Classical Music

On this edition of ST, we learn about the nonprofit program known as Sistema Tulsa. Per its website, Sistema Tulsa "envisions how a comprehensive and inclusive music program can positively impact the social, cognitive, and aesthetic realms of youth development. Supported by partnerships with the Boston Avenue United Methodist Church and the Tulsa Public Schools, Sistema Tulsa plans to provide a model for accessible, ensemble-based music programs that enrich the lives of local youth across varied underserved communities.

On this edition of ST, we offer another installment in our ongoing series of interviews with organizations vying to be included in the Vision 2025 sales tax extension for the City of Tulsa. This extension is expected to go before voters in the spring of 2016, and over the past couple of months, many area organizations (from Gilcrease Museum to the Tulsa Zoo; from Tulsa Transit to Langston University) have been presenting proposals in this regard to the Tulsa City Council. We at StudioTulsa are speaking with certain of those groups whose ideas seem especially interesting and/or feasible.

Our guest is Sara Solovitch, a former reporter for the Philadelphia Inquirer whose articles have appeared in Esquire, Wired, The Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post. She has also been a health columnist for the San Jose Mercury News -- and she seriously studied piano in her younger days. These formative at-the-keyboard experiences greatly influence her first book, which Solovitch discusses with us today.

On this edition of ST, an interesting conversation with Dr. Margaret Martin, who more than a decade ago founded The Harmony Project, beginning with 36 students and a $9,000 check from The Rotary Club of Hollywood; today, The Harmony Project is the largest nonprofit in Los Angeles dedicated exclusively to music education for youth in low-income communities.

John Williams -- the still-active genius who created the music for such classic movies as "Jaws," "Star Wars," "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "E.T.: The Extraterrestrial," and "Schindler's List" (to name just a handful) -- is arguably the greatest composer ever to work in Hollywood. And his memorable, broadly popular music will be the focal point for the final Tulsa Symphony Orchestra concert of this season.

Our guest today on ST is Murry Sidlin, an American conductor who's a professor of conducting at Catholic University's Benjamin T. Rome School of Music; he's also worked with the Baltimore Symphony, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Oregon Symphony, the Tulsa Philharmonic, and the Connecticut Ballet, among many other notable musical organizations.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak by phone with the acclaimed American composer Carlisle Floyd, whose opera, "Of Mice and Men," will be staged this weekend (that is, both this evening and Sunday afternoon) by Tulsa Opera at the Tulsa PAC. This widely performed work was first performed in 1970 by the Seattle Opera; other notable operas composed by Floyd include "Susannah" (1955), "Wuthering Heights" (1958), "Flower and Hawk" (1972), "Willie Stark" (1981), and "Cold Sassy Tree" (2000).

On this edition of ST, we're pleased to speak with Andrés Franco, the newly named Artistic Director and Conductor of the Signature Symphony at Tulsa Community College. The TCC Board of Regents approved Frano's hiring at a meeting held yesterday; he will replace Dr. Barry Epperley, the founder and longtime leader of this orchestra, who is retiring.

Our guest on ST is Gerhardt Zimmermann, who will be the Guest Conductor for the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra on Saturday the 14th at the Tulsa PAC. This "Simply Tragic" concert, as its being called, will begin at 7:30pm, and it will feature the 80-to-85-minute masterpiece by Mahler known as Symphony No. 6 in A minor (a/k/a the "Tragische").

On this edition of ST, we welcome Jeffrey Zeigler, the gifted cello player and composer who's best known for his eight-year tenure with the internationally known Kronos Quartet. Since leaving that collective about two years ago, Zeigler has embarked on an interesting (and decidedly multi-genre) solo career that's found him collaborating with a host of fascinating musicians -- such as singer/songwriter Norah Jones, avant-jazz guru John Zorn, pianist Vijay Iyer, composer Philip Glass, Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche, and so forth.

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