7:00 - 7:30PM
Before each CLASSICS SERIES Concert
Thelma Gaylord Concert Hall | Civic Center Music Hall
Free to ticket holders
Classics 1 – 16 September 2017 at 7:00PM
Joel Levine, Music Director, OKC Philharmonic
Beginning his 29th season leading the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, founding music director Joel Levine continues to orchestrate passion in our community. Maestro Levine’s reputation for sensitive musical accompaniment has enabled the PHIL to present one of the country’s most distinguished series of world-renowned guest artists. He has collaborated with many of the greatest performing artists of our time and has been called a “remarkable musician and visionary” by Yo-Yo Ma. For his work as a founder of the Orchestra, he received The Governor’s Arts Award (1989), was named Oklahoma Musician of the Year (1991), is a 2008 “Treasures of Tomorrow” honoree of the Oklahoma Health Center Foundation, and received an Honorary Doctorate in Music from Oklahoma City University.
Classics 2 – 7 October 2017 at 7:00PM
Matthew Troy, Education Conductor, OKC Philharmonic
Matthew Thomas Troy is the Artistic Director & Conductor of the Piedmont Wind Symphony in North Carolina and the Education Conductor for the Oklahoma City Philharmonic, leading outreach efforts and performances. He also served as the Associate Conductor of the Winston-Salem Symphony from 2008 - 2014. Troy has conducted orchestras across the country and has previously held positions as conductor of the Fibonacci Chamber Orchestra, the Wake Forest University Orchestra and the Salisbury Youth Orchestra. Additionally, Troy has previously taught on the faculties of Wake Forest University and the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and UNC-Greensboro.
Classics 3 – 18 November 2017 at 7:00PM
Michelle Merrill, Associate Conductor, Detroit Symphony Orchestra
A passionate and dynamic artist, Ms. Merrill was named as one of Hour Detroit Magazine’s 3 Cultural Organization Leaders to Watch, and was recently profiled by the Ford Motor Co. for their website. She is also a recipient of a 2016 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award. Recent and upcoming engagements include the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Jacksonville Symphony, Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera, and the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, where she formerly served as Assistant Conductor before coming to Detroit. As the Associate Conductor of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, she helps plan and conduct over 30 concerts per season, including the renowned educational webcasts, which have reached over 100,000 students to date in classrooms throughout the nation.
Classics 4 – 13 January 2018 at 7:00PM
Alexander Mickelthwate, Music Director Designate, OKC Philharmonic
German conductor, Alexander Mickelthwate, made his European debut with the Hamburg Symphony in April 2006. Since then, he has appeared with an impressive array of orchestras in Europe including the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra, Bucharest Philharmonic, and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. Mr. Mickelthwate made his Australian debut in 2011 and has served as guest conductor with the New York Philharmonic, Assistant Conductor with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and Associate Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. As Music Director of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Mickelthwate significantly developed the orchestra’s profile through active community engagement and innovative programming initiatives like the annual New Music Festival and the Indigenous Music Festival. In May 2017, Mr. Mickelthwate was named Music Director Designate for the Oklahoma City Philharmonic.
Classics 5 – 3 February 2018 at 7:00PM
Dan Schwartz, Second Oboe/English Horn, OKC Philharmonic, Assistant Professor of Oboe, University of Oklahoma
Dr. Dan Schwartz is the Assistant Professor of Oboe at the University of Oklahoma and the Second Oboe/English Horn player in the Oklahoma City Philharmonic. Prior to these positions, Schwartz has performed with orchestras throughout North America, including the National Arts Center Orchestra under the baton of Pinchas Zukerman, Nashville Symphony, and Rochester Philharmonic among others. An avid performer, Schwartz has presented recitals at numerous International Double Reed Society Conferences, including performances of his own original compositions. Recent masterclasses given include Vanderbilt University, University of Michigan, University of Texas Austin, University of Costa Rica, University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, DePaul University, and Interlochen Arts Academy. When not frantically scraping oboe reeds, Schwartz enjoys cooking, bad reality tv, and taking on home renovation projects that he has no business taking on.
Classics 6 – 3 March 2018 at 7:00PM
Q&A with Joyce Yang, Piano, and Sallie Pollack, Piano Division Head and Assistant Professor of Collaborative Piano, University of Central Oklahoma
During her first year at Juilliard, Joyce Yang won the pre-college division Concerto Competition, resulting in a performance of Haydn’s Keyboard Concerto in D with the Juilliard Pre-College Chamber Orchestra. After winning the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Greenfield Student Competition, she performed Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto with that orchestra at just twelve years old. She graduated from Juilliard with special honor as the recipient of the school’s 2010 Arthur Rubinstein Prize, and in 2011 she won its 30th Annual William A. Petschek Piano Recital Award. Highlights of Ms. Yang’s recent engagements include her debuts with the Minnesota Orchestra and San Diego Symphony, recitals in Anchorage, Beverly Hills, Cincinnati, Denver, Nashville, Seattle, and at Spivey Hall in Georgia, and concerts with her frequent duo partner, violinist Augustin Hadelich.
Classics 7 – 7 April 2018 at 7:00PM
Q&A with Philippe Quint, Violin, and June McCoy, Violin, OKC Philharmonic, Concert Preview Chair and Musician’s Continuing Education Grant, OKC Orchestra League
Philippe Quint studied at Moscow's Special Music School for the Gifted with the famed Russian violinist Andrei Korsakov, and made his orchestral debut at the age of nine, performing Wieniawski's Concerto No. 2. After moving to the United States, he earned both Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Juilliard. His distinguished pedagogues and mentors included Dorothy Delay, Cho-Liang Lin, Masao Kawasaki, Isaac Stern, Itzhak Perlman, Arnold Steinhardt, and Felix Galimir. Mr. Quint’s formidable discography includes a large variety of rediscovered treasures along with popular works from standard repertoire. In November 2013, he released to critical acclaim Opera Breve with pianist Lily Maisky, a unique collection of opera transcriptions for violin and piano featuring both popular and rare songs on Avanticlassic. Recent engagements include performances with Colorado, Seattle & North Carolina Symphonies, Luzern’s Zaubersee Festival with pianist Marc-Andre Hamelin, and the Verbier Festival performing with Joshua Bell and Tabea Zimmerman.
Classics 8 – 12 May 2018 at 7:00PM
Rod Ackmann, Principal Bassoon, OKC Philharmonic, Associate Professor of Bassoon, University of Oklahoma
Rodney Ackmann is Associate Professor of Bassoon at the University of Oklahoma where he also performs as a member of the Oklahoma Wind Quintet and is Director of the Sooner Bassooners. Additionally, he serves as Principal Bassoonist of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic and performs as a member of the Bright Music Chamber Ensemble. Mr. Ackmann previously served as Principal Bassoonist of the Tulsa Philharmonic and Tulsa Opera Orchestra for 22 seasons. Other performance affiliations have included the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, Solisti New York, Kansas City Symphony, Odyssey and Nova Chamber Music Series, and the Musica nel Chiostro, Spoleto and Assisi Music Festivals in Italy. Mr. Ackmann holds the Bachelor of Music Education, Master of Music and Performer's Certificate from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music where he studied with Leonard Sharrow and Sidney Rosenberg. He currently serves on the Music Advisory Panel for the Oklahoma Arts Institute.