The jury grants the BBVA Foundation award to Pierre Boulez, in recognition that he is not only an eminent composer, with a determinedly forward vision, but also a key figure engaging in every aspect of musical reflection and transmission. From his beginnings as an artist, Pierre Boulez has opened up new perspectives in music. He has renewed musical writing and thought from the very foundations, applying a critical synthesis of the recent past and integrating elements of non European music.
As a conductor, he has not only championed contemporary composers, he has also renewed the orchestra repertoire and rejuvenated concert programming in order to bring the public to a new understanding of music. Through the creation of the IRCAM research institute and Ensemble Intercontemporain, the first ever permanent contemporary music ensemble, he has helped to strengthen the connections between scientific investigation, composition and musical practice. In the past few years, he has been engaged in an educational project in Lucerne aimed at training new generations of musicians in the repertoires of the 20th and 21st centuries, an effort which the recently created foundation bearing his name will now carry forward. The sum of his activities evidences an acute awareness of the artist’s intellectual and social responsibility in the modern age.