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Oklahoma City Philharmonic announces 2020-21 season

Staff Writer
The Shawnee News-Star

The OKCPHIL and Maestro Alexander Mickelthwate announce its 2020-2021 Classics and Pops seasons.

Whether music was composed 250 years ago or today, when it’s experienced collectively during a live performance it has the inexplicable ability to connect us. In the Classics season, OKCPHIL will present a blend of time honored classics and exciting new works, featuring some world-renowned artists. The Pops series will arouse memories and inspire new ones to be made, with a season full of audience requests.

CLASSICS 2020-2021 Season

The Classics Gala Opening Concert will kick off the season with a sparkling blend of musical choices. Opening with brass works: BIBER’s Sonata à 7 and GABRIELI’s Canzone Septimi Toni No. 2. The famous violinist Sarah Chang will perform PIAZZOLA’s dazzling Four Seasons; Says The New York Times of Chang “Her gifts are at a level so removed from the rest of us that all we can do is feel the appropriate awe and then wonder on the mysteries of nature.” The program will be rounded out by soaring into the stratosphere with STRAUSS’ Also Sprach Zarathustra. Keep an eye out for the details of the Maestro’s Ball, a special event that will coincide with the evening’s concert.

In 2020 the whole world is celebrating BEETHOVEN’s 250th birthday. The OKCPHIL will feature some of the composer’s most beloved works, including Fidelio Overture; Piano Concerto No. 5, Emperor, performed by world-renowned pianist Garrick Ohlsson. Finally what Beethoven called his “most excellent symphony,” Symphony No. 7.

A program featuring both French and Russian influence will feature Russian composer LERA AUERBACH’s Icarus Rising; POULENC’s Organ Concerto, featuring the extraordinary and colorful Cameron Carpenter on organ. Rounding out this program the dramatic PROKOFIEV’s Symphony No. 5. This piece holds a special place in Maestro Mickelthwate’s heart, as it was one of the first he prepared and conducted in a subscription concert series early in his career.

Guest conductor Rei Hotoda will lead the orchestra in an exciting program, including RIMSKY-KORSAKOV’s poetic Scheherazade. Alexander and Rei have collaborated in the past and we are thrilled to welcome a female conductor onto our podium, for a second season in a row.

The OKCPHIL will continue to present “Oklahoma Stories” through the next installment of the recently-discovered Cherokee composer Jack KILPATRICK’s works including Four Ozark Dances and Three Cherokee Cosmogenic Legends. This special program with culminate with REVUELTAS’ La Noche de Los Mayas, which in the words of the Maestro “is guaranteed to bring the house down!”

The last full scale orchestral work ELGAR was destined to complete, we present his Cello Concerto with the accomplished cellist Alban Gerhardt. Additionally get ready for An Orkney Wedding by MAXWELL DAVIS, notable as one of the few pieces in classical repertoire to feature a bagpipe solo. And rounding out the program MENDELSSOHN’s beautifully melancholic Symphony No. 3.

The season will culminate with one of the most monumental symphonies of all time, MAHLER’s Symphony No. 2, Resurrection, featuring a special collaboration with Canterbury Voices.

Classic dates include: Sept. 19, 2020; Oct. 17, 2020; Nov. 21, 2020; Jan. 9, 2021; Jan. 30, 2021; Feb. 27, 2021; April 10, 2021; May 8, 2021. Please note that programming, artists, and dates are subject to change.

POPS 2020-21 Season

This season, OKCPHIL will feature a selection inspired by audience feedback. It will bring a variety of fun concerts audiences of all ages will delight in. From memorable Broadway programming to the women stars of country, the series offers something special for everyone. The programs include The Music of Queen, Nov. 6-7, 2020; The Christmas Show, Dec. 4-5, 2020; Star Wars Live in Concert: Episode IV: A New Hope; Jan. 22-23, 2021; Heartland: The Women of Country Music, Feb. 19-20, 2021; Rogers and Hammerstein Celebration, April 2-3, 2021 and Cirque De La Symphonie April 30 and May 1, 2021.

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 current Music Director 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 a diverse and inspirational performance experience. Committed to expanding its reach well beyond the concert hall, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic enjoys a close collaborative relationship with Oklahoma’s 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 over 135,000 throughout the state of Oklahoma.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call 405-”TICKETS” (842-5387), or visit