Today is his eightieth birthday, here are some appreciations and critiques. I side with George Benjamin:
…a rigorous compositional skill is coupled to an imagination of extraordinary aural refinement. Pli Selon Pli, Eclat/Multiples, the spectacularly inventive orchestral Notations, Explosante-Fixe – these are among the most beautiful works of our time. Boulez’s music has a very distinctive flavour – a love of rare timbres and spicy harmonies, a supreme formal elegance and a passion for virtuosity and vehement energy. The polemics that periodically surround him obscure the intensely poetic source of his musical vision.