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Architect Frank Gehry to create stage design for CSO's Pierre Boulez celebration

Frank Gehry will create the stage design for the CSO's celebration of conductor Pierre Boulez
Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) announced yesterday that the architect Frank Gehry will create an original stage design for the ensemble's Pierre Boulez celebration on November 14 and 16th, 2014 at Symphony Center. The performances will celebrate Boulez's life and career as a composer, conductor, and curator.

Boulez, who turned 89 in March, is a passionate advocate of contemporary classical music and a perennial favorite with CSO audiences. He was named principal guest conductor of the CSO in 1995, and later the Helen Regenstein Conductor Emeritus in 2006. Frank Gehry, known to Chicagoans as the architect of Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, has been friends with Boulez for more than 30 years. They met and collaborated in Los Angeles during Boulez's visits to the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Ojai Festival in the 1980s and 1990s.

“Pierre Boulez and Frank Gehry have been close friends for many decades, so I am especially delighted that Frank can be an important part of celebrating Pierre this fall,” said CSO President Deborah F. Rutter. “Frank’s level of innovation in the field of design is equaled only by Pierre’s innovation in music, making this collaboration such a natural one. “

The concerts are part of the CSO's Beyond the Score series, which delves into the history of a composition or artist through the use of live and multimedia events. The 75-minute Boulez celebrations will blend his music with words, imagery, and stage design by Frank Gehry. The performance will include an ensemble of actors and CSO musicians, enhanced by special lighting, and projections. In addition, audiences will have the opportunity to see rare documentary footage of Boulez from the 1960s to the present day.

In addition to Boulez's own works, the concerts' live and recorded musical selections will include composers who have influenced Boulez’s work, such as Debussy, Schoenberg and Stravinsky. Pablo Heras-Casado will conduct the performance.

Complete information about the CSO's Beyond the Score series and the 2014/15 season is available at cso.org.