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World-renown cellist opens Philharmonic's 21st season



The Oklahoma City Philharmonic kicks off its 21st season Saturday with recognizable tunes that will jolt the audience out of its pre-fall funk.

The opening night concert at Civic Center Music Hall, 201 N. Walker, begins with a solo performance by world-renown cellist Steven Isserlis, who will be accompanied by conductor Joel Levine and the philharmonic in Antonín Dvorák's "Concerto for Cello in B Minor," an arrangement that requires the soft-spoken instrument to find a perfect balance with its supporting instruments. The concerto was written with familiar folk dance-like melodies, said philharmonic spokeswoman Michelle Winters.

"The composer got it just right, which is why it's such a favorite," she said.

British-born Isserlis is not only a well-respected and talented cellist, but also an accomplished creator beyond music, Winters said. He wrote a children's book that focuses on classical music, and uses his knowledge to help educate kids about music as well. This is his first trip to the metro, and Winters said the entire orchestra is thrilled to have him on the stage.

The second is a large orchestra piece composed by Igor Stravinsky, a suite from "The Firebird." Among the most celebrated ballets of all time, the suite features calm, elegant music. Stravinsky composed several different suites of this piece, and the philharmonic is using his 1945 version that includes colorful portions from the ballet to help the audience fall into a beautiful story of a boy and his hero.

Tickets to the 8 p.m. concert are $12-$65. For more information, call 297-2264. "Paige Lawler 


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