Pierre Boulez (above, left) greets fellow composer Elliott Carter at Miller Theatre on December 6 before a concert honoring the French musician, who turned 85 last spring. (Carter is 102.) Boulez, as music director of the New York Philharmonic from 1971 to 1977, tried with limited success to bring contemporary music to classical music audiences. Four of Boulez’s compositions — “Dérive 1,” “Dérive 2,” “12 Notations,” and “Improvisations sur Mallarmé” — had more enthusiastic receptions at the Miller concert, which featured the Talea Ensemble under James Baker, pianist Anthony Cheung, and soprano Mary Elizabeth Mackenzie.
The next concert in Miller Theatre’s Composer Portraits series is the February 3 program on Julia Wolfe. Visit millertheatre.com.