Classical Music

Our guest on this edition of ST is Marcello Angelini, the Artistic Director of Tulsa Ballet, who's now celebrating his twentieth season at the helm of the company. That Tulsa Ballet has both grown and thrived under Angelini's impressive leadership is a given in this community, and on today's show we are focusing on one flourishing aspect of the company that was created during Angelini's tenure: Tulsa Ballet II, which is the second or "pre-professional" company of Tulsa Ballet.

On this installment of ST, we speak with harpist Janet Witman, whose accomplished career in music has taken her from the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia to the Salzedo Harp Colony in Maine (where she worked with the legendary Alice Chalifoux). Witman, based in Pennsylvania, has performed as a soloist with the Allentown Symphony, the Hilton Head Orchestra, Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, Providence Chamber Orchestra, the Wheatland Chorale, and other ensembles.

Organized labor, generally speaking, has had a tough time of it in our country over the last several decades; from coast to coast, for many reasons, professional unions have been minimized, marginalized, disrespected, demonized, etc. But has this also been the case for today's professional musicians? Our guest is Raymond Hair, Jr., the President of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (or AFM). This labor union, founded in 1896, is the largest organization in the world representing the interests of professional musicians.

On this edition of our show, we speak with Myka Miller, who is a musician, teacher, and self-described (per one online bio) "agent for social change through music." Miller is also the executive director of the Los Angeles-based Harmony Project, a nonprofit organization dedicated to music education for young people in low-income communities. Since taking the helm of this nonprofit in 2007, Miller has seen its number of enrolled students expand from 250 to 2,000 in and around Greater Los Angeles.

On this edition of ST, we're talking about next month's OK Mozart Festival as we welcome Constantine Kitsopoulos and Randy Thompson; Kitsopoulos is OKM's Artistic Director, while Thompson is its newly named Executive Director.

On this edition of ST, we're talking about two noteworthy cultural events happening in downtown Tulsa this weekend. First off, we discuss the final concert of the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra's current season, "Inside Out!," which happens tomorrow night (Saturday the 12th) at 7:30pm at the Tulsa PAC. We speak with Kari Caldwell, the principal cellist and board president of the TSO, who'll be the featured soloist as the symphony performs "Don Quixote" by Strauss. This concert will also feature Jennifer Higdon's "Blue Cathedral" and Haydn's "Symphony No.

The Elias String Quartet --- currently comprised of Sara Bitlloch, Donald Grant, Martin Saving, and Marie Bitlloch --- is one of the more widely acclaimed "younger" quartets on today's classical scene. They perform around the world, collaborating with many different artists across a range of styles and backgrounds; they formed in 1998 at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester.

On this installment of our show, an interesting discussion with someone who's made a successful career of combining --- of all things --- music and geology. TU's Department of Geosciences has invited Dr. Jeffrey Nytch to appear at a few different on-campus events this week; Dr. Nytch, who will speak to music as well as geology students, is an assistant professor at the University of Colorado of Boulder, where he's also the director of that university's Entrepreneurship Center for Music. Thus he'll be speaking today (Wednesday the 5th) at noon at the University of Tulsa's Keplinger Hall.

This weekend, Tulsa Opera will continue its current season with the Oklahoma premiere of "Elmer Gantry," a Grammy Award-winning opera by Robert Aldridge. Based on the eponymous novel by Sinclair Lewis and the 1960 motion picture with Burt Lancaster and Jean Simmons, this classic piece recounts the rise and fall of a charismatic but unscrupulous thrill-seeker who joins the 1920s Evangelical movement of the American Midwest. "Elmer Gantry" will be staged at Chapman Hall in the Tulsa Performing Arts Center on Friday the 28th (at 7:30pm) and Sunday the 2nd (at 2:30pm).

Tomorrow night, Saturday the 8th, the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra continues its current season with an "Audience Choice Concert," which begins at 7:30pm in the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. On the program, two works by Saint-Saens ("Carnival of the Animals" and "Symphony No. 3") as well as the "Concerto for Two Pianos" by Mozart. It's sure to be a special evening of music, with the twin sisters Christina and Michelle Naughton both appearing as Guest Artists at the piano.