Classical Music

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.

This weekend -- just in time for Valentine's Day -- Tulsa Opera will offer two performances of Gounod's "Roméo et Juliette." This classic opera will be staged on Friday the 13th at 7:30pm and Sunday the 15th at 2:30pm, with both productions happening at the Tulsa PAC.

On Saturday the 24th, in a performance beginning at 8pm, the highly acclaimed Rastrelli Cello Quartet will return to Tulsa. The concert happens at the Williams Theatre in the Tulsa Performing Arts Center and is presented by Choregus Productions. Our guest is the founder and artistic director of this group, Kira Kraftzoff. As he explains, the Rastrelli has been deliberately focused on -- and enthusiastically passionate about -- what classical music buffs sometimes call "non-traditional programming" since its inception in 2002.

On this installment of ST, we speak with James Bagwell, a widely admired and diversely experienced classical music and choral conductor who's been on the faculty at Bard College since 2000, where he is currently the chair of the undergraduate music department and co-director of the graduate program in conducting. He's worked with organizations ranging from the American Symphony Orchestra and The Concert Chorale of New York to The Dessoff Symphonic Choir and the Jerusalem Symphony.

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