NORMAN — A new philharmonic orchestra that debuted in Norman on Sunday is the fulfillment of a longtime dream of director Richard Zielinski.
“I feel very privileged, very honored and very humbled that this has come about,” he said.
Zielinski conducted the 38-member Norman Philharmonic before a standing-room-only crowd at the Nancy O'Brien Performing Arts Center. The performance also was the debut of a commissioned anthem and three-part symphony written especially for Norman by composer Libby Larsen.
Larsen incorporated elements of Norman's history and images from Norman's flag into the anthem, which was per
Zielinski said he hopes the anthem will serve as a unifying element for the city and the orchestra.
“It's so important to make music accessible,” he said. “I've long thought a city the size of Norman should have its own orchestra.”
The orchestra is not meant to compete with Oklahoma City's orchestra, but to bring to Norman musical opportunities “that you just don't have without a philharmonic orchestra,” Zielinski said.