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Faculty Artist Concert Series: Ronen Ensemble

Image of composer Olivier Messiaen and a solar eclipse

Ronen Ensemble: Endings & Beginnings

In a very special program designed to coincide with the solar eclipse, Ronen Chamber Ensemble co-founder and emeritus UIndy professor David Bellman returns for a performance of Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, written while the composer was a POW in World War II. Messiaen’s masterpiece is inspired by the Book of Revelation, whose author—St. John—is symbolized by an eagle for his ability to look directly into the sun (the Light of God). The titles of the movements in Messiaen’s quartet harken to his devout Catholicism, and his musical portrayal of “the end of time” is intimately connected with Biblical prophecies of the days of tribulation when the stars will fall from the skies, the powers of the heavens will be shaken, and the sun will be darkened. Balancing this canonic warhorse is the new Quartet for the Great North American Eclipse written for Ronen’s new array of musical directors by Indianapolis-based composer (and UIndy grad) Luke Garrigus. Garrigus’s significantly less-apocalyptic piece uses the idea of the solar eclipse as a source for formal and coloristic choices.