Musical pieces that inspire romance, excitement and a little nostalgia will set the celebratory tone for the Oklahoma City Philharmonic's opening concert Saturday at the Civic Center Music Hall.
The night, which marks the Philharmonic's 25th anniversary, will feature works by Ermanno Wolfe-Ferrari, Camille Saint-Saens and Peter Tchaikovsky.
The concert will open with the “Secret of Suzanne Overture” by Wolfe-Ferrari, followed by Saint-Saens' “Symphony No. 3” and later Tchaikovsky's “Piano Concerto No. 1,” performed by guest pianist Andrew von Oeyen, who has played with the orchestra on two other occasions.
A preconcert reception will begin at 7 p.m., and the show, which is the first in the orchestra's “In As Much” classical concert series, will begin at 8.
“The centerpiece of this concert is “Piano Concerto No. 1” by Peter Tchaikovsky as performed by Andrew and the orchestra,” Philharmonic spokeswoman Michelle Winters said. “Andrew is a good friend of this orchestra, and he has been really embraced by this audience. This is one of the major piano concertos of the orchestra repertory, and a favorite of a lot of people. There are people coming from all over to hear this piece.”
Since his debut at age 16 with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Esa-Pekka Salonen, von Oeyen has performed in recital and orchestral appearances around the world. He has performed the major concertos of the keyboard literature — Bartok, Barber, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, Liszt, Gershwin, Grieg, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Prokofiev, Rachmaninoff, Ravel, Schumann, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky — with such ensembles as the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony, Detroit Symphony and Cincinnati Symphony.
As both soloist and conductor, he has led concerti and orchestral works by Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Ravel and Kurt Weill at Spoleto Festival USA. On July 4, 2009, von Oeyen performed at the U.S. Capitol with the National Symphony in “A Capitol Fourth,” reaching millions worldwide in the multiple award-winning PBS live telecast.
In celebration of the philharmonic's 25th anniversary, some works that were shared in the orchestra's first season will be a part of the opening night concert, paying tribute to the organization's success over the past two and a half decades, Philharmonic Music Director Joel Levine said.
“It's hard to believe that 25 years have gone by. One of the things I am most pleased with is that it has been a very steady climb for an arts organization,” Levine said. “Our mission is to serve central Oklahoma, and it has been great to see that our mission is in line with the possible.”
If you go
Cost: Tickets to attend the opening night concert at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N Walker, range from $15 to $53.