"Olivier Messiaen’s lifelong quest centered on the "colors" and rhythms of a music that would serve as a vehicle for his thoughts about time his love of God and his enthusiasm for birdsong. An additional topic about which he felt deeply is that of passionate fated human love and its relationship to death on the one hand the love of God on the other. During the years 1936-1948 he composed five cycles of vocal music to his own texts as well as the Turangalîla Symphony the monumental centerpiece of his "Tristan Trilogy."
A musicologist, concert pianist, and interdisciplinary scholar whose research focuses on compositions of the 20th century. Prior to coming to the United States, she taught for ten years in Germany and at the University of Hong Kong. Since 1993 she has been a full-time researcher at the University of Michigan’s Institute for the Humanities (one of six “Life Research Associates”); in the fall of 2004, she was appointed chercheur permanent at the Institut d’Esthétique des Arts Contemporains at Université de Paris 1–La Sorbonne. She has been an elected member of the European Academy of Arts and Sciences since 2001.