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.
Our guest on this edition of ST is Daniel Hege, who's been on our show before, and who's widely seen as one of America's finest young conductors; Hege served for eleven seasons as the Music Director of the Syracuse Symphony before becoming the Music Director of the Wichita Symphony, where he's been based since 2010. He will be the Guest Conductor for the next concert to be performed by the Tulsa Symphony, which begins tomorrow night (Saturday the 16th) at 7:30pm in the Chapman Music Hall of the Tulsa PAC.
The Tulsa Youth Symphony, now comprised of more than 150 middle-school and high-school musicians from throughout Northeastern Oklahoma, will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year. For more than 40 of those years, our guest on ST has been at the helm of this outstanding local arts organization; in fact, just last month, Ron Wheeler --- who's been the CEO and conductor of the Tulsa Youth Symphony since 1972, and who's also a violinist with the Tulsa Symphony --- was given the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oklahoma Music Educators Association.
When Bruce Sorrell was starting his tenure, about a year ago, as Executive Director of Chamber Music Tulsa, someone told him that this outstanding organization --- which will turn 60 next year, and which has been bringing world-class music ensembles to our community for decades --- was "one of Tulsa's best-kept secrets." As he tells us on this edition of ST, Sorrell wants to change this.