Dancing Through the End of Time

Dancing Through the End of Time

Event Details


DOORS / 3:30 P.M. SHOW / 4:00 P.M.




About the Event

Step into a world of musical intimacy with Julian Schwarz as he brings his mastery of the cello to create a captivating experience at Scout Hall on Saturday, April 20.

Performing what musicians consider one of the most remarkable pieces of chamber music ever written — Olivier Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time (Quatuor pour la fin du temps), composed by a Prisoner of War and first performed for prisoners and guards in a German prison camp during World War II — Julian will engage the audience in a master class conversation about this piece’s place in history and musical canons after his performance.

Heralded from a young age as a cellist destined to rank among the greatest of the 21st Century, Julian’s powerful tone, effortless virtuosity and vast color palette are hallmarks of his style.

Program Notes

Olivier Messiaen's Quartet for the End of Time

How does one keep track of the time and maintain their own humanity while being held captive? Messiaen turned to creating music with fellow prisoners. Rooted deeply in his faith in Christianity and written while held captive by the Germans as a Prisoner of War near the

beginning of World War II, Olivier Messiaen wrote Quartuor por la fin du temps (Quartet for the End of Time 1940-1941) with the instruments and instrumentalists he had on hand and some scrap papers he gathered from a sympathetic guard. "When I arrived at the camp, I was stripped of all my clothes, like all the prisoners," Messiaen said. "But naked as I was, I clung fiercely to a little bag of miniature scores that served as consolation when I suffered. The Germans considered me to be completely harmless, and since they still loved music, not only did they allow me to keep my scores, but an officer also gave me pencils, erasers and some music paper." And thus, one of the most important works in the history of music was born. The piece was written, rehearsed and premiered in the prison camp in freezing temperatures in front of 400 prisoners and prison guards. Messiaen recalled that his music had never been listened to prior with "so much attention and understanding." Almost a century later, musicians still consider this to be one of the greatest pieces of chamber music ever written.


Julian Schwarz

Julian Schwarz was born to a multigenerational musical family in 1991. Heralded from a young age as a cellist destined to rank among the greatest of the 21st Century, Julian’s powerful tone, effortless virtuosity and extraordinarily large color palette are hallmarks of his style.

After making his concerto debut at the age of 11 with the Seattle Symphony and his father Gerard Schwarz on the podium, he made his U.S. touring debut with the Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra in 2010. Since being awarded first prize at the inaugural Schoenfeld International String Competition in 2013, he has led an active career as soloist, performing with the symphony orchestras of Annapolis, Boise, Buffalo, Charlotte, Columbus, Delaware, Des Moines, Hartford, Jacksonville, Louisville, Memphis, Modesto, Omaha, Puerto Rico, Richmond, Rochester, San Antonio, San Jose, Sarasota, Syracuse, Toledo, Tucson, Virginia, West Virginia, Wichita and Winston-Salem, among many others. Internationally, he made his Australian debut with the Queensland Symphony, his Mexican debuts with the Boca del Rio Philharmonic in Veracruz and the Mexico City Philharmonic with frequent collaborator Jorge Mester, and his Hong Kong debut at the Intimacy of Creativity Festival. He has also appeared at the Salzburg Mozarteum and the Verbier Festival in Switzerland.

Sophia Han

Described by the Classical Voices of North Carolina as making playing the violin “seem easy, almost as child’s play,” violinist Sophia Han is associate professor of violin and viola at Southeast Missouri State University. A versatile musician, Han has performed as guest soloist with orchestras and artists across the U.S. Currently serving as the associate concertmaster of Paducah Symphony Orchestra, Han was a guest concertmaster of Southern Illinois Music Festival Orchestra and assistant concertmaster of Tallahassee Symphony and is in demand as an adjudicator and clinician. As a chamber musician, Han is a member of the St. Louis Chamber Soloists, Kingsbury Ensemble, Outburst Chamber Orchestra and Rio Verde Quartet.

Galen Dean Peiskee Jr.

Galen Dean Peiskee Jr. has established a multifaceted career as an accomplished chamber musician, soloist, orchestral pianist, accompanist and vocal coach. He has performed all over the United States and throughout the world in Poland, Italy, Austria, Greece, Cuba and Bolivia.

Dr. Gabrielle Baffoni

Dr. Gabrielle Baffoni is professor of music, single reeds at Southeast Missouri State University. In addition to teaching, Baffoni currently holds the position of principal clarinetist with the Paducah Symphony Orchestra (PSO) in Kentucky and performs with Kansas City Chamber Orchestra. Baffoni is the clarinetist in the Pan Pacific Ensemble, a wind quintet recently awarded the American Prize for chamber music.

Julian Schwarz will also perform Dvorak’s “From the New World” Symphony on Tuesday, April 23, with the Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra.

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