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 installment of ST, we welcome the widely acclaimed mezzo-soprano Lauren McNeese, who has performed on opera stages all over the world, and who, as Opera News has noted, possesses "one of those distinctive timbres recognizable six miles away in the dark...with a sparkling quality intriguingly laced with a hint of lemon juice." McNeese made her Metropolitan Opera debut in Wagner's "Parsifal" during the 2012-13 season; she's played Giovanna Seymour in Donizetti's "Anna Bolena" with Minnesota Opera, and has also appeared with the Dallas Opera, San Francisco Opera, Ravinia Festival, Los
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.
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.
Today our guest on ST is the accomplished Polish musician Agnieszka Przemyk-Bryła, who's won several prestigious piano competitions over the years and who's also an assistant professor in the Piano Department at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw. She'll be giving a free-to-the-public piano recital here on the TU campus tomorrow night (Wednesday the 24th) at 7:30pm; the recital, presented by the TU School of Music, will take place in the Gussman Concert Hall of the Lorton Performance Center. On the program will be music by Szymanowski, Chopin, and Rachmaninoff.
On this edition of StudioTulsa, we welcome back Kostis Protopapas, who's been the Artistic Director of Tulsa Opera since May of 2008. He previously served as the company's Associate Conductor and Chorusmaster, and he joins us today to talk about Tulsa Opera's latest production --- the final show if its current season, for which Protopapas himself is the conductor --- "Aida" by Giuseppe Verdi. This production opened on Saturday the 20th at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center's Chapman Music Hall; it will continue with two more curtains, on Friday the 26th and Sunday the 28th.
On this installment on ST, we are pleased to welcome the classical-music husband-and-wife team of violinist Dylana Jenson and conductor-cellist David Lockington. Both will appear as special guests tomorrow night (Saturday the 6th) at the Tulsa PAC's Chapman Music Hall at 7:30pm, which is where and when the Tulsa Symphony will present its final "classics concert" of the current season; Jenson will be the Guest Soloist and Lockington, the Guest Conductor.
Robert Ward, the highly acclaimed American composer, died today at age 95. Ward won the Pulitzer Prize for his opera "The Crucible" --- based on the classic Arthur Miller play, with a libretto adapted by Bernard Stambler --- which was commissioned by the New York City Opera and had its premiere in 1961.