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New York Philharmonic returns to OSU for three concerts

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The New York Philharmonic returns to Oklahoma State University this weekend for the first in a three-year series of residencies at the McKnight Center for the Performing Arts on the university’s Stillwater campus.

The orchestra, led by music director Jaap van Zweden, will present three concerts, Sept. 23-25 at the McKnight Center, in addition to conducting master classes with OSU musicians, presenting a youth educational concert and more.

The first performance will be the Bright Night Gala concert, 6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23, which will be devoted to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 in D Minor, Op. 125, the “Choral.”

In addition to vocal soloists Lauren Snouffer, soprano; Jennifer Johnson Cano, mezzo-soprano; Thomas Cooley, tenor; and Peixin Chen, bass, the performance will feature a more than 100-member chorus made up of OSU students, alumni and members of the Stillwater community.

“This is a unique opportunity for music students at the Greenwood School of Music,” said the McKnight Center’s Marilynn and Carl Thoma Executive Director, Mark Blakeman. “It’s rare that students can perform in such a meaningful way in a professional concert with a revered institution like the New York Philharmonic.”

Renowned violinist Gil Shaham will be the soloist for the concert 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24. Shaham also will be the soloist for the Violin Concerto in E Minor by Felix Mendelssohn, and van Zweeden will lead the orchestra in the Overture to Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro,” and the Symphony No. 4 in D Minor by the pioneering Black composer Florence Price.

The final concert of the weekend will be 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, with pianist Conrad Tao performing the Piano Concerto No. 17 in G Major by Mozart. Van Zweeden will be on the podium for this concert, which also includes Debussy’s Prelude to “The Afternoon of a Faun” and Ottorino Resphigi’s monumental “Pines of Rome.”

Tickets for all concerts are limited. The Bright Night Gala concert tickets are $90-$300, while tickets for the Shaham and Tao concerts are $60-$150. All concerts will be simulcast on the 32-foot screen in the Plaza next to the McKnight Center, 705 W. University Ave. in Stillwater.

“Bright Night is an annual gala event that celebrates and fundraises for the performing arts,” said the McKnight Center’s Director of Development, Amy Miller. “Our family of donors are passionate about the arts, and their generosity ensures the center continues to grow as a cultural destination that presents unique concert experiences that music lovers can’t find anywhere else.”

For tickets and more information:

To become a sponsor contact Miller at (405) 385-2139 or

Tickets to both the Bright Night Gala Concert and Gala Dinner are in high demand and are expected to sell out. Tickets start at $90, to purchase tickets to The Gala Concert or other events in the center’s season, visit or contact the box office at (405) 744-9999.

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Events for the week of Sept. 21-25, 2022 compiled by Tulsa World's Jimmie Tramel and James Watts


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