HumanitiesWeb.org - Olivier Messiaen - The atomic bomb of contemporary music [Chronology]
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Site last updated
26 June, 2013

Olivier Messiaen
(1908 - 1992)

Timeline
1908 Born Olivier Eugene Prosper Charles Messiaen in Avignon, France, 10 December
1916 Begins composing at age 8, before learning to read music
1919 Enters the Paris Conservatory at the age of 11
1931 Appointed organiste titulaire of La Trinité in Paris.
1932 Marries Claire Delbos
1936 Inducted into Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris and Schola Cantorum
1939 Called to serve in the French armed service
1940 Taken prisoner by the Nazis
1941 Composes Quatuor pour la fin du temps in 1941 while imprisoned; after release was appointed Professor of harmony at the Conservatory
1943 Begins a series of seminars on analysis and composition for a private group of avant-garde artists, 'les fleches,' including Pierre Boulez and Karlheinz Stockhausen
1965 Commissioned by the French government to write a dedication to those who died during the two World Wars: Et exspecto resurrectionem
1966 Appointed professor of composition at the Paris Conservatory
1978 Retirement from the Conservatory
1992 Died April 27, 1992, Clichy, near Paris
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