Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement today (7 January) on the death of the composer Pierre Boulez:
I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Pierre Boulez. He died in Baden-Baden, his adopted home town which made him an honorary citizen.
Pierre Boulez was always crossing borders. Just as it was second nature to him to move back and forwards between France and Germany, he traversed frontiers in his artistic work. He was second to none in the way he continually reinvented and further developed himself and linked various disciplines beyond the boundaries of music. As one of the most prominent figureheads of the post-war avant-garde and a passionate champion of contemporary compositions, there was one thing he could never accept: routine. To him, continuing creativity was the lifeblood of every society and one of the driving forces behind his work. I always admired the courage he summoned in Bayreuth in 1976 to produce the “Jahrhundertring” (Centenary Ring), the way in which he overcame borders in his work, his strength, his intelligence and his radicalism, which were his trademarks.
Pierre Boulez put his stamp on an age. He was a pioneer of his generation, unpredictable in the best sense of the word and independent in his thinking. He consciously broke with tradition and ideological constraints without ever losing sight of history. His creativity will resonate for a long time to come.
Together with France, we are mourning the loss of one of the most important composers of our time and a great friend of Germany.