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UCCS Third Friday Colloquia

January 21 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

The Third Friday Colloquia: Essays in Music, curated by Colin McAllister in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts, showcases scholarship in the best sense, highlighting the power and range of human inquiry and creativity. Four times yearly, on Friday afternoons at the UCCS Downtown Center, UCCS faculty and select guests present creative work and research trajectories. Presentations begin at 4:00pm and last approximately 45 minutes, followed by discussion.

All events are hybrid, with the option to participate in-person, or virtually. The UCCS Downtown Center is located at 102 S. Tejon St., suite 105-a, Colorado Springs, CO 80903

Events are free of charge and no reservations are required.


January 21st, 2022

Apocalyptic Themes in the Music of Olivier Messiaen
Andrew Shenton, Boston University

This lecture examines aspects of the Catholic apocalypse as presented through the highly personal musical style of Olivier Messiaen (1908-92). A chronological survey of those works that explicitly deal with his personal eschatology demonstrate that Messiaen’s understanding of the apocalypse is revelation rather than Armageddon. Throughout his oeuvre he returned to several major theological themes (including the angels of the apocalypse and the abyss), but concentrated on musical depictions of heaven and the celestial city in his attempt to describe the ineffable in music. Concentrating especially on the Quatuor pour la fin du temps, a case is made for a highly individual eschatology that transcends institutional religious boundaries and is presented in music of enormous power and beauty.

Andrew Shenton is a scholar, prize-winning author, performer, and educator based in Boston, Massachusetts. Born in England, he first studied at The Royal College of Music in London, and holds bachelor, masters and doctoral degrees from London University, Yale, and Harvard respectively. He has been the recipient of numerous scholarships and awards including a Harvard Merit Fellowship, Harvard’s Certificate of Distinction in Teaching, and a Junior Fellowship from the Humanities Center at Boston University. He has given more than eighty premieres by composers such as Geoffrey Burgon, Joe Utterback, John Tavener, Judith Weir, and Arvo Pärt. Moving freely between musicology and ethnomusicology Shenton’s work is best subsumed under the heading ‘music and transcendence,’ and includes several major publications on Messiaen, Pärt, and others. His most recent monograph, Arvo Pärt’s Resonant Texts was published by CUP in 2018. Dr. Shenton is Professor of Music at Boston University, and Conductor of Vox Futura.


January 21
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm


UCCS Music Program


UCCS Downtown Centre
102 S. Tejon St., suite 105-a
Colorado Springs, CA 80903 United States
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