For Immediate Release
August 19, 2020
Contact: Susan Webb, Director of Marketing and Public Relations
(405) 206-0505

The Oklahoma City Philharmonic announces a
a (re)IMAGINE(d) 2020-21 Season.


The OKCPHIL announces a (re)IMAGINE(d) concert season, configured to allow our orchestral performances to continue during the time of a global pandemic. This revised season incorporates energizing 60-minute programs presented without an intermission, a socially distanced setting both on and off stage, and a delayed start of the Classics season. These plans, created in partnership with our home venue The Civic Center Music Hall, feature compliance with the health and safety standards provided by the CDC, state and city mandates, advice from highly-regarded health experts, and guidelines for public gatherings, designed to protect those in attendance.

Out of respect and deference to our health care community and those socially distancing to combat the challenges of the ongoing pandemic, the opening Classics concert will be moved to October 17th, while the series finale will be extended to June 5th.

“I’m excited to present a season celebrating Beethoven’s 250th birthday with an all-Beethoven program.” Say Alexander Mickelthwate, Music Director of the OKCPHIL. “We will be embracing romanticism with an all-Tchaikovsky program, as well as the romantic German repertoire of Robert Schuman and Richard Strauss and include music of the Americas. We will be celebrating racial diversity with African American newcomers Carlos Simon and Jesse Montgomery and Oklahoma’s own Jack Kilpatrick. A personal highlight will be a work by the late Icelandic composer Johann Johansson. We will be presenting the beautiful incidental music to plays by Shakespeare and Moliere. And we will pay tribute to the many Americans that died way too early because of the pandemic with Barber’s Adagio.” In addition, this Season will also highlight the remarkable talents of the Phil musicians, as featured soloists. The Pops season has also been slightly modified, but continues to offer a wide range of entertaining programs to our community.
The 2020-21 Season updates include:

Re-imagined Classics 2020-21

[CLASSICS 1]                                                                                              
Celebrating the Americas
October 17, 2020
Gregory Lee, violin
Carlos Simon: This Land
Piazzolla: The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires
Golijov: Last Round
Korngold: Much Ado About Nothing Suite, op. 11

The Inner Realm
November 21, 2020
Rautavaara: Cantus Arcticus
Jóhann Jóhannsson: Fordlândia
Sibelius: Symphony No. 7 in C major, op.105

Beethoven’s 250th Birthday Celebration
January 9, 2021
Sergio Monteiro, piano
Beethoven: The Creatures of Prometheus: Overture, op. 43
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major, op. 19
Beethoven: Symphony No. 8 in F major, op. 93

River Deep, Royal High (ness)
January 30, 2021
Ted Cox, tuba
Bach: Brandenburg Concerto No. 3
Strauss: Horn Concerto No. 1, opus 11
Schumann: Symphony No. 3 in E-flat, op. 97, “Rhenish”

A Burst of Energy
February 27, 2021
Valery Kuleshov, piano
Antheil: A Jazz Symphony
Shostakovich: Concerto for Piano No. 2 in F major, op. 102
Ravel: Le Tombeau de Couperin
Prokofiev: Symphony No. 1 in D Major, op. 25, “Classical”

Only Tchaikovsky!
April 10, 2021
Alban Gerhardt, cello
Tchaikovsky: Waltz from Sleeping Beauty
Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme, op. 33
Tchaikovsky: Symphony No. 2 in C minor, op. 17, “Little Russian”

American Stories – ‘Tis a Gift
May 8, 2021
Valerie Watts, flute
Gaye LeBlanc-Germain, harp
Barber: Adagio for Strings
Kilpatrick: Concerto for Flute
Lash: Concerto for Harp
Copland: Appalachian Spring

German Dexterity and Panache
June 5, 2021
Marat Gabdullin, violin
Jesse Montgomery: Banner
Mozart: Violin Concerto No. 2 in D major
Strauss: Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme

Updates to the Pops Season:
The Magic of John Williams
November 6-7
This delightful concert will bring some of the most iconic John Williams’ scores to life. Where were you when Star Wars, Jurassic Park, Jaws, Indiana Jones, Superman and Harry Potter first came out? Come and share this exciting musical journey with us.

A Classic Christmas
December 3-5
Featuring Mandy Jiran and host Vince Leseney, this year’s Christmas performance is a simpler yet elegant blend of sentimental favorites and fun Christmas standards that are sure to touch your heart. Join your OKCPHIL family for an entertaining and meaningful musical offering that is sure to invoke reflection, and help you imagine a future of hope and possibility.

Ragtime and All That Jazz
January 22-23, 2021
New Orleans is the birthplace of Ragtime and Scott Joplin, Jelly Roll Morton and W.C. Handy are the musical innovators who created the exciting, joyous and sophisticated melodies that became the foundation for jazz and popular music of the past century. Join us for Ragtime and All that Jazz, sure to lift your spirits with favorites like Saint Louis Blues, The Entertainer and Maple Leaf Rag, in this escape to old New Orleans.

Heartland: The Women of Country Music
February 19-20, 2021
Honoring the journey of women in country music, Heartland celebrates the music and life stories of legendary songwriters including Emmylou Harris, Miranda Lambert, Reba McEntire, Kacey Musgraves, Shania Twain, Dolly Parton and others in this exciting symphonic experience.

The Music of Queen
April 2-3, 2021
We will ROCK you with Windborne Music’s show The Music of Queen, celebrating their iconic and immortal albums including Classic Queen, A Night at the Opera, Sheer Heart Attack and many more. Don’t miss this exciting night of phenomenal vocals, a full rock band and your OKCPHIL!

April 30-May 1, 2021
Come experience all the show-stopping tunes you love from Broadway’s biggest blockbusters! Spend an evening with songs from Broadway hits Wicked, The Phantom of the Opera, Annie, Jersey Boys, The Sound of Music, Chicago, CATS, The Lion King, A Chorus Line and more. It’s the ultimate show tune extravaganza!

“We are thrilled to present this ‘re-imagined’ Season that allows us to bring our community a much needed musical reprieve, as we continue to live in the era of Covid-19.” says Agnieszka Rakhmatullaev, Executive Director of the OKCPHIL. “As one of the flagship arts organizations elevating the quality of life in our community, the OKCPHIL board, staff, and musicians, with the support of our loyal patrons have been working together proactively to explore new paths and platforms to continue our presence in the community. Together, we can set our sights on the October 17th season opening concert, when we hope to gather together in a responsible way to experience great orchestral music once again.”

Additionally, the OKCPHIL will continue to offer a wide range of Education and Community Engagement programs. While some of them will be on pause due to the circumstances, some might be presented in a slightly different format to adapt to the needs of the participants. From providing elementary school students with their first-ever musical experience, to allowing adults to realize their life-long dream of learning to play an instrument, these programs are a critical component of the organization’s mission. As part of the re-imagined 2020-21 Season, the Philharmonic plans to present numerous Community Performances across the city. More details regarding this new initiative will be revealed in the upcoming weeks.

“Without a doubt, the “Re-imagined” 2020-21 Season will look and feel different as we navigate new logistical challenges and prioritize the safety of our musicians and attendees.” Says Brent Hart, Board President of the OKCPHIL. “Patrons are accustomed to a finely tuned concert experience for more than 30 years, and we ask for your continued support as we adapt in anticipation of the new season. With lessons learned in the first half of 2020, our team is working hard to return music to the stage and make the NEW user experience as smooth as possible.”

More Information is on the way

To receive the most up to date concert information, sign up for our e-mail at or visit our website periodically for updates. All subscribers and patrons will be receiving information in the coming weeks through mail and e-mail that will allow you to select your seats within a socially distanced seating map or attend a socially distanced dress rehearsal. Additionally, we are hoping to offer a digital streaming option for those who are not ready to attend in person. Finally we are working to expand our presence digitally, to allow all patrons to stay engaged with a variety of options.

We are going paperless!
Safety protocols are being implemented to avoid bringing outside paper products into the venue and to minimize personal exchanges.

  • Tickets will be available for download onto your mobile device prior to each concert. Patrons will be notified via e-mail when this feature is available.
  • All program books will be sent digitally to ticket holders the Tuesday prior to the concert. Additionally, it can be accessed on our website or via the OKCPHIL App.

Additionally, Civic Center safety precautions include: *Health and safety protocols subject to change.

  • Masks will be required for all patrons upon entry into the Civic Center.
  • Temperature checks will be performed upon entry.
  • Hand sanitizing stations will be readily available throughout the building.
  • Increased ventilation and filtration will be implemented throughout the venue.
  • Industrial sanitizing protocols between events in the lobby and within the Thelma Gaylord Theater will be implemented.
  • 6 foot social distancing will be required.

“Our resident companies and the patrons that attend performances are our top priority.” Say Elizabeth Gray, Executive Director of the Civic Center Foundation. “ We have been diligently preparing to resume performances since March and are happy to continue our partnership with the OKCPHIL to provide a safe and enjoyable venue for their upcoming season. Although this global pandemic has impacted all facets of the country’s economy, not-for-profits and performing arts have been hit particularly hard, so I want to thank all the patrons in advance for complying with our new protocols to help bring back live entertainment.”

Says Rakhmatullaev, “In these challenging times patience and ongoing communication seem to be the two actions that can keep us moving forward, albeit possibly at a slower pace. With all the new procedures in place to respond to the pandemic’s challenges, we thank you in advance for working with us as we adjust to policies and protocols that have previously taken decades to hone and refine. We will do all in our ability to provide our loyal patrons with the most efficient process possible given the situation. There is no greater hope we can have than to come together to hear inspiring orchestral performances with Maestro Alexander Mickelthwate and our own wonderful OKCPHIL musicians. We’ll see you soon, at our concerts throughout this season!”

“Music will always connect us all, the entire human race. It speaks to the heart, gives hope, solace, joy, and helps us think outside of the box. It will also help us to heal from so many wounds of the last several months.” Says Mickelthwate.

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 Maestro 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 experiences. Committed to expanding its reach well beyond the concert hall, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic enjoys a close collaborative relationship with Oklahoma’s schools, 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 annually throughout the state of Oklahoma. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 405-“TICKETS” (842-5387), or visit -###-