Olivier Messiaen

1908–1992, FRENCH

An outstanding organist, composer, and teacher, Messiaen drew on numerous influences in his work, from Asian rhythms to birdsong, but his constant source of inspiration was his unshakable Catholic faith.

OLIVIER MESSIAENOne of the most influential figures in modern French music, Messiaen poses in front of the 2,500 or so pages of the score for his opera St. Francis of Assisi, his last major work before his death.

ON TECHNIQUE

Ondes Martenot

Messiaen was an important pioneer of the ondes Martenot (Martenot “waves”)—an early electronic instrument invented in 1928 ...

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