A Letter from Daniel Barenboim

Sent to the members of the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra, on January 6, 2016

“Today, the music world has lost one of its most significant composers and conductors. Personally, I have lost a great colleague, a deeply admired creative mind and a close friend. Pierre Boulez and I first met in Berlin in 1964 and there have been few fellow musicians with whom I have developed such a close and important relationship in the 52 years that followed – even though we always stuck to the formal “vous” when speaking to each other, a rarity in our rather informal world, but from my side, certainly, an expression of my deepest respect and admiration.

“Creation exists only in the unforeseen made necessary”, Pierre Boulez once wrote. With this belief as his paradigm, Pierre Boulez has radically changed music itself as well as its reception in society. He always knew exactly when he had to be radical because it was a necessary requirement for music and society to develop. He was never dogmatic, however, but always retained his ability to develop himself further. His development was based on a deep knowledge of and respect for the past. A true man of the future must know the past, and for me, Pierre Boulez will always remain an exemplary man of the future.

Pierre Boulez has achieved an ideal paradox: he felt with his head and thought with his heart. We are privileged to experience this through his music. For this, and so much more, I will always be grateful.”

Daniel Barenboim, January 6, 2016.