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-
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.
The “Woolaroc Outdoor Concert,” a festival favorite, will be presented at 8 p.m. June 15 on the grounds of the Woolaroc Museum and Wildlife Preserve. Constantine Kitsopoulos will conduct the Amici New York Orchestra in music by Gershwin, Gould, Ravel, Strauss, Sousa and Rodgers and Hammerstein. Guest soloist is soprano Rhiannon Giddens.
Grand finale concert
The festival grand finale, scheduled at 8 p.m. June 16, reunites Kitsopoulos and the Amici Orchestra for the world premiere of Callen Clarke's “Life Symphony.” Violinist Kyle Dillingham will be the featured soloist. The program will also feature works by de Falla, Vivaldi, Debussy and Spalding.
Chamber Music concerts are scheduled at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. June 11-15 at Bartlesville High School, 1700 Hillcrest. The morning concerts will pay tribute to composer Robert Schumann. Afternoon programs will sample works by Mozart, Ravel, Barber, Brahms and Mendelssohn.
Four Young Artists Chamber Concerts are planned. The enhake quartet will perform recitals at 4 p.m. June 14 and 15. The Amphion String Quartet will perform at 4 p.m. June 11 and 13. Concerts are at Bartlesville High School.
Also planned is a series of more than 60 “Showcase Events,” the majority of which are free. Patrons can take guided tours, listen to Oklahoma folktales, learn contra dancing, watch a puppet theater presentation and hear a variety of music ranging from folk to jazz.
This will mark the second year for OK Mozart's outreach program, a series of five concerts presented in Oklahoma City. Allen, Carrington and Spalding will perform at 2 p.m. June 10, the Alloy Orchestra at 8 p.m. June 11, Jayme Stone's “Room of Wonders” at 8 p.m. June 12 and the Carolina Chocolate Drops at 8 p.m. June 13. Concerts will be presented at Oklahoma City University, 2501 N Blackwelder.
Clarke's “Life Symphony” will receive a second performance at 2 p.m. June 17. The “Grand Finale” concert, which will also feature Spalding, will be performed at the Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N Walker.
“We received a lot of attention for our expansion into Oklahoma City last year and feel that will be a sound component of the festival in years to come,” Jewell said. “Getting the right mix of concerts is always a balancing act but we're trying to build a sense of trust with our audiences. If they look at our lineup and see an artist they don't know, we hope they'll give it a chance.”