On December 10, 2008 is the 100th anniversary of the birth of French composer Olivier Messiaen. Ornithology, the relationship between music and color, and deep appropriation of the Christian faith are some of the elements that give life to his work, in addition to its very particular approach to medieval music, Indian music, and Mozart, Wagner and Debussy. The spirituality of some of his works, his genius and his career as organist suggest a comparison with Johann Sebastian Bach. The immeasurable relevance of his music, coupled to the individuality of their world view, make one of the great pillars of twentieth century music.
However, being a fundamentally Instrumenta Summer academic space, it is for outstanding teaching that we consider important to pay tribute. Iannis Xenakis, Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Gérard Grisey are just some of the names that transited the classroom this tireless teacher at the Paris Conservatoire. It was precisely there, as well as the Darmstadt summer courses, which came together pedagogy and his office, and took him to write works that would mark generations to come, leaving an indelible mark on the history of music.
Consequently, we have chosen an emblematic work of the composer: Colors of the Celestial City, which will be performed by students at the closing concert and to which we pay tribute through the title of this edition of Instrumenta Verano.