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Messian Quartet Highlights WWII Symposium

KEENE, N.H. 10/22/01 - Olivier Messiaen’s quartet written while he was a war prisoner will conclude the first day of a three-day symposium on World War II at Keene State College.

KSC music faculty artist Maura Glennon, piano, will be joined by guest artists Mike Sussman, clarinet, Joel Pitchon, violin, and Matt Haimovitz, cello, in “Quatuor pour la fin du temps” (Quartet for the End of Time,) an eight- movement work written and performed by Messiaen during his captivity in a WWII German prison camp. The concert will begin at 9 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 8, in the Mabel Brown Room of the Young Student Center. The concert will follow the keynote address “World War II: A Different Kind of War” by Gerhard Weinberg from the University of North Carolina. The concert and other symposium events are free and open to the public.

The “Quartet for the End of Time” was performed for the first time in Stalag 8-A on January 15, 1941. The prison camp was buried in snow. Messiaen was one of 30,000 prisoners for the most part French, with some Poles and Belgians. The piece was premiered by four performers playing on damaged instruments: Etienne Pasquier’s cello had only three strings and the keys of Messiaen’s piano would fall straight down and not spring back.

Glennon, an associate professor of music at Keene State, is the recipient of numerous honors and awards. Her collaboration with Boston Symphony Orchestra violinist Victor Romanul, begun in 1994, continued with a series of chamber music recitals in the New England area throughout the 1999-2000 season. She served as pianist for the Monadnock Chorus from 1998 to 2000 and accompanied them on a concert tour of Scandinavia in spring of 2000.

Cellist Matt Haimovitz currently heads the cello program at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He tours extensively around the world, appearing with today’s greatest orchestras, conductors and chamber musicians. He has performed with such distinguished artists as Zubin Mehta, Daniel Barenboim, Issac Stern, Shlomo Mintz, Pinchas Zukerman and Yo-Yo Ma. His most recent recording, J.S. Bach’s Six Suites for Cello Solo, on Oxingale Records, has been nominated for an Indie Award for Best Solo Classical Recording of 2000.

Clarinetist Mike Sussman has been principal clarinetist with the orchestras of the Bolshoi Ballet, Royal Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, D’Oyley Carte Opera, and Brooklyn Philharmonic, among others. He is currently principal clarinetist with the orchestras of Springfield, Mass., and the Monadnock Music Festival. Sussman is a professor of music at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has recorded for 15 different labels.

Violinist Joel Pitchon is a member of the Kinor String Quartet and first violin of the Greenwich Chamber Players. Pitchon has participated in many concerts in the U.S. and abroad with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. He has appeared in numerous radio and television broadcasts and has recorded extensively. He also is on the music faculty at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

For further information about the Messiaen concert or the WWII symposium, call 603-358-2157 or visit at

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