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Messiaen, Olivier (1908–1992)

  1. Daniel Watkins

Published Online: 25 NOV 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9780470670606.wbecc0893

The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization

How to Cite

Watkins, D. 2011. Messiaen, Olivier (1908–1992). The Encyclopedia of Christian Civilization. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 25 NOV 2011


Born in Avignon, France on December 10, 1908 as Olivier Eugène Prosper Charles Messiaen and baptized into the Roman Catholic Church on December 25 of the same year, he was one of the most influential composers of the 20th century. Initially self-taught on the piano, Messiaen eventually spent around a decade studying at the Paris Conservatoire under such notable professors as Jean Gallon and Paul Dukas. Upon completing his formal education in music, he accepted the substantial post of organist at the Église de la Saint-Trinité in Paris. On June 22, 1932, he married Claire Delbos, the daughter of a notable professor at the Sorbonne, and five years later on July 14, 1937 they had a child whom they named Pascal.


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