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Brightmusic and Bannister Begin New Chamber Music Season: “Songs without Words”

The City Sentinel, Staff Report

OKLAHOMA CITY– Guest pianist Tanya Bannister joins the Brightmusic Chamber Ensemble in their season-opening concert “Songs without Words,” Tuesday, September 21, 7:30pm at First Baptist Church in midtown Oklahoma City.

The concert spans two centuries with works by Romantic era composers Robert Schumann, Carl Maria von Weber, and Walter Rabl, alongside the elegiac “Soliloquy” by living American composer John Corigliano.

Brightmusic guest Tanya Bannister is a versatile pianist serving as co-founder and artistic director of AlpenKammerMusic in Austria.

John Corigiliano (b. 1938) began “Soliloquy” as an elegy for his late father, a former concertmaster who found solace in the violin. The work is adapted from his clarinet concerto commissioned for New York Philharmonic clarinetist Stanley Drucker and Leonard Bernstein as conductor, whose personalities are reflected in the first and third movements, respectively.

German composer Robert Schumann (1810-1856) dedicated his Piano Quintet in E-Flat Major to his beloved wife and fellow pianist/composer Clara Schumann, who regularly performed it. Schumann composed it and five other chamber music pieces in just one year, and Clara considered the work “splendid, full of vigor and freshness.”

“Introduction, Theme, and Variations” for clarinet and string quartet was formerly attributed to German composer Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826), but it is now thought to be composed by his contemporary Joseph Küffner (1776 – 1856), known more for his guitar music.

Similarly, Austrian composer Walter Rabl (1873-1940) is less well known today, but Johannes Brahms awarded him first prize at the 1896 Vienna Tonkünstlerverein (Musician’s Society) competition for his Quartet in E-Flat Major for clarinet, violin, cello, and piano.

In addition to Tanya Bannister on the piano, musicians appearing in the concert are:

Chad Burrow (clarinet), Gregory Lee and Katrin Stamatis (violins), and Jonathan Ruck (cello).

Admission for each concert is $20 at the door and free for children, active-duty military, and students with ID. Or, save $55 with a $125 season pass for all 5 regular season and 4 summer 2022 festival concerts. Passes are available by mail or online at brightmusic.org/passes

Brightmusic Chamber Ensemble, Oklahoma City’s own chamber ensemble, will perform its 2021-22 season of fine classical chamber music at First Baptist Church, 1201 N Robinson in midtown Oklahoma City.

The venue offers plenty of space for social distancing. Free parking is available north and southwest of the building.

For more information about the ensemble and upcoming concerts, visit brightmusic.org.  

Brightmusic musicians Gregory Lee, Amy I-Lin Cheng, and Jonathan Ruck at First Baptist Church of Oklahoma City. Photo credit: Malcolm Zachariah
Gregory Lee, Amy I-Lin Cheng, and Chad Burrow at First Baptist Church of Oklahoma City. Photo credit: Malcolm Zachariah