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Messiaen: Quartet for the End of Time

Saturday, February 3, 7:30pm

“I composed this quartet in order to escape from the snow, from the war, from captivity, and from myself. The greatest benefit I gained from it is that among 300,000 prisoners I was probably the only one who was free.” – Olivier Messiaen

Please join us for an intimate stage concert of the rarely performed Quartet for the End of Time. This groundbreaking piece was written by Olivier Messiaen’s during his captivity as a WWII prisoner-of-war in Stalag VIII A, a camp near the Polish border. Music-loving guards at the camp, recognizing Messiaen’s name, assigned him to an empty barrack and provided him with pencils, erasers, and music manuscript paper so that he could compose. Inspired by text from the Book of Revelations, the quartet premiered in January 1941, performed with his fellow prisoners using scavenged instruments, outdoors, and in the rain.

This complex and deeply moving 50-minute quartet features musicians from the Vermont Symphony Orchestra and TURNmusic including cellist Emily Taubl, violinist Brooke Quiggins, pianist Claire Black, and clarinetist Dan Liptak.  Vermont composer Matt LaRocca will provide musical and historical insight before the concert, and will facilitate a talk-back after the performance.

The musicians and audience will both be seated on stage of the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center for this special concert. Seating is limited — please get your tickets today!

About the performers:

Dan Liptak: Educator and woodwind musician Dan Liptak is a 2010 graduate of the Hartt School, and currently teaches band at the Crossett Brook Middle School in Duxbury VT. Equally versed in Jazz, classical and contemporary music, Dan has toured throughout Europe, Asia, Canada and the United States .

Emily Taubl: The young cellist Emily Taubl has attracted attention for her expressive playing and uncommon poise.  She has been featured in The New York Times as a musician of great promise, and was called “an outstanding cellist with a bright future” by the Hartford Courant.

Brooke Quiggins Saulnier: Born in Nashville, TN, Brooke Quiggins Saulnier, has performed in recitals and concerts throughout the United States and Europe and has won top honors in numerous solo and chamber music competitions. She held the Principal Second Violin position in the Miami Symphony Orchestra, Ridgefield Symphony, and the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas for several years and currently holds the Principal Second Violin position in the Reading Symphony Orchestra.

Claire Black: A native of Long Lake, NY, pianist Claire Black resides in Charlotte, VT. Praised as “a pianist with substantial technique, plenty of power, yet with a sensitive musicality” (Jim Lowe, Times Argus), Claire is an active performer of classical music in solo and collaborative settings, and has presented her programs throughout North America. 

Matt LaRocca: Matt is a composer, conductor and educator based in Burlington VT. He conducts the Champlain Philharmonic Orchestra and is on the faculty of the University of Vermont. Matt is also the Director of Music-COMP, an organization that teaches composition to students throughout Vermont and facilitates live performances of their music by professional musicians. Committed to new music and innovation, Matt is the Artistic Curator of the Vermont Symphony’s Jukebox concert series.

Media support from Vermont Public Radio