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Olivier Messiaen’s timeless Quatuor pour la fin du temps

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April 3, 2016 8:00 pm

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Throes House and Gallery Concerts feature New York’s finest musicians performing chamber music in intimate atmospheres. The music is presented in collaboration with highly acclaimed Throes Theater actors, as they weave poetry and theatrical elements into the evening.

For its inaugural concert the ensemble will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the premiere of Olivier Messiaen’s timeless Quatuor pour la fin du temps. The first performance of Messiaen’s quartet took place on January 15, 1941 in a German POW camp. The original musicians (Messiaen himself at the piano) presented the music outdoors on severely dilapidated instruments.

The most ethereally beautiful music of the twentieth century was first heard on a brutally cold January night in 1941, at the Stalag VIIIA prisoner-of-war camp, in Görlitz, Germany. The composer was Olivier Messiaen, the work “Quartet for the End of Time.” Messiaen wrote most of it after being captured as a French soldier during the German invasion of 1940. The première took place in an unheated space in Barrack 27. A fellow-inmate drew up a program in Art Nouveau style, to which an official stamp was affixed: “Stalag VIIIA 49 geprüft [approved].” Sitting in the front row—and shivering along with the prisoners—were the German officers of the camp.

The ensemble will present this work with a reading of text by Alexandra Zelman Doring. 


Known for her “lively confidence,” (San Francisco Classical Voice), Violinist Michelle Painter brings personality, spirit and energy to each performance.  As a chamber musician she has performed across the United States and South Korea, taking part in series including Music from Salem, The Lighthouse Chamber Players, Green Mountain Chamber Music Festival, the Five College New Music Festival, Spectrum NYC, and the Robert Helps International Music Festival. She recorded the world premiere of Robert Helps’ “Quintet” for Albany Records and has collaborated with and performed world premieres by several Pulitzer Prize Winning Composers as well as Guggenheim Fellows. Michelle is co-founder and co-artistic director of RT9 Ensemble- a chamber group dedicated to the collaborative musical experience with audiences in diverse concert settings. Recent engagements include solo performances with the Farmington Valley Symphony Orchestra, Imperial Symphony Orchestra, New York Eastern Chamber Orchestra, and the University of Massachusetts Chamber Orchestra in venues such as the United Nations, Lincoln Center, Buckley Hall, Youkey Theater, and NYU’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts.

Cellist Molly Aronson is an avid chamber musician, soloist and pedagogue known for her “solid[ity]” and “verve,” (SFCV). She is a founding member of the Rt9 Ensemble and Anderson Hill Trio with whom she has toured throughout the Northeast, New York and Georgia, presenting concerts in non-traditional venues to concert halls. She has performed at the Chateau Festival in Paris, France, the Mohawk Trails Concerts, Classical at Cornelia St. Cafe, Interlochen Faculty Chamber Series, to name a few. In 2010 Molly had her concerto debut with the Holyoke Civic Symphony. Championing contemporary music, Molly has premiered and recorded works for both solo cello, and small ensemble by numerous living composers affiliated with such institutions as Juilliard, Stamford, Manhattan School of Music, University of Michigan, and New England Conservatory. She has performed on such series as Lex54 concerts, Spectrum NYC, Neuberger Museum’s “Wednesdays at the Neu,” Vox Novus- “The Composer’s Voice” and Purchase New Music. She performed and acted in The Crook of Your Arm as a part of FRIGID, the NYC winter Fringe Festival.

Naum Goldenstein is a clarinet teacher and player based in New York.   He is a third generation clarinet player, whose unique, colorful sound has been widely praised. He has been playing solo concerts since the age of fifteen.  He graduated from the Jerusalem Academy of Music, where he studied with Yevgeny Yehudin (Principal clarinet, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra) and continues his studies in New York with Professor Charles Neidich.  Freelance work includes playing with Mozart Divertimento Trio on Israel Classical Music Station, and with the Symphony Orchestra of Raanana, and the Israel Chamber Orchestra. He has worked on numerous new music projects with young upcoming composers, is the recipient of numerous scholarships including a scholarship from the American-Israel Culture foundation, and was selected by professor Eli Eban to perform a solo concerto at the Jerusalem Music Center.  Recently, he collaborated with Throes Theater on critically acclaimed “Halfway through the Story of Our Life,” performed at Access Theater and Dixon Place, where his playing was praised for its “beautiful tone and sensitive pacing” by New York Arts.

Markus Kaitila is a prizewinning, young concert pianist lauded for his artistic substance, awareness of form and crystalline clarity. Studies at Sibelius Academy and Folkwang UdK in Europe, masterclasses with Paul Badura-Skoda, Leon Fleisher and Bernd Goetzke, currently training at Aaron Copland School of Music with Nina Lelchuk. Soloist of Joutseno Art Summer, Wratislavia, St. Peter’s Festival and Queens College Chamber orchestras as well as the QC Symphonic Wind Ensemble. Performances at Wiener Saal, Salzburg; Musica Mundi Festival; Klavier-Festival Ruhr; Mannes, LeFrak and Carnegie Halls, New York. He was a Solo Piano Fellow at Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California, in summer 2015. Markus Kaitila has performed as a soloist with the Joutseno Art Summer chamber orchestra, Wratislavia Chamber Orchestra, Festival Orchestra at St. Peter’s and the Queens College Chamber Orchestra, under conductors, such as Tong Chen and Charles Neidich. In June 2013 he won the Köhler-Osbahr piano competition in Duisburg, Germany. He has won First and Second Prizes in national chamber music competitions (Juvenalia, E. Melartin) and remains an active and widely experienced chamber musician “on the line between mere gesture and great feeling” (Barbara Kaiser, General Newspaper of the Lüneburg Heath, 08/2012). “Full of spirits. . .exceptional pianist. . .a uniquely original hand: awareness of form and crystalline clarity. . .Romantic salon culture at the highest level” (Konstanze Führlbeck, Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, 10.11.2013).


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