october, 2020

23oct7:00 pm8:00 pmReflection - Live Concert - Messiaen's Quartet for the end of timeQuartet for the End of Time Concert at St Paul's Cathedral, London

Event Details

A performance of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, performed by City Music Foundation artists, to be held in St Paul’s Cathedral with an in-person audience to offer Londoners an opportunity for contemplation and reflection as we learn to live with the devastating effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Those who have lost loved-ones because of the pandemic have already been invited by St Paul’s Cathedral to contribute to an online book of remembrance, RememberMe2020, a wonderful initiative which has been able to help those who, because of restrictions on gatherings and funerals, were unable to mark the passing of family or friends.

Building on this, the performance of Quartet for the End of Time will allow people to physically share an experience together, and to pause and reflect on how our lives have altered in ways which were unimaginable last March, some of which may be permanent. Both music making and religious observance are among the most fundamental of human activities and have been deeply affected by the response to Covid-19.

The iconic and awe-inspiring Cathedral had to close its doors and cease any music for a time, but is now open to visitors, suitably distanced.


Musicians – all City Music Foundation Artists:

Emily Sun, violin

Ariana Kashefi, cello

Joseph Shiner, clarinet

Alexander Soares, piano

Tickets are free and available on first come first served. You will be allocated seating and be given an allotted arrival time. The venue’s seating has been laid out to comply with all current Covid-19 guidance.

Please note, due to social distancing rules, there are very limited tickets available.



This event is now *SOLD OUT*, but please do sign up to the waiting list *here*, there is a chance you will still get tickets!

Alternatively, there is an Online Stream event happening 1 week after the concert where you will be able to watch the concert from your home. Please click here for more information and sign up for the video link


Olivier Messiaen

Quartet for the End of Time

I: Liturgie de cristal (Crystal liturgy)

II: Vocalise pour l’Ange qui annonce le fin du Temps (Song without words for the Angel who announces the end of Time)

III: Abîme des oiseaux (Abyss of the birds)

IV: Intermède (Interlude)

V: Louange à l’Eternité de Jésus (Praise to the Eternity of Jesus)

VI: Danse de la fureur, pour les sept trompettes (Dance of fury, for the seven trumpets)

VII: Fouillis d’arcs-en-ciel, pour l’Ange qui annonce la fin du Temps (Cluster of rainbows, for the Angel who announces the end of Time)

VIII: Louange à l’Immortalité de Jésus (Praise to the Immortality of Jesus)


Those who are able to attend this event will hear one of the great works of the 20th century – a meditation on transcendence which speaks with uncompromising honesty and piercing beauty to both listeners and performers.

Messiaen wrote the piece whilst in a prisoner of war camp. It was first performed there in January 1941 with some of his fellow prisoners, a clarinettist, a violinist, and a cellist and on a battered piano. Messiaen wrote the music as he struggled to live in the regime of the camp, and to reconcile that experience with his profound faith. For him it also represented an escape from history, a leap into the future and into paradise. He sought paradise not only in an afterlife, but in the serendipities of day to day living.

Ultimately Quartet for the End of Time describes the rebirth of an ordinary soul through the experience of extraordinary emotion, and as such it has a role to play as we start to emerge from the pandemic.


About St Paul’s Remember Me

It is intended that the Remember Me site will become a physical memorial at the Cathedral. There are approved designs for a new inner portico in the North transept and, subject to funding, this will serve as a fitting memorial for all who have died as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Very Revd David Ison, Dean of St Paul’s, said: “’For centuries, St Paul’s Cathedral has been a place to remember the personal and national impact of great tragedies, from the losses of war to the devastation of the Grenfell Tower fire. We have heard so many sad stories of those affected by the pandemic, and all our thoughts and prayers are with them. Every person is valued and worthy of remembrance.

“We are all experiencing the devastating impacts of COVID-19 across the country and beyond. Remember Me is an opportunity to mourn every person we have lost to the effects of this terrible disease, an encouragement to offer compassion and support to those left behind, and an ongoing recognition of the impact of the pandemic on the UK.”

The Remember Me project could not have been achieved without the generous sponsorship of The Dorfman Foundation. St Paul’s Cathedral would also like to give special thanks to Sir Lloyd Dorfman for his leadership and guidance in the realisation of this project along with James Olley for his wise counsel and dedication to St Paul’s. Our deepest gratitude goes out to all of the companies who have given their time, incredible expertise and pro-bono support so generously.


(Friday) 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm


City Music Foundation

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