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Bartlesville prepares for the 28th edition of the OK Mozart Festival

The 2012 edition of the OK Mozart Festival kicks off this week in Bartlesville, with an eclectic mix of concerts and musical styles.
BY RICK ROGERS Published: May 27, 2012

Flights have been arranged, hotel reservations confirmed, repertoire finalized and guest artists booked. Now the countdown begins. In 12 days, the OK Mozart Festival in Bartlesville will kick off its 28th season, a nine-day celebration of classical, jazz and folk music.

Returning favorites include the Amici New York Orchestra, artistic director Adria Benjamin, violist and chamber music director Paul Neubauer, guest conductors James Bagwell and Constantine Kitsopoulos, and syndicated radio host Bill McGlaughlin.

“When we move into the Bartlesville Community Center, we take over the entire facility,” said festival executive director Shane Jewell. “People walk in and feel that something special is happening. OK Mozart transforms Bartlesville and it's the excitement of the community that makes the festival so special.”

About the festival

The 2012 OK Mozart Festival begins at 6 p.m. June 8 at Johnstone Park, 200 N Cherokee, with a family-friendly event that includes a free concert, face painting and prize giveaways.

June 9 marks the festival's first full day of activities with Grammy Award-winning singer and bassist Esperanza Spalding joined by jazz pianist Geri Allen and drummer Terri Lyne Carrington for an 8 p.m. concert of acoustic jazz.

At 2 p.m. June 10, the Alloy Orchestra, also known as the “Masters of Slapstick,” will provide musical underscoring for screenings of Charlie Chaplin's “Easy Street” (1916), Fatty Arbuckle's “Backstage” (1919) and Buster Keaton's “One Week” (1920).

Jayme Stone's “Room of Wonders,” scheduled at 7:30 p.m. June 11, explores music from Norway, Sweden, Bulgaria, Brazil, Italy and North America. Joining in the festivities is Oklahoma guitarist and singer John Fullbright.

Spencer Prentiss' Classical All-Stars will present “Vienna, My City of Dreams!” at 8 p.m. June 12. Joined by noted bassist Edgar Meyer and radio host Bill McGlaughlin, the chamber ensemble will present an evening of works by Mozart, Schubert, Brahms, Lehar and Strauss.

“Mendelssohn, Meyer and Mozart” is the theme for the 8 p.m. concert June 13. The Bartlesville Choral Society and the Stillwater Chamber Singers will join the Amici New York Orchestra for a performance of Mozart's “Requiem.” The concert will also feature the overture to Mendelssohn's “A Midsummer Night's Dream” and Meyer's “Concerto for Double Bass and Orchestra.”

The “Carolina Chocolate Drops,” an ensemble that pays tribute to old-time, fiddle and banjo music, returns for an 8 p.m. concert June 14. The group dips into styles of Southern black music from the 1920s and '30s, string-band music, jug-band music, fife and drum and early jazz.

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