Join the New Millennium Ensemble and award-winning pianists Ursula Oppens and Jerome Lowenthal as they celebrate the centennial of the renowned composer, organist, and ornithologist, Olivier Messiaen. Such musicians as Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood and French composer Pierre Boulez have cited Messiaen as a major influence on their work.
Messiaen found birdsong fascinating, believing birds to be the greatest musicians. He notated birdsongs worldwide, and incorporated birdsong into the majority of his music. His piece based entirely on the song of the blackbird, Le merle noir, is performed by New Millennium Ensemble.
They also perform the monumental Quartet for the End of Time. Messaien wrote Quartet for the End of Time in a Nazi prison camp. This work was first performed by half-starved prisoners on broken instruments, to an audience of arrogant Nazi prison camp guards and officials, and the people they had enslaved in the name of the Third Reich.