News of the death of Pierre Boulez – the composer, conductor, innovator and then icon – comes several months after the conclusion of celebrations marking his ninetieth birthday. Boulez’s was a long life of notable achievements: the seminal serialism of Le marteau sans maître (1955); an international conducting career; many notable recordings of a wide orchestral repertoire; instigating the Cité de la Musique in Paris's Parc de la Villette; the live electronics of Répons (1981) that emerged from his research centre in Paris, the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM), opened in 1977. That was also the year in which Boulez’s wise words about technology and music appeared in the TLS. . . .