The Philips Pavilion
at the Brussels
World’s Fair of 1958

28
FEBRUARY
2024

h 11:00 – 13:00
Saint Louis
via Baccina, 47

Kees Tazelaar, Visiting Professor from the prestigious Royal Conservatory Den Haag institute, Saint Louis’ Erasmus+ partner, is Director of the Sonology Department and will be at Saint Louis, Rome branch to present two workshops aimed at students of Electronic Music and Applied Music.

On Wednesday, February 28, the first workshop entitled “The Philips Pavilion at the Brussels World’s Fair of 1958” will be held at Saint Louis.

The Philips Pavilion at the Brussels World’s Fair of 1958
Wednesday, February 28, h 11:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Saint Louis, via Baccina 47

Open to academic students of Biennium of Electronic and Applied Music and Triennium of Electronic and Applied Music subject to availability.

free admission by reservation .

Training credits for academic courses: 1 CFA

Workshop Program

“Le poème électronique” is the title of a multimedia performance that took place in the Philips Pavilion during the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair. The design of the spectacular visual part was supervised by renowned architect and painter Le Corbusier, who was also responsible for designing the pavilion in collaboration with composer and architect Iannis Xenakis.

The equally spectacularly spectacular musical part of the Poème consisted of two parts: an electronic piece composed by Xenakis to be played upon entering and leaving the pavilion, and an eight-minute electronic work by Edgard Varèse. The entire performance was curated by Le Corbusier in every detail and executed in a fully automated manner.

The pavilion itself was an important element of the performance. It did not have the traditional form of an auditorium with a stage; instead, the audience was surrounded by the performance. The undulating walls of the structure gave the visual scene a singular dimension, while sound was conveyed by a huge number of speakers, distributed in groups and sound paths along the ribs of the pavilion.

In recent years, there has been great interest in several aspects of the project. Thanks in part to his music for Poème, Varèse gained international recognition, and his composition has become an icon in the history of electronic music.
Great interest and admiration was also aroused by the design of the pavilion, thanks to the contribution of Xenakis, who, like Varèse’s work, has assumed iconic status, in this case for his “liquid architecture.” In retrospect, the hall sound system can be considered a precursor to immersive audio technology.

Kees Tazelaar Bio

Kees Tazelaar took Sonology courses in Utrecht and The Hague and later studied composition under Jan Boerman at the Royal Conservatory Den Haag. He has been teaching at the Institute of Sonology since 1993 and has been its director since 2006.
His electronic music is characterized by a combination of formalization, sonic richness, and a compositional approach to sound spatialization. His compositions have been commissioned by Performing Arts Fund NL, Johan Wagenaar Stichting, Festival in de Branding, Hollandia, De Veenfabriek, Festival Relevante Musik Berlin, and Groupe de Recherches Musicales Paris.

In addition to being a composer, Kees Tazelaar is a historian, specializing in the early years of electronic music in the Netherlands and Germany. He was twice Edgard Varèse Guest Professor at the Technische Universität Berlin, where he received his Ph.D. in 2013 with the dissertation On the Threshold of Beauty: Philips and the Origins of Electronic Music in the Netherlands 1925-1965 (Rotterdam: V2_Publishing, 2013).
Kees Tazelaar was awarded a Fellowship Residency by the Bogliasco Foundation in 2017.

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