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Bach, Brahms and the Best musicians: Brightmusic’s Spring Festival June 8-13, 2017


Staff Report

The Brightmusic Chamber Ensemble will present “Bach and Brahms II” in its sixth annual spring chamber music festival at St. Paul’s Cathedral in downtown Oklahoma City. This series of concerts is in some ways a “sequel” to the successful and highly popular Bach and Brahms Spring Festival held in 2012.

This year’s four-concert festival will present some of the best-loved works by two of the world’s greatest composers, including two of Johann Sebastian Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos and works for organ, a cello suite, a cantata, and the powerfully moving Chaconne from Bach’s Partita No. 2 in D minor, described by violinist Joshua Bell as “not just one of the greatest pieces of music ever written, but one of the greatest achievements of any man in history. Bach lived 1685-1750.

Also on the program will be works by Johannes Brahms (1833-1897): sonatas, organ and chamber works and lieder featuring Philadelphia baritone Randall Scarlata.  In all, fourteen Brightmusic musicians will appear during the Festival.  The Festival will open the evening of Thursday, June 8. After a break of two days, the festival resumes the afternoon of Sunday, June 11, continuing through the evenings of  Monday, June 12 and Tuesday, June 13.

All concerts will begin at 7:30 pm, except for the 4 p.m. Sunday concert. The venue is the beautiful and spiritual worship space at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral, 127 NW 7th Street (at Robinson).

A pass for all four concerts is available at the door or on our website at for $50 each (a savings of $30 over individual concert tickets of $20).  Students and active-duty military personnel are admitted free with ID.

Also, any who would like to attend but feel they cannot due to financial hardship as a result of recent layoffs in the energy sector are invited to join us as guests of the musicians by simply advising the person at the front desk that they are guests of the musicians and no questions will be asked.

More information about the festival is available on Brightmusic’s website at

For your planning and convenience, here is the full schedule for this year’s Brightmusic Festival.

Concert No. 1 – 7:30 pm, Thursday, June 8
Bach, Trio Sonata in G Major, BWV 1039
Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D Major, BWV 1050
Bach, Chaconne from Partita No. 2 in D Minor for Solo Violin, BWV 1004
Bach, Cantata – Ich habe genug, BWV 82

Concert No. 2 – 4:00 pm, Sunday, June 11 (The Mae Ruth Swanson Memorial Concert)
Brahms, Six Volkslieder from WoO 33
Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F Major, BWV1047, arranged for piano four hands by Max Reger
Brahms, Five Lieder from Opuses 45, 47, 72 and 106
Brahms, Piano Trio in C Minor, Op. 101

Concert No. 3 – 7:30 pm, Monday, June 12
Bach, Cello Suite No. 3 in G Major, BWV 1009
Brahms, Sonata No. 1 in F Minor for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 120
Bach, Organ Works — Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele, BWV 654 and “St. Anne” Fugue, BWV 552
Brahms, Sonata No. 2 in F Major for Cello and Piano, Op. 99

Concert No. 4 – 7:30 pm, Tuesday, June 13
Brahms, Organ Works – Five Chorale Preludes from Opus 122 and WoO 7
Brahms, Vier ernste Gesänge, Op. 121
Brahms, Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in A Minor, Op. 115

As always, the leaders at Brightmusic have assembled many of Oklahoma’s finest classical musicians and several special guests to be part of each concert. Musicians appearing at the 2017 spring festival include:

Sean Y. Wang, Violin – A critically-acclaimed baroque violinist specializing in 19th-century music.  Faculty member of the Longy School of Music of Bard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Katrin Stamatis, Violin  – Principal Second Violinist, OKC Philharmonic; DMA Candidate, University of Oklahoma.
Mark Neumann, Viola  – Violist, OKC Philharmonic; Associate Professor of Viola, University of Oklahoma.
Jonathan Ruck, Cello – Principal Cellist, OKC Philharmonic; Associate Professor of Cello, University of Oklahoma.
John Krause, Double Bass – MM candidate and Fellow, Oklahoma State University; BM in Double Bass Performance, The Boston Conservatory.
Parthena Owens, Flute  – Flutist, OKC Philharmonic; Associate Instructor of Flute, Oklahoma City University.
Lisa Harvey-Reed, Oboe  – Principal Oboist, OKC Philharmonic; Instructor of Oboe, Oklahoma City University.
Chad Burrow, Clarinet  – Co-Artistic Director, Brightmusic Chamber Ensemble; Associate Professor of Clarinet, University of Michigan.
Amy I-Lin Cheng, Piano  – Co-Artistic Director, Brightmusic Chamber Ensemble; Lecturer of Piano, University of Michigan.
Sallie Pollack, Piano  – Associate Professor of Collaborative Piano and Piano Division Head, University of Central Oklahoma.
Ruirui Ouyang, Piano  – DMA candidate in Piano Performance at the University of Oklahoma.  BM in Piano Performance, Tianjin (China) Conservatory of Music; MM in Piano Performance, Oklahoma City University.
Melissa Plamann, Organ – Wanda L. Bass Chair of Organ, Associate Professor of Music, and Coordinator of Graduate Studies Music Keyboard, Oklahoma City University.
Andrew Schaeffer, Antiphonal Organ – Director of Music & Organ, First United Methodist Church, Edmond; Staff Organist, Scottish Rite Masonic Center, Guthrie.  BM, St. Olaf College; MM, Yale University; DMA Candidate, University of Oklahoma.
Randall Scarlata, Baritone  – A critically-acclaimed interpreter of Bach, as well as “newer music.”  Serves on the faculty of College of Visual and Performing Arts at West Chester University, and also SUNY Stony Brook.  Also teaches at Alpenkammermusik in Carinthia, Austria, during the summer, and gives master classes throughout the United States and abroad.

Major sponsors for Brightmusic include Ad Astra Foundation, Richard L. Sias, Kirkpatrick Family Fund, Oklahoma City Community Foundation and The Meinders Foundation. The City Sentinel is a proud supporter of  the Brightmusic Society of Oklahoma.

Visit, or contact Brightmusic, P.O. Box 20254, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73156, telephone (405) 216-5595.

Johann Sebastian Bach, File Photo
Johannes Brahms, File Photo

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