OK Mozart to feature Brightmusic in classical series

Staff Writer
Pawhuska Journal-Capital
Trio Solari is composed of violinist Sean Yung-Hsiang Wang, clarinetist Chad Edward Burrow and pianist Amy I-Lin Cheng. COURTESY

Music by American composers will reverberate throughout Ambler Hall at 7:30 p.m. June 14 as the Brightmusic Society of Oklahoma and Trio Solari present an OK Mozart Festival chamber music concert in Bartlesville.

Composed of violinist Sean Yung-Hsiang Wang, clarinetist Chad Edward Burrow and pianist Amy I-Lin Cheng, the trio will perform the music of well-known and newer composers. The highlight of the evening will be the world-premiere performance of the Joseph F. Tyldesley composition, “Homage to Haydn,” commissioned by Trio Solari.

“My trio for clarinet, violin, and piano ‘Homage to Haydn’ straddles three styles that I love: the Classical, the Baroque, and the Modernist,” said Tyldesley.

The four movements creatively play with the form conventions of the time, Tyldesley said, noting that Haydn was quite adept at this. Throughout the composition, sections are marked by instrumental solos, which span from mournful to playful.

“The piece is dedicated to the performers who bring it to life for you,” Tyldesley said.

Prolific composer Tyldesley holds a doctorate in music composition and theory from Brandeis University and a bachelor’s degree with distinction in composition from the New England Conservatory.

Another feature of the evening is the performance of award-winning Oklahoma City composer Edward Knight’s “Sea of Grass, Ocean of Sky.” The piece was commissioned by Trio Solari, which requested an expansive, lyrical work with strong American roots. The work is inspired by the sense of wonder of the sweeping views of the open prairie and unbroken horizon of the Great Plains. The music chronicles letters written by a settler in Oklahoma Territory as he attempts to woo and win a would-be wife back East.

In the opening movement, “Dear Violet,” the man tells of his day-to-day adventures, describing the beauty of a prairie thick with birdsong, and implores her to write back. The second movement, “Dearest and True Violet,” features each of the instruments taking a virtuosic turn rhapsodizing about the territory and its possibilities. In the final movement, “My Dearest Love,” he rejoices in her acceptance of his proposal and declares his joy as he and his beloved are about to undertake a life together amid a sea of grass, ocean of sky.

Knight is a former Oklahoma Musician of the Year whose works range from “Cradle of Dreams,” a choral and orchestral composition, to two full-length musicals and award-winning song cycles. Brightmusic has presented several of his chamber music works, including “Beneath a Cinnamon Moon,” commissioned by Brightmusic for the 2007 Oklahoma Centennial.

Other songs on the June 14 program include Ballad from “Porgy and Bess” by George Gershwin, transcribed by Robert Russell Bennett, “Sonata No. 2 for Violin and Piano” by Charles Ives, “Afternoon Cakewalk, A Suite of Rags” by William Bolcom and Scott Joplin, and “Serenade for Three” by Peter Schickele.

The husband-and-wife duo of Burrow and Cheng are co-artistic directors of the Brightmusic Society of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City, a nonprofit organization presenting chamber music concerts since 2003.

Tickets are available for $50 at www.bartlesvillecommunitycenter.com.