On this edition of StudioTulsa, we are pleased to welcome Menahem Pressler, the internationally renowned classical pianist, who is best known as a founding member of the long-running Beaux Arts Trio --- and who has been described as "a national treasure" by The Los Angeles Times. A truly distinguished and esteemed German-American musician who will turn 90 later this year, Pressler has been, since the mid-1950s, a member of the piano faculty at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he is now the Distinguished Professor of Music in the Charles Webb Chair.
The Tulsa Youth Symphony, now comprised of more than 150 middle-school and high-school musicians from throughout Northeastern Oklahoma, will celebrate its 50th anniversary this year. For more than 40 of those years, our guest on ST has been at the helm of this outstanding local arts organization; in fact, just last month, Ron Wheeler --- who's been the CEO and conductor of the Tulsa Youth Symphony since 1972, and who's also a violinist with the Tulsa Symphony --- was given the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oklahoma Music Educators Association.
When Bruce Sorrell was starting his tenure, about a year ago, as Executive Director of Chamber Music Tulsa, someone told him that this outstanding organization --- which will turn 60 next year, and which has been bringing world-class music ensembles to our community for decades --- was "one of Tulsa's best-kept secrets." As he tells us on this edition of ST, Sorrell wants to change this.
On this edition of ST, we speak with Constantine Kitsopoulos, who was recently named the new artistic director of the OK Mozart International Festival. Kitsopoulos, appointed to the post in late October, is also the music director of the Queens Symphony Orchestra, in New York City, and serves as general director of the Chatham Opera, which he founded in 2005. He's previously been a guest conductor at OK Mozart on several occasions; he also serves as the music director of the Festival of the Arts BOCA, a multi-day cultural arts event in South Florida.
On today's show, we present a chat with the charming, delightful, and highly accomplished young concert pianist, Petronel Malan, whose debut CD, "Transfigured Bach: The Complete Bach Transcriptions of Bartok, Lipatti, and Friedman," was nominated for three Grammy Awards in 2004. (She's made three additional CDs of "transfigured" music since then.) Malan will perform as a guest artist with Tulsa Camerata on Thursday night (the 26th) at 7pm in Emerson Hall at All Souls Unitarian Church in Tulsa.