughout and above. The world renowned contemporary music group Ensemble intercontemporain, under the baton of conductor Matthias Pintscher, performs this emblematic work twice in succession each evening, with the audience changing seats in between to gain a new sonic perspective. This remarkable presentation marks the first performance in New York of a major work by Boulez since his death in early 2016.

Répons: Artist Talk
Saturday, October 7 at 6:00pm

Conductor Matthias Pintscher and Ara Guzelimian (Provost & Dean, The Juilliard School) discuss the legacy of composer Pierre Boulez and the realization of his spatial work in a live performance setting.


Matthias Pintscher is the Music Director of the Ensemble intercontemporain. Beginning in the 2016–17 season he also took up post as Principal Conductor of the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra. He continues his partnerships with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra as its artist-in-association, and with the Danish National Symphony Orchestra as artist-in-residence. Pintscher was also named as the first composer-in-residence and artist-in-focus at Hamburg’s new Elbphilharmonie concert hall, which opened in autumn 2016, and will be featured in a series of portrait concerts in its inaugural season. Equally accomplished as conductor and composer, Pintscher has created significant works for the world’s leading orchestras and regularly conducts throughout Europe, the U.S., and Australia. A prolific and successful composer, Pintscher’s music is championed by some of today’s finest performing artists, orchestras, and conductors. His works have been performed by such orchestras as the Chicago Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, and the Orchestre de Paris. His works are published exclusively by Bärenreiter, and recordings of his compositions can be found on Kairos, EMI, Teldec, Wergo, and Winter & Winter. Pintscher works regularly with leading contemporary music ensembles such as the Scharoun Ensemble, Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Modern, and Avanti! Chamber Orchestra (Helsinki). He has curated the music segment of the Impuls Romantik Festival in Frankfurt since 2011. In September 2014, he joined the composition faculty at the Juilliard School.


Ara Guzelimian has served as Provost and Dean of the Juilliard School since August 2006, where he works closely with the President in overseeing the faculty, curriculum and artistic planning of the distinguished performing arts conservatory in all three of its divisions—dance, drama and music. Previously, he was Senior Director and Artistic Advisor of Carnegie Hall, and has held the positions of Artistic Administrator of the Aspen Music Festival and School in Colorado, Artistic Director of the Ojai Festival in California, and Artistic Administrator of the LA Philharmonic. He currently serves on the Music Visiting Committee of the Morgan Library and Museum in New York City and is an Artistic Consultant for the Marlboro Music Festival and School in Vermont.

Pierre Boulez, Composer
Andrew Gerzso, IRCAM Computer Music Design
Ensemble intercontemporain
Samuel Favre, Gilles Durot, Percussion
Dmitri Vassilakis, Hidéki Nagano, Piano
Frédérique Cambreling, Harp
Luigi Gaggero, Cymbalum
Matthias Pintscher, Conductor
Gilbert Nouno,IRCAM Computer Music Production
Jérémie Henrot,IRCAM Computer Engineer
Pierre Audi, mise-en-space
Urs Schönebaum, lighting designer

Image: Photo by Marion Kalter / akg-images


October 6–7

Friday–Saturday at 8:00pm

Wade Thompson Drill Hall
Tickets start at $40

This performance is approximately two hours including intermission.

Please note that audiences will keep their assigned seat for the second half of the program, which will be located in a different section of the performance space.

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