For classical music lovers, fall means the beginning of a new season and the promise of an exciting mix of new discoveries and familiar favorites. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has postponed most of Tulsa’s concerts, but the Tulsa Symphony has just announced a plan to kick off their 2020-21 season in a responsible way.
In place of their previously announced September and October events, the Tulsa Symphony will perform a pair of outdoor concerts in the more spacious setting of ONEOK Field. Seating is limited to 19% of capacity, or just under 1,500 seats, and the audience will be spread out in the stands to ensure social distancing while the orchestra plays from a stage just beyond second base.
The concerts include a tribute to Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday, which has been moved up to Saturday, September 5, at 8:00 pm. The orchestra and conductor Daniel Hege will be joined by world-renowned pianist Yefim Bronfman to perform Beethoven’s virtuosic C-minor Piano Concerto, as well as his Symphony No. 7, followed by a celebratory fireworks display.
Then, on October 19, the Tulsa Symphony performs a Sunday matinee concert at 3:00 pm with guest conductor Sarah Hicks, Principal Conductor of the Minnesota Orchestra’s Live at Orchestra Hall series. On this concert, the fireworks are all instrumental, including Max Bruch’s Scottish Fantasy, with TSO concertmaster Rossitza Goza, and the rousing Fourth Symphony by Johannes Brahms.
You can hear my interview with Tulsa Symphony Executive Director Keith Elder and get a taste of the music you’ll hear at the ballpark on Classical Tulsa, this Friday (August 14) at noon on Classical 88.7 KWTU HD-1.