Classical Music

Naxos/Courtesy

This week on Classical Tulsa, we’ll give the radio premiere of a new composition by Tulsa Opera Artistic Director Tobias Picker. Tobias has composed six operas to date, but this new piece represents his return to symphonic music – with an operatic twist. 

Masterworks in 10 Minutes or Less
Classical Tulsa

Following in the footsteps of his idol, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the next important composer of chamber music for the clarinet was Ludwig van Beethoven. His first major contribution was an especially tuneful trio: Classical Tulsa host Jason Heilman introduces Ludwig van Beethoven's "Gassenhauer" Trio, as part of  Chamber Music Tulsa's 2020-21 streaming season.

Tomorrow night -- Saturday the 19th, at 7:30pm -- the Signature Symphony will perform an outdoor, socially-distanced concert in downtown Tulsa at ONEOK Field. Beethoven's 5th will be on the program for this one-hour concert, along with music composed by Randy Newman for the popular 1984 film, "The Natural," as well as a piece composed in honor of Stephen Goforth, a long-time Signature musician who died earlier this year.

Masterworks in 10 Minutes or Less
Classical Tulsa

We all have to start somewhere, but when Ludwig van Beethoven chose three piano trios to be his first published opus, his erstwhile teacher Joseph Haydn didn't think they were ready. Needless to say, sparks flew: Classical Tulsa host Jason Heilman introduces Ludwig van Beethoven’s three Opus 1 piano trios, just in time for  Chamber Music Tulsa's 2020-21 streaming season.

Masterworks in 10 Minutes or Less: Season 2

Sep 10, 2020
Classical Tulsa

Chamber Music Tulsa and Public Radio Tulsa present Season 2 of Masterworks in 10 Minutes or Less, with six new podcasts from musicologist and 

The Tulsa Symphony Orchestra will very soon -- as in, tomorrow night, Saturday the 5th, at 8pm -- begin its new season of concerts with an open-air, social-distanced, mask-mandatory performance at ONEOK Field. This performance, with limited seating, will celebrate the 250th birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven -- and the world-renowned classical pianist Yefim Bronfman will appear as a guest artist. He'll perform the Piano Concerto No. 3 in C-Minor (which was premiered by Beethoven himself, as the soloist, in 1803).

Tulsa Drillers courtesy

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.

As you may have heard, 2020 marks an important anniversary in the classical music world: the 250th birthday of Ludwig van Beethoven. Naturally, Beethoven’s music is getting plenty of exposure, both on Classical 88.7 and in live concerts (whenever those resume). 

With COVID cases now spiking across Oklahoma, and indeed, across much of the nation, it seems unlikely that Americans will be able to safely gather in large numbers anytime soon to hear music in a concert hall, arena, or auditorium. But the show, as they say, must go on -- and thus many gigs are lately being performed on Facebook Live, while others are being presented at drive-in movie complexes. Or via YouTube, etc. On this edition of ST, we talk to two local arts administrators on how they're planning to offer concert/orcheestral music to their audiences this fall.

I’ve never considered classical music to be a harmless diversion, detached from the real world. On the contrary: I’ve always loved this music precisely for its ability to speak to the human condition and give meaningful emotional expression to even our darkest hours.

This is all to say that this Friday’s Classical Tulsa could have been just another hour of nice music. But after recent events, I thought I needed to do better.

With Memorial Day this weekend, and the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe earlier this month, I wanted to spotlight some American music from the war years on this week’s Classical Tulsa.

For nearly a month, the Public Radio Tulsa studios have been closed to everyone but the news team. This means that many of the local shows on 88.7 and 89.5 have been in reruns for the past few weeks. My own show, Classical Tulsa, was in that same boat – until now, that is: I’ve just finished setting up a home studio, so I can record new episodes while I shelter in place!

For nearly a month, the Public Radio Tulsa studios have been closed to everyone but the news team. This means that many of the local shows on 88.7 and 89.5 have been in reruns for the past few weeks. My own show, Classical Tulsa, was in that same boat – until now, that is: I’ve just finished setting up a home studio, so I can record new episodes while I shelter in place!

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we welcome the Tulsa-based composer, musician, and music teacher Noam Faingold back to our show. He's also the curator for the fifth-annual OK Electric Festival of Electroacoustic Music, which he tells us about. This special event (presented by Living Arts of Tulsa) happens tonight, Thursday the 5th, at Duet Jazz; more info, including how to get tickets, is posted here.

On this edition of ST, we speak with the scholar who will deliver the free-to-the-public 2020 Cadenhead-Settle Memorial Lecture here at TU tonight (Tuesday the 3rd). Our guest is is Dr. Christy L. Pichichero, whose work focuses on the racial (geo)politics of the early modern era in France. Her talk is titled "Black | Power: Race, Empire, & Privilege in Enlightenment France." Dr.

Our guest is Leona Mitchell, the legenday American opera star, Grammy Award-winning soprano, and member of Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame. Born and raised in Enid, Oklahoma -- and now based there, after a long career that took her to famous opera houses all over the world -- Mitchell is perhaps best known for her 18 seasons as a leading spinto soprano at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. In 2014, she was inducted into the Oklahoma African-American Hall of Fame. She joins us to look back on her remarkable career.

The Tulsa Symphony Orchestra will offer its next concert tomorrow night, Saturday the 8th, at the Tulsa PAC. The exciting program will include music by Michael Torke as well as Grieg's lyrical Piano Concerto (with guest artist Sean Chen at the keyboard). Also, Mozart's Symphony No. 39 will be presented. Our guest on ST will be the guest conductor for this concert: Leslie Dunner.

Masterworks in 10 Minutes or Less
Max Oppenheimer/Classical Tulsa

It was his musical shot across his teacher’s bow: Classical Tulsa host Jason Heilman introduces Ludwig van Beethoven’s String Quartet Op.18, No. 1. You can hear this piece live when Chamber Music Tulsa presents the Daedalus Quartet live at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center February 2nd.

Our guest is Daniel Hege, who will tomorrow night (Saturday the 11th) conduct the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra in its next concert. The program, titled "Strauss and Schumann," will offer an evening of lush, ornate, wholly gorgeous music. The night opens with J.S. Bach's "Fantasia and Fugue in C Minor," as orchestrated by Sir Edward Elgar. Next comes Richard Strauss' "Four Last Songs," featuring the acclaimed soprano Sarah Coburn. And finally: "Symphony No. 2" by Robert Schumann. Details are posted here

Courtesy Jason Heilman

      “It’s a story – it’s like reading a novel” is how British conductor Timothy Brown describes George Frideric Handel’s oratorio, Messiah. “As a novel, it has no poor moments. It’s a page-turner.”

Our guest is the esteemed pianist, Robin Sutherland, who's known for his long, well-regarded tenure with the San Francisco Symphony. He'll join the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra onstage on Saturday night, the 16th, in a concert led by Gerhardt Zimmermann. Sutherland will perform Mozart's Piano Concerto in C Minor; also on the program will be works by Berlioz and Lutoslawski. More information, including ticket details, is posted here.

Mindy Ratner fell hopelessly in love with radio as an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she volunteered at an on-campus student station.  Lucky for us, her love affair with radio continues, and we hear her most afternoons on KWTU Classical 88.7!

Masterworks in 10 Minutes or Less
Max Oppenheimer/Classical Tulsa

It took him 20 years to compose his First String Quartet, but just a few weeks to write his last: Classical Tulsa host Jason Heilman introduces Johannes Brahms's String Quartet No. 3, Op. 67. You can hear this piece live when Chamber Music Tulsa presents the Harlem Quartet at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center November 10th.

Masterworks in 10 Minutes or Less
Max Oppenheimer/Classical Tulsa

In order to escape the influence of Germany, he looked east – much farther east: Classical Tulsa host Jason Heilman introduces Claude Debussy's String Quartet. You can hear this piece live when Chamber Music Tulsa presents the Harlem Quartet at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center November 10th.

Masterworks in 10 Minutes or Less
Max Oppenheimer/Classical Tulsa

Sometimes you just need a little more time to get a better perspective on the thing you're working on: Classical Tulsa host Jason Heilman introduces Johannes Brahms's Piano Trio No. 3, Op. 87. You can hear this piece live when Chamber Music Tulsa presents the Lysander Trio at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center October 13th.

Masterworks in 10 Minutes or Less
Max Oppenheimer/Classical Tulsa

Charming and genteel may not be the first words to come to mind when you think of Beethoven, but they are in this case: Classical Tulsa host Jason Heilman introduces Ludwig van Beethoven’s Piano Trio Op. 70, No. 2. You can hear this piece live when Chamber Music Tulsa presents the Lysander Trio at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center October 13th.

Photo by Oil City News

Our guest is Ron Spigelman, who will conduct the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra during its next concert (happening tomorrow night, Saturday the 5th, at the Tulsa PAC). Opening with Rimsky-Korsakov's vivid "Capriccio Espagnol," the evening will also feature Mozart's "Posthorn Symphony" (or Serenade No. 9) and Debussy's swirling and colorful "Images." More info is posted here.

Our guest on ST is the widely acclaimed mandolinist and composer, Jeff Midkiff. He will soon perform his "Concerto for Mandolin and Orchestra: From the Blue Ridge" with the Signature Symphony at TCC. The concert happens on Saturday night, the 28th, at the TCC Van Trease PACE (at 10300 E. 81st Street in Tulsa). It begins at 7:30pm; ticket information is posted here. The evening will also feature Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's 5th Symphony as well as the Overture from "Ruslan and Lyudmila" (the opera by Mikhail Glinka).

Tomorrow night, Saturday the 14th, the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra will present a special gala concert at the Tulsa PAC (beginning at 8pm). The guest artist will be the world-renowned violinist Rachel Barton Pine, who will play Samuel Barber's soulful and lyrical Violin Concerto. Also on the program will be Rossini's "Barber of Seville" and Mussorgsky/Ravel's "Pictures at an Exhibition." Our guest on StudioTulsa is the TSO's Principal Guest Conductor, Daniel Hege, who will lead the orchestra.

Masterworks in 10 Minutes or Less: Season 1

Sep 11, 2019
Masterworks in 10 Minutes or Less
Max Oppenheimer/Classical Tulsa

Chamber Music Tulsa and Public Radio Tulsa present Masterworks in 10 Minutes or Less Season 1, six new podcasts from musicologist and Classical Tulsa host Jason Heilman.

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