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Marc-André Dalbavie

Pierre Boulez will celebrate his 80th birthday in the coming year, as it turns out, with the Berlin Philharmonic and Staatskapelle, at the invitation of Daniel Barenboim. Radio France had hoped Boulez would celebrate in France for its 15th annual Présences Festival. Instead, as I learned from an article (L'ombre de Boulez, December 20) by Jacques Doucelin for Le Figaro, the honoree will be Boulez's student Marc-André Dalbavie.

This is no small matter, since the program consists of 23 free concerts, during which 92 new and recent compositions will be performed, and it has been announced that 19 of those pieces will be Dalbavie's. Judging by a quick search, his music is mostly unknown and unavailable on this side of the Atlantic, since on Amazon there is one piece on one CD (two other CDs are out of print). To perform the program, including works by 56 composers (39 world premieres and 18 French premieres), several ensembles have been invited to assist the Orchestre of Radio France: the Orchestre de Montpellier, the Orchestre des lauréats du Conservatoire, the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, the Orchestre de Paris, the Ensembles Itinéraire, Court-circuit, and the Forma 6 percussion ensemble.

There is an interview with Dalbavie, available in English and French on the same page.

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