Manchester Collective: The End of Time

Wednesday 6 December 2023

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The agony and the ecstasy of our modern world.

If you had to pick a single musical work to reflect the energy, chaos and trauma of the 20th century, you could do a lot worse than Olivier Messiaen’s ‘Quartet for the End of Time’. This is chamber music at its most dramatic and unfiltered.

Messiaen’s transcendental quartet was written in 1941, while the composer was interned at a Nazi prisoner of war camp. It was premiered by fellow inmates to an audience of about 400 prisoners and guards, outside, in the rain. Messiaen later said of the premiere: “Never was I listened to with such rapt attention and comprehension”.

To perform this harrowing epic, the Collective are joined by musical treasure Kathryn Stott on the piano. Kathy, perhaps best known for her celebrated collaborations with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, will perform Caroline Shaw’s exquisite ‘Gustav le Gray’ alongside the Chopin mazurka that inspired the piece.

If you’re familiar with this work, you know what all the fuss is about. If it’s your first time – you’ve got a hell of a ride ahead of you.

Presented in partnership with Leeds International Concert Season.



Start time


Nicola Matteis ‘Alla Fantasia’
Caroline Shaw ‘Gustav le Gray’
Frédéric Chopin ‘Mazurka’ in A minor, Op. 17 No. 4
Olivier Messiaen Theme and Variations


Olivier Messiaen ‘Quartet for the End of Time’


Sergio Castelló López Clarinet
Rakhi Singh Violin
Nick Trygstad Cello
Kathryn Stott Piano

About Manchester Collective

Known for their experimental programming and daring collaborations, Manchester Collective perform a combination of cutting-edge contemporary music, classical masterpieces and staged work in spaces ranging from concert halls to warehouses, nightclubs to festivals. New music and collaboration are of vital importance to the Collective; they commission and present work by some of today’s most exciting artistic voices, crossing different genres and artforms.

Visit for more information.

Howard Assembly Room

Howard Assembly Room

A year-round festival of music, performance and ideas, in the heart of Leeds.

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Manchester Collective: The End of Time

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