American Music

On this edition of StudioTulsa, our last newly recorded program of the year, we tap into the unmistakable holiday cheer that's currently wafting through our offices like so much thick fog in a John Durkee crack-of-dawn weather report. In other words, we sit down with a few of our co-workers here at Public Radio Tulsa to chat about which Christmas songs matter most to them and why.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we are pleased to welcome Menahem Pressler, the internationally renowned classical pianist, who is best known as a founding member of the long-running Beaux Arts Trio --- and who has been described as "a national treasure" by The Los Angeles Times. A truly distinguished and esteemed German-American musician who will turn 90 later this year, Pressler has been, since the mid-1950s, a member of the piano faculty at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he is now the Distinguished Professor of Music in the Charles Webb Chair.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Machele Miller Dill and Michael Wright, two University of Tulsa faculty members who are currently co-directing the TU Department of Theatre and Musical Theatre's presentation of "Beehive." (Dill is also doing the choreography for this production.) Created in the 1980s by the late Larry Gallagher, this show is a music revue --- rather than a "jukebox musical" --- that moves through the sea-change of a decade that was the Sixties by focusing chronologically on the work of popular "girl groups" like The Chiffons, The Shirelles, and The Supremes as well as o

Tomorrow night, Saturday the 5th, the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra continues its current season with a 7:30pm curtain at the Tulsa PAC. On the program are two well-known, well-loved pieces from Brahms: his Piano Concerto No. 1 and his Symphony No. 2. Our guest on ST is Steven Smith, who will be the guest conductor for this concert, which will also feature a special guest appearance by the renowned pianist William Wolfram. Smith talks about his fondness for --- and his considerable familiarity with --- these two Brahms "war horses" (as he affectionately calls them).

Tomorrow night, Saturday the 7th, the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra will begin its new season with a 7:30pm concert at the Tulsa PAC. On the program, a pair of timeless Beethoven works, Leonore No. 3 and Symphony No. 5, as well as two pieces from the outstanding contemporary composer, Samuel Adler, each of which will be presented in its world premiere: Violin Concerto and Song Cycle. This special evening will also include two guest artists, the soprano Sarah Coburn and the violinist Siwoo Kim.

Today on ST, we speak with Daniel Riedemann, a contractor based in Lawrence, Kansas, who owns and operates the firm known as 19th Century Restorations. This is a company that's restored the childhood homes of Johnny Carson, Nina Simone, and others. About a year ago, Riedemann initiated the non-profit Woody Guthrie Family Home Reconstruction Project, which is raising funds in order to re-build the home of Woodrow Wilson Guthrie in Okemah, Oklahoma --- using, for the most part, the original materials.

On this edition of our show, we speak by phone with the pianist, composer, and bandleader Amina Figarova, who was born in Azerbaijan in 1966 and is now based in New York City. She began to study music as a child, eventually attending the Baku Conservatory, and became a classical concert pianist while still a young girl. Later she was drawn to jazz at the Rotterdam Conservatory --- and later still at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston.


On this edition of StudioTulsa, Rich Fisher speaks with local saxophonist and composer Denny Morouse. The Pittsburgh native was a fixture in New York City music circles from the 1970s through the 1990s, working with pop superstars like Stevie Wonder, with various studio/commercial outfits, and with jazz legends like the drummer Art Blakey and the organist Larry Young. Morouse moved to Tulsa a few years ago, during the terminal illness of a close family member, and he's been based here since.

On this edition of ST, we present an equal-parts tuneful and thoughtful conversation with Noam Pikelny, the Grammy-nominated banjoist who's probably best known as a founding member of the progressive bluegrass group known as the Punch Brothers. Pikelny will be performing at the OK Mozart Festival in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, tonight, Monday the 10th; he'll take the stage --- for a concert entitled "An Evening of Bluegrass" --- alongside Bryan Sutton, Ronnie McCoury, Luke Bulla, and Barry Bales.

On this installment of ST, we speak with veteran classical musician and conductor Constantine Kitsopoulos, who was named Artistic Director of the OK Mozart Festival last fall.