A CHRONOLOGICAL VIEW OF WESTERN MUSIC HISTORY IN THE CONTEXT OF WORLD EVENTS

Pierre Henry

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March 11, 1897: 08:30 Henry Dixon Cowell is born at 2156 Harkins Avenue, Menlo Park, California, USA, only child of Irish immigrant Henry (Harry) Clayton Blackwood Cowell, an aspiring essayist and poet, himself the son of the Dean of Kildare Cathedral, and Clarissa Belknap Dixon Davidson, a writer and daughter of a cabinet maker. Mrs. Cowell has one son by a previous marriage.
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May 22, 1906: With few prospects in the newly destroyed city, Clarissa Cowell and her son Henry (12) depart San Francisco for relatives in the Midwest, thence to New York.
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August 1, 1906: Clarissa Cowell and her son Henry (12) arrive at the home of her son, Clarence Davidson in Des Moines, Iowa. Here she will find employment as the editor of the women’s page of an agricultural journal.
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December 9, 1927: Pierre Henry is born in Paris, the only child of a doctor.
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December 24, 1942: Sidney Cowell meets with Governor Culbert Olson at the Governor’s Mansion in Sacramento to plead for a pardon for her husband Henry (45). Despite a negative recommendation from his Advisory Pardons Board, Olson agrees.
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March 16, 1950: Bidule en ut for tape by Pierre Schaeffer (40) and Pierre Henry (22) is performed for the first time, in Amphithéâtre Richelieu at the Sorbonne.
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March 18, 1950: In the first public concert devoted to electronic music, in the École normale de musique, Paris, Symphonie pour un homme seul by Pierre Schaeffer (39) and Pierre Henry (22) is performed for the first time. It is the first major work of musique-concrète. In the audience are Irving Fine (35) and his wife.
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July 6, 1951: Toute la lyre, a musique concrète opera by Pierre Schaeffer (40) and Pierre Henry (23), is performed for the first time, at Théâtre de l’Empire, Paris.
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May 21, 1952: Timbres-Durées, musique concrète for tape by Olivier Messiaen (43) and Pierre Henry (24), is performed for the first time, over the airwaves of French Radio originating in the Salle de l’Ancien Conservatoire, Paris.
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May 23, 1952: Three works for tape by Pierre Henry (24) are performed for the first time, in the Salle de l’Ancien Conservatoire, Paris: Microphone bien tempéré, Musique sans titre, and Concerto des ambiguïtés.
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June 14, 1952: An English version of Kurt Weill’s (†2) Die Dreigroschenoper by Marc Blitzstein (47) is performed at the new Adolph Ullman Amphitheatre at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. Also on the program is Symphonie pour un homme seul by Pierre Schaeffer (41) and Pierre Henry (24), and Les Noces by Igor Stravinsky (69). See 10 March 1954.
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December 2, 1954: Déserts for 14 winds, piano, five percussionists, and two-track tape by Edgar Varèse (70), is performed for the first time, at the Théâtre des Champs-Elysées, Paris, and broadcast live. Pierre Henry (26) is in charge of the tape. A scandal ensues with audience members of differing opinions hurling insults during the performance. These turn to fisticuffs and wrestling matches with some patrons attempting unsuccessfully to use seats as weapons. The office of Prime Minister Pierre Mendès-France is inundated with telephone calls from angry listeners trying to get the music or the broadcast stopped. An order is given to RTF to stop the broadcast, but the order is ignored.
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March 26, 1956: Haut Voltage by Pierre Henry (28) is performed for the first time, at l’Opéra de Metz. It is one of the first examples of electro-acoustic music, combining musique-concrète, electronic sound generators, voices, and instruments.
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November 14, 1956: Henry (59) and Sidney Cowell fly out of Istanbul and land in Teheran on 15 November.
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September 17, 1958: Orphée, a ballet version of Orphée53 by Pierre Henry (30) to a choreography by Béjart, is performed for the first time, at the Opéra de Liège.
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April 28, 1959: Coexistence, a ballet by Pierre Henry (31) to a choreography by Béjart, is performed for the first time, at the Galerie internationale d’art contemporain in Paris.
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November 25, 1959: Investigations for tape by Pierre Henry (31) is performed for the first time, at the Galerie internationale d’art contemporain in Paris.
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January 20, 1960: Entité for tape by Pierre Henry (32) is performed for the first time, at the Galerie internationale d’art contemporain in Paris.
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April 29, 1962: Le Voyage, a ballet by Pierre Henry (34) to a choreography by Béjart, is performed for the first time, at the Cologne Opera.
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June 25, 1963: La Noire à soixante for tape by Pierre Henry (35) is performed for the first time, at the Church of Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre, Paris.
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June 27, 1963: Variations pour une porte et un soupir by Pierre Henry (35) is performed for the first time, in L’Église Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre, Paris. See 21 February 1964.
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February 21, 1964: A ballet on Variations pour une porte et un soupir by Pierre Henry (36) to a choreography by Béjart, is performed for the first time, in the Palais des Beaux Arts, Brussels.
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May 26, 1967: Messe de Liverpool for tape by Pierre Henry (39) is performed for the first time, without the Credo, at the inaugural ceremonies for the Cathedral of Christ the King in Liverpool. See 5 December 1970.
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November 16, 1967: La noire à soixante + Granulométrie for tape by Pierre Henry (39), to words of Dufrêne, is performed for the first time, in the Salle de l’Alhambra, Bordeaux.
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October 31, 1968: L’Apocalypse de Jean by Pierre Henry (40) is performed for the first time in the Théatre de la Musique, Paris.
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February 9, 1970: Cérémony for tape by Pierre Henry (42) is performed for the first time, at the Olympia of Paris.
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March 21, 1970: Cérémonie II for tape by Pierre Henry (42) is performed for the first time, in Royan along with the premiere of his Fragments pour Artaud.
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May 8, 1970: Gymkhana Formule I for tape by Pierre Henry (42) is performed for the first time, in the Gymnase de Malakoff.
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December 5, 1970: The “definitive version” of La Messe de Liverpool by Pierre Henry (42) is performed for the first time, in the Palais des Sports, Toulouse. Also premiered is Henry’s Mouvement-Rythme-Etude. See 26 May 1967.
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February 15, 1971: Mise en musique du Corticalart by Pierre Henry (43) and Roger Lafosse is performed for the first time. It is an attempt to turn brain waves into art.
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April 15, 1971: Studio Apsome (Applications de Procédés Sonores de Musique Electroacoustique) begins operations at 32 rue de Toul, Paris, the residence of Pierre Henry (43).
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September 11, 1971: Musiques pour une fête for tape by Pierre Henry (43) is performed for the first time.
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June 20, 1972: Deuxième Symphonie pour seize groupes de haut-parleurs by Pierre Henry (44) is performed for the first time, in the Cirque d’Hiver, Paris.
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February 9, 1973: Kyldex 1 by Nicholas Schöffer, Pierre Henry (45), and Alwin Nikolaïs is performed for the first time, at the Hamburg Opera. It is termed a “spectacle spatio-lumino dynamique et cybernétique.”
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September 5, 1973: Corticalart III for tape by Pierre Henry (45) is performed for the first time, at L’Abbaye Saint-Victor de Marseille.
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November 22, 1974: Enivrez-vous, “concerts spontanés et dansés” by Pierre Henry (46) and Carolyn Carlson is performed for the first time, tonight and tomorrow night at Sigma 9 de Bordeaux.
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October 16, 1975: Futuristie, a “manifestation sonore et visuelle en hommage à Luigi Russolo” by Pierre Henry (47) is performed for the first time, at the opening of the Théâtre National de Chaillot.
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October 27, 1977: Métamorphoses, grand spectacle audio-visuel pour rayons laser, corticalart, bandes magnétiques, orgue et voix en direct by Pierre Henry (49) is performed for the first time, in Église de la Treille, Lille.
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December 6, 1977: Dieu, “action de voix et de gestes d’après Victor Hugo” by Pierre Henry (49), is performed for the first time, in the Palais de Justice de Lille. It is very successful.
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September 27, 1978: Instantané-Simultané for tape by Pierre Henry (50) is performed for the first time, in the Palais des Arts, Paris.
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October 25, 1979: La Dixième Symphonie, hommage à Beethoven, by Pierre Henry (51) is performed for the first time, in Bonn.
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November 13, 1979: Perpetuum for tape and multimedia by Pierre Henry (51) is performed for the first time, in Bordeaux.
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June 5, 1980: Noces chymiques, rituel féérique en sept journées, d'après le récit alchimique de Jehan Valentin Andrea, by Pierre Henry (52) in collaboration with Ionesco and Pick, is performed for the first time, in the Salle Favart, Paris.
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April 23, 1982: Pour la Paix for chorus by Iannis Xenakis (59) to his own words is performed for the first time, over the airwaves of Radio France in Paris. Also premiered is Pierre réfléchies for tape by Pierre Henry (54).
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April 10, 1984: La Ville for tape by Pierre Henry (54) is performed for the first time, over the airwaves of WDR, Cologne.
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September 16, 1988: Echo d’Orphée for tape by Pierre Henry (59) is performed for the first time, in the Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris.
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March 19, 1990: Le Livre des morts égyptien for tape by Pierre Henry (61) is performed for the first time, at the Louvre, Paris.
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February 13, 1993: Maldoror for tape by Pierre Henry (64) is performed for the first time, in Salle Olivier Messiaen of Radio France, Paris. This is a shortened, concert version of Les chants de Maldoror . See 14 February 1993.
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February 14, 1993: Les chants de Maldoror, a “feuilleton radiophonique” in 50 episodes by Pierre Henry (65) is performed for the first time, over the airwaves of France Musique from today until 23 April. See 13 February 1993.
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November 7, 1995: Notations sur La Fontaine, a “feuilleton radiophonique” in 20 episodes by Pierre Henry (67) is performed for the first time, over the airwaves of France Culture from today until 2 December.
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November 21, 1995: Les petits métiers for tape by Pierre Henry (67) is performed for the first time, over the airwaves of WDR, Cologne.
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October 21, 1996: Intérieur/Extérieur for tape by Pierre Henry (68) is performed for the first time, as part of the Autumn Festival of Paris, at the home of the composer through 30 November.
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December 1, 1996: Antagonismes for tape by Pierre Henry (68) is performed for the first time, over the airwaves of WDR, Cologne.
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November 29, 1997: Histoire naturelle, ou Les roués de la terre for tape by Pierre Henry (69) is performed for the first time, in Salle Olivier Messiaen of Radio France, Paris.
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August 28, 1998: Les sept péchés capitaux and La Xe remix for tape by Pierre Henry (70) are performed for the first time, in Montreux.
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January 7, 1999: Une tour de Babel for tape by Pierre Henry (71) is performed for the first time, in Salle Olivier Messiaen of Radio France, Paris.
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April 17, 1999: Apparitions concertées for tape by Pierre Henry (71) is performed for the first time, in Poitiers.
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July 13, 2000: Tam-tam du merveilleux for tape by Pierre Henry (72) is performed for the first time, at the Centre Pompidou, Paris.
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August 14, 2000: Concerto sans Orchestre for piano and tape by Pierre Henry (72) is performed for the first time.
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April 13, 2002: Dracula, for tape by Pierre Henry (74) is performed for the first time, in Paris until 27 April. As an introduction, Sonate d’ondes courtes for tape is premiered.
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October 5, 2002: Requiem profane for tape by Pierre Henry (74) is performed for the first time, in Paris.
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January 25, 2003: Carnet de Venise for tape by Pierre Henry (75) is performed for the first time, in Nantes.
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March 29, 2003: Labyrinthe! for tape by Pierre Henry (75) is performed for the first time, at Radio France, Paris.
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March 30, 2003: Faits divers for tape by Pierre Henry (75) is performed for the first time, at Radio France, Paris. Also premiered is Henry’s Duo for piano and tape, performed by the composer.
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May 13, 2003: Mobile for tape by Pierre Henry (75) is performed for the first time, in Paris.
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December 6, 2003: Lumières for tape by Pierre Henry (75) is performed for the first time, in Dijon.
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April 23, 2004: Métamorphoses d’Ovide I for trumpet and tape by Pierre Henry (76) is performed for the first time, in Vélizy.
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December 4, 2004: Métamorphoses d’Ovide II for trumpet and tape by Pierre Henry (76) is performed for the first time, in Grenoble.
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March 13, 2005: Voyage initiatique for tape by Pierre Henry (77) is performed for the first time, in Paris.
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April 3, 2005: Comme une symphonie, envoi à Jules Verne for tape by Pierre Henry (77) is performed for the first time, in Amiens to celebrate the centennial of Jules Verne.
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September 27, 2005: Orphée dévoilé for tape by Pierre Henry (77) is performed for the first time, in Paris.
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December 4, 2005: Deux coups de sonnette for tape by Pierre Henry (77) is performed for the first time.
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March 9, 2006: Variance for tape by Pierre Henry (78) is performed for the first time, at Radio France, Paris.
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September 7, 2006: Comme une symphonie, envoi à Jules Verne II for tape by Pierre Henry (78) is performed for the first time, in Stavanger Cathedral.
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October 7, 2006: Murmures for tape by Pierre Henry (78) is performed for the first time, in Paris.
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May 13, 2007: Tram train de Mulhouse for tape by Pierre Henry (79) is performed for the first time.
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June 21, 2007: Pulsations for tape by Pierre Henry (79) is performed for the first time, in Riga.
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July 7, 2007: Utopia and Impressions sismiques for tape by Pierre Henry (79) are performed for the first time.
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November 23, 2007: Grande toccata for tape by Pierre Henry (79) is performed for the first time.
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December 9, 2007: Trajectoire for tape by Pierre Henry is performed for the first time, at Radio France, Paris, on the composer’s 80th birthday.
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March 20, 2008: Pleins jeux for tape by Pierre Henry (80) is performed for the first time, in Paris.
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August 4, 2008: Miroirs du temps for tape by Pierre Henry (80) is performed for the first time, in Paris.
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September 9, 2008: Battements for tape by Pierre Henry (80) is performed for the first time.
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September 24, 2008: Investigations 2 for tape by Pierre Henry (80) is performed for the first time.
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October 1, 2008: Un monde lacéré for tape by Pierre Henry (80) is performed for the first time, in Centre Pompidou, Paris.
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September 29, 2012: Le fil de la vie for electronics by Pierre Henry (84) is performed for the first time, in Paris.
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April 19, 2013: Fragments rituels for electronics by Pierre Henry (85) is performed for the first time, in Grenoble.
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July 5, 2017: Pierre Henry dies in Saint Joseph's Hospital in Paris aged 89 years, six months, and 26 days.