06 December 2008

BBC interviews with Nigel Simeone on Messiaen's life and music

BBC Composer of the Week, 1-5 December 2008

In the month of his centenary, Olivier Messiaen is the BBC’s Composer of the Week beginning on Monday, 1 December 2008 (Radio 3 each day at 12 noon, repeated at 10 p.m.). Two members of the Sheffield department are involved in these programmes: Nigel Simeone is interviewed throughout the week on aspects of Messiaen’s life and music, and some of the performances being broadcast are by Peter Hill.

The Golden Oriole – BBC Radio 4, 9 December 2008

At 1.30 p.m on 9 December, Radio 4 broadcasts a 30 minute documentary about Messiaen and birdsong, featuring interviews with Sheffield musicologist Nigel Simeone, made on location in the French Alps.

From the BBC Press Release: ‘Marking the centenary of the birth of Olivier Messiaen, ornithologist and nature writer Stephen Moss explores a crucial period in Messiaen's life, when his passion for collecting and using birdsong in his music flourished and provided a refuge from the agony of his wife's decline. Stephen explores Messiaen's lifelong fascination with birds and, with Messiaen's biographer Nigel Simeone as his guide, visits some of the composer's favourite locations in France – his garden at Petichet, where he would notate the dawn chorus at lightning speed; his gravestone nearby, which stands out as a white dove soaring skywards; and the stunning glacial landscape of La Grave in the Alps near Grenoble, the inspiration for the first of the bird portraits in the vast Catalogue d'Oiseaux.