EDMOND — Armstrong Auditorium's 2012-13 concert series will be international in scope, with musical ensembles from Russia, China, Germany and Scotland appearing along with performers from Cuba, Brazil, Germany and the United States.
While the organization's concert series dates back to 1998, with many of its performances presented in a field house, Armstrong Auditorium inaugurated its state-of-the-art, 823-seat concert hall in September 2010.
The first season in the new hall featured 10 concerts, ranging from a solo piano recital and a Philippine dance troupe to orchestras from Poland and London's famed Academy of St. Martin in the Fields. Season two boasted 16 concerts but this year's series will once again feature 10 concerts.
“One thing we've learned is that people really do enjoy the arts here, but there's only so much they can subscribe to or get involved with,” said marketing director Shane Granger. “We'd rather leave people wanting more than flooding the market with too many options. We think a 10-concert season will be a good balance for us and for our audiences.”
The season opens Nov. 1 with a solo recital by Nathan Gunn, an American baritone who performs regularly at the Metropolitan Opera. His lengthy resume includes the title roles in “Billy Budd,” “Eugene Onegin,” “The Barber of Seville” and “Hamlet.” Gunn's Armstrong recital will feature Mahler's “Songs of a Wayfarer” and Schumann's “Dichterliebe,” along with selections by Ives, Barber and Arlen.
Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Branford Marsalis will perform Nov. 15. His wide-ranging credits include stints as music director of The Tonight Show, appearances with his brother Wynton's quintet, collaborations with Sting and the Grateful Dead, and solo engagements with symphony orchestras. Marsalis and his quartet will present works from their upcoming recording.
The season resumes Jan. 28 and 29 with programs featuring the Russian National Ballet Theatre. Founded in Moscow in the late 1980s, this celebrated company boasts some of the foremost dancers from Russia, Ukraine, Latvia and Poland. On Jan. 28, the Russian National Ballet will present “Cinderella,” followed on Jan. 29 with performances of “Romeo and Juliet” and “Chopiniana.”
German pianist Alexandre Schimpf will perform in recital Feb. 4.