Frank Martin (1890-1974)the greatest Swiss composer besides Arthur Honegger spent two periods of his life intensely reflecting on death: the decade centered in World War II and the half-decade before his own passing at the age of 84. The resulting nine compositions are internationally recognized as featuring among Martin’s masterpieces. In terms of their spiritual approach they each address the subject of death from a different angle. Far from morbid or dejected in his attitude Martin uses his very expressive musical language to ponder the many ways in which humans seek to understand the finitude of their earthly lives.
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.