By Glenda Rice Collins, Updated June 9, 2016
BARTLESVILLE, Okla., USA — The internationally-acclaimed Miró Quartet returns for the OK Mozart music festival’s 2016 Opus 32 season, June 11 – 18, with several 2 p.m. matinee concerts next week in the intimate performance space of the OKM Ambler Hall, which opened last fall in the heartland.
Beginning June 13, this acoustically-unique OKM venue, seating 100, will accommodate not only this famed string quartet from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (CMS) season, in the afternoon, but also 11 a.m. concerts with the Brightmusic Chamber Ensemble from Oklahoma City (June 13 & 14), and the OKC String Trio (June 15), OKC Brass Quintet (June 16) and OKC Brass Octet (June 17).
The Artists of CMS comprise an evolving and unparalleled roster of performers, as graduates of the world’s leading conservatories and winners of the most prestigious international competitions and awards.
Miró Quartet Celebrates Ginastera June 15 during OKM 2016
The June 15, 2 p.m. Miró chamber concert will feature the “often overlooked” Alberto Ginastera‘s (1916-1983) String Quartet No. 1, Opus 20, and the Brahms String Quartet No. 3 in B Flat Major, Opus 67.
2016 now marks the centenary year of the Argentine composer’s birth, and more attention, it seems, to Ginastera’s works being featured on concert programs, globally.
In his April 8, 2016 The New York Times music review of a recent CMS Rose Studio concert, Anthony Tommasini wrote, “It says something that in more than 40 years, the (CMS) had presented only one of Ginastera’s three quartets before this program…the works of this pivotal Argentine composer, which boldly combine strands of South American folk music with complex contemporary techniques, remain overlooked by many major institutions.”
The Daniel and Joanna S. Rose Studio is described as ‘one of New York’s most intimate listening spaces…(which) brings the audience within a whisper of the musicians,’ according to the CMS website. The same proximity to audience could also be said of OKM’s newly-designed Ambler Hall venue with its exemplary acoustics and intimate space. (View September 1, 2015 archives, ‘REVIEW: OK Mozart Inaugurates Ambler Hall…‘ on this website for acoustics design details).
In his June 6, 2016 news feature, ‘Spoleto chamber orchestra plays Ginastera’ for The Post and Courier, Syracuse University Goldring graduate student Jeremy Reynolds writes, “Alberto Ginastera is to Argentina as Aaron Copland is to the U. S.,” citing nationalistic spirit, a more austere modernist (musical) style, and persecution for political ideologies among their themes in common.
Ambler Hall: Recent Reflections
The May 22 OKM Ambler Hall pre-festival concert by Tulsa, Oklahoma native, guest artist, pianist and international music ambassador Dr. Robert Conway, provided a rare opportunity to hear the music of famed innovative architect and celebrated visual artist Bruce Goff (1904-1982) compared to that of his muse, Claude Debussy (1862-1918), during the inaugural solo piano concert for the OKM newly-acquired Wm. Knabe & Co. 1908 antique walnut grand piano, handmade in Baltimore, Maryland.
The acquisition was facilitated by a grant from the Ted and Melody Lyon Foundation.
An Oklahoma Premiere for Bruce Goff compositions
“Goff once said that the greatest artist in history in any medium was French composer Claude Debussy. The Etudes I am performing focus on musical intervals, which are the building blocks of how music is constructed,” said Conway recently.
While Dr. Conway’s memorable piano selections recently endowed Ambler Hall ‘vibes’ with the Douze Etudes Pour Le Piano, by Claude Debussy , the program served as an opportunity to better understand how the passionate music aficionado and gifted composer, Goff, drew inspiration from the revered Debussy’s compositions years ago.
The architecturally-themed May 22 concert featured Conway’s interpretation of Goff’s Paradox: Untitled and Section in Octaves and ended with the grand and delightful diversity of Modeste Mussorgsky’s resplendent Pictures at an Exhibition, — and Conway’s encore, the pensive, yet lilting, Graceful Ghost Rag, composed by the Pulitzer Prize-winning William Bolcom, one of his former teachers.
Though born in Kansas, Bruce Goff called Oklahoma home for many years. Having taught at the University of Oklahoma, he also created flamboyant, visionary homes from unusual materials, such as the 1950 Bavinger House in Norman (demolished this year after severe damage in 2011), and Bartlesville’s amazingly memorable 1956 Shin’enKan (Joe D. Price House and Studio), destroyed by arson in 1996.
Goff’s friend and mentor, architect Frank Lloyd Wright, designed Price Tower (his only skyscraper), Bartlesville’s architectural landmark centerpiece jewel, where Ambler Architects currently maintain offices. The Ambler family donated the Aurora Building, where the current Ambler Hall is located, to house OK Mozart administrative offices.
Bruce Goff: A Creative Mind
The Price Tower Art Center maintains a significant collection of contemporary Bruce Goff paintings and works of art including a mesmerizing phoenix sculpture which survived the 1996 Shin’enKan fire — a rare and symbolic phoenix, risen from the ashes!
The art center collection includes works on paper, paintings, sculpture, furnishings, furniture, scale models, and more, including works by Frank Lloyd Wright, Dennis Oppenheim, Karim Rashid, Robert Indiana, and others.
Several Goff-designed homes remain in Bartlesville, along with a recently renovated 1963 Play Tower in a local park. Goff’s 1978 design influence for the Pavilion for Japanese Art for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in California is representative of his far-reaching, avant-garde architectural reach in the U.S.
OKM Ambler Hall concert sponsors include: Oklahoma Arts Council, Keepsake Candles, ABB, Cliff’s Flooring & Windows, Sweet P’s, Bartlesville Monthly; State Farm, Kathi A. Swanson, Agent; and Weeze’s Cafe.
For a complete schedule of OKM main concerts, festivities and showcase events, please visit http://www.okmozart.com .
Credits: Banner photo courtesy of Miró Quartet. Ambler Hall photo by Lizabeth Rolfson, and Robert Conway photo, provided by OKM.
# # # # #(c)Glenda Rice Collins 6-9-16 All rights reserved.