Introducing an enchanting evening as part of the Auckland Climate Festival's arts component throughout the month of September. This event offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in a fusion of art forms that reflect the world around us.

The evening will feature a performance of the quartet and poetry, serving as a meditation on the time in which we live. The lineup includes:

  • Katherine Austin on piano
  • James Tennant on cello
  • Peter Scholes on clarinet
  • Simeon Broom on violin
  • Faumuina Felolini Maria Tafuna'i as their performance poet

Image sourced from St Matthew in the City

The highlight of the evening is a renowned 8-movement piece written by the celebrated French composer, Olivier Messiaen (1908-1992), during his internment in a prisoner of war camp during World War II. Despite the challenging circumstances, the camp commander permitted the performance of this remarkable piece, showcasing the transcendent power of music.

Messiaen, an organist/pianist, composed this famous quartet in collaboration with a violinist, clarinetist, and cellist who also endured trying conditions. Their instruments were in poor condition, yet amidst the harsh setting, the camp commander allowed the performance of this piece.

Messiaen once expressed, "If I composed this quartet for anything, it was to escape from the snow, the war, the captivity, to escape from myself." The music will guide you through a spectrum of emotions, from anger to solace, ultimately leading to a place of profound beauty and courage in the face of global challenges.

Paired with this is the Samoan poetry of Faumuina Felolini Maria Tafuna'i, evoking the plight of Pacific people as sea levels rise and the Pacific way of life is lost.

The quartet's melodies will dance, sing, and evoke tears of both sorrow and joy, culminating in a deep reverence for all that sustains life. This evening promises to be a celebration of art, reflection, and the resilience of the human spirit.

$2 per hour to a max of $12 on weekends and a $12 flat rate for weekday evenings at The Civic car park. Find out more

Last updated: 20 September 2023