Baryshnikov Arts Center Presents Messiaen's Quartet For The End of Time

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Baryshnikov Arts Center Presents Messiaen's Quartet For The End of Time

Baryshnikov Arts Center (BAC) continues its Spring 2018 Music Series on Thursday, February 22, 2018 at 7:30pm with a presentation of Olivier Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time conceived and directed by Sarah Rothenberg with lighting designed by Jennifer Tipton, performed in BAC's Jerome Robbins Theater. An all-star ensemble of instrumentalists - Joshua Rubin, clarinet; Geoff Nuttall, violin; Christopher Costanza, cello; and Sarah Rothenberg, piano - bring to life this timeless work, which Messiaen wrote and premiered in 1941 while in confinement at a prisoner-of-war camp in Germany during World War II.

Quartet for the End of Time is the second work by Olivier Messiaen on which lighting designer Jennifer Tipton and director/pianist Sarah Rothenberg are collaborating, following Messiaen's Visions de l'Amen (performed by Marilyn Nonken and Rothenberg), which premiered at Da Camera in Houston in 2015.

Says Rothenberg, who encountered Messiaen in Paris while studying his music with his wife, the pianist Yvonne Loriod:

"In creating a visual setting for the Quartet, we start with the music itself. Lighting becomes the music's visual counterpart. Messiaen saw colors when he composed, and his deep Catholic faith evokes, for him, ecstatic, otherworldly visions. The sense of space, of mystery, the connection to earthly nature - for Messiaen, often expressed through birdsong - all serve as inspiration, as do the texts that Messiaen provides for each movement. The composer's evocations of primordial space, of crystal liturgies, blue-orange harmonies, and dizzying rainbows are interpreted as light, from darkness to piercing brilliance, from white to the swirling colors of Messiaen's chords and modes."

Leadership support for BAC's music programming is provided by the Anne and Chris Flowers Foundation and the Thompson Family Foundation.


Lighting designer Jennifer Tipton 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, Costanza has performed to enthusiastic critical acclaim throughout the U.S., Europe, Canada, South America, Australia, New Zealand, China, and South Korea. In 2003, he 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. 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,, featuring his recordings of the Six Suites for Solo Cello by J.S. Bach. 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, 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's 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 Great Performers New Visions), and In the Garden of Dreams, as well as music 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. 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. 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.


BAC is the realization of a long-held vision by artistic director Mikhail Baryshnikov to build an arts center in Manhattan that would serve as a gathering place for artists from all disciplines. BAC's opening in 2005 heralded the launch of this mission, establishing a thriving creative laboratory and performance space for artists from around the world. BAC's activities encompass a robust residency program augmented by a range of professional services, including commissions of new work, as well as the presentation of performances by artists at varying stages of their careers. In tandem with its commitment to supporting artists, BAC is dedicated to building audiences for the arts by presenting contemporary, innovative work at affordable ticket prices. For more information, please visit

Baryshnikov Arts Center is grateful for the support of its generous individual and institutional annual fund donors in 2017-­­-2018.

Jennifer Adams; Anonymous (2); Darcy Bacon; Mikhail Baryshnikov and Lisa Rinehart; Dr. Phillip Bauman; Kate Baxter; Carol Baxter and Loren Plotkin; Tina and Jeffrey Bolton Family Fund; Catherine Brennan; Valentino D. Carlotti; Lydia and Mats G. Carlston Charitable Fund; Carroll Cartwright; Fadi, Terri and Claudine Chartouni; Mirjana Ciric, Dino Buturovic, and Edin Buturovic; Lori Cohen and Christopher Rothko; Frank and Monique Cordasco; Nancy Dalva; Edoard Dejoux; Michael and Denise Deleray; Richard and Jennie DeScherer; Michael Devins; Joseph and Diana DiMenna; Debbie and Harry Druker; James H. Duffy; Cheryl Lee and Steven C. Dupré; William James Earle; Jennifer and Russell Echlov; Gwen Edelman; Ehrenkranz Family Foundation; Brittawnee Enos; Michele Lee Fine; Alan and Judy Fishman; Barbara Fleischman; Richard and Nicole Fortson; Sandra Foschi; Natasha Frank; Alex and Jenia Fridly and Randy Gaugert; Philip Giambanco; Slavka B. Glaser; Michael Goldstein and Carolyn Katz; Ain Gordon; Agnes Gund; Annie and John Hall; Elaine M. Halpin; Charles Hamlen; The Hare Family; Nicole and Paul Harman; Elisabeth Hayes; Jeffery Hentze; Rebecca M. Hetherington; Brian and Tania Higgins; Joan Hooker; In Honor of Roger Hooker; Sarah Hooker; Huong Hoang; Fredericka Hunter; Mary Anne Hunting and Thomas Remien; Yukiko Inoue; Susan Israel; Vivek Iyer; Laith and Adele Jazrawi; Bobbo Jetmundsen; Carine Joannou; Stephanie Joel; Annie Jordan; Zuzana Justman; Julia and Michael Katz; Colleen Keegan; Donald M. Kendall; Paul and Teresa Kim; Joan Konner and Alvin Perlmutter; Sonja Kostich; Herman Krawitz; Sali Ann Kriegsman; Iya Labunka; Nicole Leibman; Tania J. Leon; The LeRoy Family; Charlie and Lorie Levy; Harvey Lichtman and Lauren Best; Jarrett and Maritess Lilien; Julie Lilien; Topper Lilien; Lew Lloyd; Nicholas Lloyd and Megan Craig; Marianne Lockwood and David Bury; Nick and Cass Ludington; Sarah and Alec Machiels; Elizabeth Manigault;Yael Mandelstam and Ken Tabachnick; Cheryl Yeager Marshall; Paul and Caroline McCaffery; Tamara McCaw; Karen McLaughlin and Mark Schubin; Patrick A. Meere, MD and Ingrid E. Weigel, MD; Jane & Richard Mescon; Adam Miller; Valerie and Stuart Mogul; In Honor of Natalie Moody; Bob and Carol Morris; Mark Morris; Cheri Mowry; Alice and Alexander Nakhimovsky; Marion Nestle; Zoya and Anna Obraztsova; Elizabeth Osha; Hubert and Joanna Parzecki; Ray Pepi and Karen Arrigoni; Steven and Michèle Pesner; Steve and Randi Piaker; Georgiana Pickett; Darryl Pinckney; Anatole Plotkin & Inna Kugel; Lily Potter; Tamar Quillen; Aidan and Elizabeth Quinn; Judith Regan; Laila Robins; James Roe; Isabella Rossellini; Christopher Rothko; Sophia Schachter; Hillary Schafer and Mark Shafir; Dorothy Scheuer; Natasha Schlesinger;Laura Schoen; Tatiana Segal; Joel Shapiro and Ellen Phelan; Wallace Shawn; Jeremy Smith; Christina Sterner and Steve Poses; Lev Sviridov; Rosalie Swedlin; Robert Thorpe and Laurie David; Jennifer Tipton; Rosanna and John Troiano; Igor Tsukanov; Robert Warshaw and Debbie Schmidt; Mary R. Waters; Suzanne Weil; Roger Weisberg and Karen Freedman; Yelena Yoffe and Serge Troyanovsky; and Tony Zisa.

Affirmation Arts Fund; Altman Foundation; American Chai Trust; Anonymous; Rose M. Badgeley Residuary Charitable Trust; Bay and Paul Foundations; Consulate General of Israel in North America; The Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation; The Enoch Foundation; FACE Foundation; Ferriday Fund Charitable Trust; Anne and Chris Flowers Foundation; Ford Foundation; Marshall Frankel Foundation; Howard Gilman Foundation; Harkness Foundation for Dance; Irving Harris Foundation; Francena T. Harrison Foundation Trust; Israel Institute; Japan Foundation; Danny Kaye and Sylvia Fine Kaye Foundation; Kent Van-Alen Fund; The Frances Lear Foundation; The Lupin Foundation; The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Mertz Gilmore Foundation; Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation; Stavros Niarchos Foundation; Rudolf Nureyev Dance Foundation; Princess Grace Foundation-USA; rag & bone; The Reed Foundation; The Jerome Robbins Foundation; Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation; The Shubert Foundation;The Seth Sprague Educational and Charitable Foundation; Soros Fund Charitable Foundation; The Thompson Family Foundation; and Trust for Mutual Understanding.

Lead support of dance programming at Baryshnikov Arts Center is provided by the Rudolf Nureyev Endowment.

Baryshnikov Arts Center is also grateful for support provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Funding is also made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Yamaha is the official piano of the Baryshnikov Arts Center.

As of January 9, 2018

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