Opening Night

Sat. September 9, 2023
Pre-concert talk – 7:00 PM
Concert – 8:00 PM

Civic Center Music Hall

Concert Details

Alexander Mickelthwate, conductor
Anastasiya Petryshak, violin

  • TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concerto
  • TCHAIKOVSKY: Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74

Guest Artist


“This season is about humanity. The deep-seated humanity of you, me, all of us. Humanity with all its emotional expressions. In our case, the deep-seated humanity of our heroes. Our geniuses. Our composers. Born with gifts. Imagining the most beautiful melodies and inspiring music. Yet fully human. With all their ups and downs.  Tchaikovsky the genius. His music being played all over the planet to hundreds of millions of people. It inspires. Gives hope. But most of all it nurtures something deep within us.  Tchaikovsky, an enlightened prophet above all carnal woes?  Far from it. He wrote despite his pains and insecurities. Yin and Yang. Chaos and beauty. In every piece he transcended anew. He fought anew. And were victories anew. Each piece rooted in deep struggles. By composing he is setting an example, lending reprieve to millions.

His Symphony No. 6 (last performed here in Oklahoma over 10 years ago) is his most personal and private. It stands on a similar level than Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde or Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Only that in Tchaikovsky’s case it was his own tragic love: loving men in Czarist Russia.  The first movement introduces 2 themes, the actual lover and the idealized lover. Both musical ideas driven to feverish emotions. A Shakespearean love-death? The movement ends transfigured. A dream state. A hint of hope?  The 4th movement is based on a melody where the notes literally crossover in-between the different string instruments. Creating the illusion of one melody, yet in the form of a cross. That 4th movement became Tchaikovsky’s own crucifixion. It includes a deep prayer and ends with a beating heart pulse fading away. 9 days after the world premiere Tchaikovsky himself passed away.

The first half of the program will be his violins concerto with the wonderful Ukrainian violin soloist Anastasia Petryshak. I programed the violin concerto in connection with Lyric Theater’s world premiere “Concerto,” an exciting new play about all the intriguing stories behind that famous work.”


Spotify Playlist

Program Book