The Norman Transcript

N-town stories

September 13, 2013

Norman Philharmonic kicks off a new season

NORMAN — The Norman Philharmonic is heating up its third season in a big way with its upcoming 3 p.m. Sept. 15 concert at the Nancy O’Brian Center for Performing Arts, 1809 N. Stubbeman Ave.

Titled “Meet the Composer — John Mackey,” the event highlights work by American composer John Mackey. Norman Phil Music and Artistic Director Richard Zielinski describes Mackey’s compositions as exciting, rhythmic and driving.

“He’s real hot right now,” Zielinski said.

Mackey’s work has been performed around the world in venues like the Sydney Opera House, Carnegie Hall, the Joyce Theater and more. He holds a bachelor’s from Cleveland Institute of Music and a master’s from The Juilliard School.

Three of Mackey’s pieces, “Harvest,” “Antiphonal Dances” and “Redline Tango,” are included on the program.

Members of Contemporary Dance Oklahoma, the University of Oklahoma’s modern dance company, are performing to “Antiphonal Dances,” with Austin Hartel as the director and Derrick Minter as the choreographer.

Mackey’s work will be contrasted with a variety of music including Morton Gould’s “American Salute,” and Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings.” Joseph Haydn’s “Sinfonia Concertante,” will be performed with soloists Lisa Harvey-Reed on oboe, Rod Ackermann on bassoon, Michael Sutton on violin and Valerie Tatge on cello. Libby Larsen’s “Norman Anthem,” originally composed in 2012 for the Phil’s inaugural season, also will be performed.

The varied program meets the Phil’s goals of providing diverse, innovative programming to excite youth and the public about symphonic music, Zielinski said.

“We’ve stayed very much focused on our mission,” he said. “Which is to bring American music, support American composers and then produce a variety of music.”

Mackey is sharing insight into the creation of his work during two, free educational concerts for all ages 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Sept. 13 at the Nancy O’Brian Center for Performing Arts.

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