Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time
Conceived and Directed by Sarah Rothenberg
Lighting by Jennifer Tipton
Messiaen’s Quartet is “the most ethereally beautiful music of the twentieth century” – The New Yorker
O. Messiaen: Quartet for the End of Time (1941)
Olivier Messiaen expresses his deep faith in a timeless musical composition, which he wrote and premiered while in confinement at a prisoner-of-war camp in Germany. An all-star ensemble of instrumentalists performs the iconic work with lighting designed by the illustrious Jennifer Tipton.
Joshua Rubin, clarinet
Geoff Nuttall, violin
Christopher Costanza, cello
Sarah Rothenberg, piano
Leadership support for music programming provided by the Anne and Chris Flowers Foundation and the Thompson Family Foundation.
Jennifer Tipton (Lighting Designer) is well known for her lighting for theater, opera and dance. Her recent work in theater includes Richard Nelson’ s Illyria at the Public Theater. Her recent work in opera includes Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette at the Metropolitan and her recent work in dance includes Alexei Ratmansky’s Romeo and Juliet for the Bolshoi Ballet.
She teaches lighting at the Yale School of Drama. She received the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize in 2001, the Jerome Robbins Prize in 2003 and in 2008 she was awarded the USA “Gracie” Fellowship and a MacArthur Fellowship.
For three decades, cellist Christopher Costanza has enjoyed an exciting and varied career as soloist, chamber musician, and teacher. A winner of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions and the recipient of a Solo Recitalists Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, Mr. Costanza has performed to enthusiastic critical acclaim throughout the U.S., Europe, Canada, South America, Australia, New Zealand, China, and South Korea.
In 2003 Mr. Costanza joined the St. Lawrence String Quartet, Ensemble in Residence at Stanford University. A strong proponent of contemporary music, he has worked extensively with the world's leading composers, such as John Adams, Osvaldo Golijov, Olivier Messiaen, and Pierre Boulez. Mr. Costanza's discography includes chamber music and solo recordings on the EMI/Angel, Nonesuch, Naxos, and Albany labels, and he has launched an innovative website, costanzabach.stanford.edu, featuring his recordings of the Six Suites for Solo Cello by J.S. Bach. Mr. Costanza received a Bachelor of Music and an Artist Diploma from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he studied cello with Bernard Greenhouse, Laurence Lesser, and David Wells, and chamber music with Eugene Lehner, Louis Krasner, and Leonard Shure.
Violinist Geoff Nuttall studied under the tutelage of Lorand Fenyves at The Banff Centre, the University of Western Ontario, and the University of Toronto, where he received his bachelor of arts. In 1989, Mr. Nuttall, co-founded the St. Lawrence String Quartet. As first violinist of this world-renowned foursome, he has performed well over 2000 concerts throughout North and South America, Europe, Australia, and Asia.
He has received two Grammy nominations for the St. Lawrence Quartet’s recording Yiddishbbuk, a collection of works by the Argentinean-American composer Osvaldo Golijov. Their premiere recording of Robert Schumann Quartets won a Juno Award, granted by the Canadian Academy for Arts and Sciences for Best Classical Album, as well as the coveted German critic’s award Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik. Since winning the Banff International String Quartet Competition and the Young Concert Artist Auditions in the early 1990s, the St. Lawrence String Quartet has become a regular at some of North America’s most esteemed music festivals, including Mostly Mozart, Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, Bay Chamber Concerts, and Spoleto USA. They have performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Metropolitan Museum, Kennedy Center, London’s Wigmore Hall, Royal Concertgebouw Hall in Amsterdam, Theatre de Ville Paris, Tokyo’s Suntory Hall, and the White House for President Clinton and guests. With the St. Lawrence Quartet, Mr. Nuttall served as graduate ensemble-in-residence at the Juilliard School, Yale University, and Hartt School of Music, acting as teaching assistants to the Juilliard, Tokyo, and Emerson String Quartets, respectively. He is now on faculty at Stanford University, where the St. Lawrence Quartet is Ensemble-in-Residence.
Pianist and director Sarah Rothenberg has been artistic director of Da Camera in Houston since 1994 and general director since 2011. Previously, she was co-founding artistic director of the Bard Music Festival.
Her interdisciplinary productions linking music, literature, and art have been presented by Great Performers at Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, The Getty Museum, Barbican Centre, The Concertgebouw, and across the U.S., and include A Proust Sonata (NY premiere in January 2018 at Alliance Francaise), The Blue Rider (Miller Theater and Works & Process at the Guggenheim), Moondrunk (Lincoln Center New Visions), and In the Garden of Dreams, as well as programs on Kafka, Akhmatova, Thomas Mann and collaborations with poets John Ashbery, Cees Nooteboom, and Adam Zagajewski. She premiered and appeared in over 75 performances of Martha Clarke’s Cheri at the Signature Theater, Covent Garden, and Ravenna Festival. An award winning recording artist, her most recent CDs are Rothko Chapel: Feldman, Satie, Cage on ECM and Messiaen Visions de l’Amen with Marilyn Nonken on Bridge. Her research and performances include U.S. premieres and recordings of works of Fanny Mendelssohn (Das Jahr) and Russian avant-garde composers of the 1910’s-20’s Nikolai Roslavetz, Alexander Mosolov, and Arthur Lourié. She has also performed over 80 world premieres, including works of Charles Wuorinen, Joan Tower, Tobias Picker, Gunther Schuller, Oliver Lake, and George Tsontakis. Her writings appear in Threepenny Review, Brick, Conjunctions, Nexus, and The Musical Quarterly. A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, she studied the music of Olivier Messiaen in Paris with the composer’s wife, pianist Yvonne Loriod. In 2000, she received the Medal of Chevalier in the Order of Arts and Letters from the French government.
Joshua Rubin is a founding clarinetist and co-artistic director of the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), where he oversees the creative direction of more than 140 events per season in the United States and abroad. As a clarinetist, the New York Times has praised him as "incapable of playing an inexpressive note."
He holds degrees in biology as well as music, and his interest in electronic music throughout his career has led him to work on making these technologies easier to use for both composers and performers. Joshua can be heard on recordings from the Nonesuch, Kairos, New Focus, Mode, Cedille, Naxos, Bridge, Sony, New Amsterdam, and Tzadik labels. His album There Never is No Light is available on ICE's Tundra label. He has been featured as a soloist with the Seattle Symphony (under Ludovic Morlot) and at the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center, in engagements with the Nagoya Philharmonic Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and, this season, will give performances of new music across the U.S. and in Canada, France, Peru, UAE, Mexico, and the U.K.