The Oklahoma City Philharmonic, under the direction of Maestro Alexander Mickelthwate, will present a special performance Friday, Feb. 28, at 7:30 p.m. in Potter Auditorium inside Raley Chapel. The concert is made possible, in part, by the Max Brattin Fine Arts Endowment.
Tickets are $15 for premium reserved seating and $5 for all other reserved seats. Tickets may be purchased at okbu.edu/okcphil. OBU students and employees can receive a free ticket by presenting a current OBU ID at the door.
The OKC Phil will perform “RIFT” by Anna Clyne and “Symphony No. 7 in E-major” by Anton Bruckner. “RIFT,” commissioned by the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, is a 25-minute symphonic ballet in five movements, premiering in August 2016. Clyne described her work as the “present [colliding] with ancient ritualistic folklore through a spiraling narrative that has sudden and unexpected ruptures. Time, space and sound will be cleaved apart as our protagonist hurtles back to a more orderly, delicate, romantic beauty.”
Clyne is a native of London but has lived elsewhere for much of her career, including Scotland for her schooling at the University of Edinburgh, then in the United States, where she earned a master’s degree in composition at the Manhattan School of Music. In 2015, her composition “Prince of Clouds” for two violins and orchestra, was nominated for a Grammy for Best Contemporary Classical Composition. In 2016, she was awarded the Hindemith Prize, a prestigious honor given by the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival in Germany. Clyne serves as the mentor-composer for the Orchestra of St. Luke’s DeGaetano Composer Institute in New York City. Last season, she began a three-year tenure as associate composer of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, which has commissioned a series of works to premiere during that time. Demand for her new compositions runs high, with recent commissions including works from Carnegie Hall, Southbank Centre, Los Angeles Philharmonic, BBC Scottish Symphony and Houston Ballet.
“Symphony No. 7 in E-major” by Anton Bruckner premiered in December 1884 in Leipzig, Germany, with Arthur Nikisch conducting the Gewandhaus Orchestra. The Seventh was the only one of Bruckner’s symphonies to be greeted with unquestionable success, and it remained relatively popular throughout his life. Bruckner was the son of a schoolmaster in Upper Austria. He was surrounded by music because at that time schoolmasters were also expected to double as parish organists. Bruckner received a good musical education, and when his father fell ill in the autumn of 1836, the young Bruckner filled in as organist in the local church. His father died the following June. That very day, Bruckner’s mother swept him off to the nearby abbey of St. Florian, where he continued his musical and other studies.
By the time he reached the period of his Seventh Symphony, Bruckner had been writing symphonies for more than a decade and had staked a firm place in Austrian musical life. He had distinguished himself especially as an organist, an almost peerless improviser on that instrument.
Conductor Alexander Mickelthwate is serving his second season as music director of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. He is the music director emeritus of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra in Canada. Born and raised in Frankfurt, Germany, to a musical family, he earned his degree from the Peabody Institute of Music. He is married to fashion designer Abigail Mickelthwate and has two sons. He has conducted for President Jimmy Carter and Queen Elizabeth, and he has received both the Queen Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Key to the City of Winnipeg.
Mickelthwate has guest conducted the New York Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Houston Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Atlanta Symphony, Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Saint Luke's, Milwaukee Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic and Toronto Symphony, among others. He has worked several times with Dame Evelyn Glennie, conducting the world premiere of two new percussion concerti by Vincent Ho. He has worked with Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Yuja Wang, Dawn Upshaw, Plácido Domingo, Ben Heppner, Horatio Gutiérrez, Emanuel Ax, Leonidas Kavakos and Sarah Chang, among many others, and he has worked very closely with a wide range of composers including Phil Glass, Steve Reich, Sofia Gubaidulina, Kaija Saariaho, John Adams, John Luther Adams and Mason Bates.
The Oklahoma City Philharmonic has gained recognition as one of the nation’s premier regional orchestras. Tracing its roots to 1924, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic was formed in 1988 under the musical direction of founder and music director emeritus Joel Levine and began a new era with the passing of the baton to Maestro Alexander Mickelthwate in 2018. The orchestra remains steadfast in its mission “to provide inspiration and joy for the community through orchestral music.” Through its consistent commitment to excellence, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic strives to enrich lives, expand cultural development, educate future generations and provide audiences with diverse and inspirational performance experiences. Committed to expanding its reach well beyond the concert hall, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic enjoys a close collaborative relationship with Oklahoma’s schools, colleges and universities as well as the city’s other premier arts organizations including Oklahoma City Ballet and Canterbury Voices. Through high-caliber performances and a variety of education and community engagement programs, the OKC Phil serves more than 135,000 patrons throughout the state of Oklahoma. For more information about the OKC Phil, visit okcphilharmonic.org.
For more information about the Division of Music in the Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts at OBU, visit www.okbu.edu/fine-arts/music.
With its campus located in Shawnee, OBU offers 10 bachelor’s degrees with 88 fields of study and five master’s degree programs. The Christian liberal arts university has an overall enrollment of 1,868, with students from 37 states and 40 other countries. OBU has been rated as one of the top 10 regional colleges in the West by U.S. News and World Report for 28 consecutive years and Oklahoma’s highest rated regional college in the U.S. News rankings for 25 consecutive years. OBU is one of three universities in Oklahoma and the only private Oklahoma university listed on Great Value College’s rankings of 50 Great Affordable Colleges in the Midwest. The Wall Street Journal ranks OBU second in the nation for student engagement among all U.S. colleges and universities. Forbes.com consistently ranks OBU as a top university in Oklahoma and the Princeton Review has named OBU one of the best colleges and universities in the western United States for 15 consecutive years.