Pierre Boulez, French conductor and composer, died

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Who: Pierre Boulez
What: Passed away
When: 5 January 2016

Pierre Boulez, the former principal conductor of the New York Philharmonic, passed away on 5 January 2016 in Baden-Baden, Germany. He was 90.

Being a French composer and conductor, he helped blaze a radical new path for classical music in the 20th century and became one of its dominant figures in the decades after World War II.

About Pierre Boulez
• Born in Montbrison, France, Boulez initially studied mathematics as a youth before switching to music.
• He studied harmony at the Paris Conservatory with composer Olivier Messiaen and had lessons from Rene Leibowitz in the dissonant 20th-century style known as twelve-tone composition.
• Boulez led the New York Philharmonic and the BBC Symphony Orchestra during the 1970s.
• He also worked with the Chicago Symphony, the Cleveland Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris and the London Symphony Orchestra.
• He moved between conducting, composition and teaching over a long career that made him one of the leading figures in modern classical music.
• His recordings won more than 25 Grammy awards.