The City Sentinel, Staff Report
Oklahoma City, OK – Brightmusic Chamber Ensemble will present the first concert of the 2019-20 season at 7:30 pm September 24 at the beautiful and historic St. Paul’s Cathedral, 127 N.W. 7th Street near downtown Oklahoma City. This season marks Brightmusic’s 17thas Oklahoma City’s foremost classical chamber music presenter.
The season premier, Melodic Masters, offers a lyrical evening with works by three masters of melody: Germaine Tailleferre’s piano trio, Josef Suk’s Piano Quartet in A minor, and Johannes Brahms String Sextet No. 1.
This season Brightmusic celebrates the contribution of women to the vast body of classical works, many of these compositions remaining in the modern repertoire. Until the early 20th century, women composers were usually obliged to publish under assumed masculine names or those of male relatives, if they published at all.
Some of them suffered push back even from those closest to them: Clara Schumann from her husband Robert, and Fanny Mendelssohn from brother Felix.
In the early part of the 20th century, women were starting to be recognized for their own compositions, including Germaine Tailleferre, whose piano trio will be performed in Concert 1.
Sara Grossman, a member of the Brightmusic Board of Directors, prepared this overview of Tailleferre’s life and career in response to questions from The City Sentinel:
“Germaine Tailleferre (1892-1983) was the only female member of the celebrated Les Six, a group of six French composers (Francis Poulenc, Darius Milhaud, Arthur Honegger, Georges Auric, Louis Durey and Germaine Tailleferre) active in the 1920s, when Paris was reestablishing itself as the cultural capitol of Europe after the Great War.
“Born Marcelle Germaine Taillefesse, she studied piano with her mother and began to compose short works as a child. Her father did not support her musical studies, however, and to spite him, she later said, she changed her name to Tailleferre. Written around 1916 and revised in 1978, her melodic piano trio for violin, cello & piano reflects the energy and turmoil of the war years.”
Rounding out the evening on September 24 will be Joseph Suk’s Piano Quartet in A minor, Op. 1, and Johannes Brahms’ String Sextet in B-flat Major, Op. 18.
The remaining regular season concerts will include works by Brahms, Dvořák, Mozart, Haydn and Tchaikovsky. The ensemble will be joined this season by two guest artists: pianist Stephen Buck in Concert 3 and French horn player Adam Unsworth in Concert 4. Buck is Visiting Professor of Music at the Conservatory of Music at the State University of New York (SUNY), and Unsworth is Professor of Horn at the University of Michigan. Then in June the ensemble will again present a four-concert summer chamber music festival, programs and dates to be announced later in the season.
Season membership passes are available on our website or at the door for $100 for all regular season concerts plus all four festival concerts. Single admission prices are $20 at the door. There is no charge for children and active-duty military and students are admitted free with ID.
Brightmusic Chamber Ensemble, Oklahoma City’s own chamber ensemble, presents fine classical chamber music in acoustically-rich St. Paul’s Cathedral at NW 7th and N. Robinson near downtown Oklahoma City. Free parking is available just south of the cathedral for the Tuesday, Sept. 24 concert.
For more information about the ensemble and upcoming concerts, visit brightmusic.org.
Note: Publisher Patrick B. McGuigan, a member of the Brightmusic Board of Directors, contributed to this report. The City Sentinel print edition is available (still just 10 cents) early in every month at the checkout counter inside Barnes & Noble, 6100 North May Avenue, Oklahoma City, 73112.