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Lecture: Messiaen, Eschatology and the End of Time

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Presented by Andrew Shenton, professor of music, Boston University

Andrew Shenton, professor of music, musicology, and ethnomusicology at Boston University presents a free lecture Messiaen, Eschatology, and the End of Time. The lecture will include music examples and an outline of the program of the Quartet for the End of Time, as well as a discussion of the holocaust and the eschatology of war. It is presented in association with the Chameleon Arts Ensemble January 30 concert at Salem State which includes Olivier Messiaen's epic masterpiece.

Composed while Messiaen was captive in a German prisoner of war camp during World War II, this work stands as one of history’s greatest musical achievements. The work transports the listener to a place between earthly suffering and the ecstasy of heaven, between measured time and boundless eternity, between sound and silence.

Andrew Shenton is a scholar, prize-winning author, performer, educator, and administrator based in Boston, Massachusetts. Born in England, his first professional music training was at The Royal College of Music in London, where he studied under a scholarship from The Royal College of Organists. While at the RCM he read for a B.Mus. degree at London University and was an organ scholar at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

After graduating he was appointed Director of Music at St. Matthew’s Church in Northampton and Lecturer in the Humanities at Leicester University. In 1991 Andrew Shenton moved to the U.S. to study for a Master’s degree at the Institute for Sacred Music, Worship and the Arts at Yale University and then for a PhD in musicology at Harvard University. His Master’s thesis concerns the renaissance of sacred art after 1945 in Britain, and his doctoral dissertation is a musico-linguistic study of the twentieth-century French mystic composer Olivier Messiaen. His ground-breaking work on Olivier Messiaen includes a monograph Olivier Messiaen’s System of Signs (Ashgate, 2008), which won the 2010 Miller Book Award; and a collection of essays which he edited entitled Messiaen the Theologian (Ashgate, 2010).

Presented in association with Salem State's Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

When 6:00pm
Berry Library and Learning Commons, North Campus
4 College Drive, Salem, MA 01970
Faculty Reading Room
Karen A Gahagan

For access and accommodation information, visit our page on access or email

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