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Armstrong Auditorium prepares for 16th season of concerts

A local piano duo, a Broadway star, a Russian ballet company and the leading violinist of her generation will perform as part of Armstrong Auditorium's 2013-14 concert series.
BY RICK ROGERS rrogers@opubco.com Published: June 30, 2013
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Pianist Menahem Pressler, a founding member of the Beaux Arts Trio, will perform March 18. At age 89, the German-born American pianist remains one of the busiest soloists on the circuit today.

His Armstrong program will feature Mozart's “Rondo in A minor, K. 511” and the “Piano Concerto No. 27 in B-flat major, K. 595.” Accompanying Pressler will be the New York Chamber Soloists Orchestra. The ensemble will also be featured in a pair of romances by Beethoven and Copland's “Appalachian Spring.”

“Pressler's touring like crazy and teaching a lot, which doesn't sound like he's slowed down a lot,” Malone said. “He's a real icon in the piano world.”

Tony Award-winning performer Brian Stokes Mitchell (the 2000 best actor recipient for his dual role in the Broadway revival of “Kiss Me, Kate”) returns for an encore engagement March 27. Mitchell's program, titled “Simply Broadway,” will sample hits from “Company,” “Camelot,” “Porgy and Bess,” “Les Miserables” and “Sunday in the Park With George.”

Having recently completed her 30th anniversary tour, celebrated violinist Midori will perform a recital April 24. Accompanied by Ozgur Aydin, this internationally acclaimed soloist will perform works by Schubert, Lutoslawski, Bach and Beethoven.

“Midori likes to get a lot of performances in and she had a break she wanted to fill,” Granger said. “Our calendar opened up and we're happy to present her as the headliner of the season.”

The season draws to a close May 1, with a performance of Handel's “Messiah,” featuring the Herbert W. Armstrong College Choral Union. Under the direction of Mark Jenkins, the 50-member choir and professional soloists will present an unabridged performance of this baroque masterpiece.

“People seem to be very excited about the artists we have on our season,” Malone said. “We're filling a need for our audiences who are appreciative of having that high standard of performers here in central Oklahoma.”