(STILLWATER, Okla.)-- The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts at Oklahoma State University (OSU) announces its fifth annual Chamber Music Festival November 1-6.

Celebrated pianist Anne-Marie McDermott returns as the Festival’s Artistic Director. Joining her are Christopher Constanza, cello; Paul Neubauer, viola; Erin Keefe, violin; Ida Kavafian, violin; Anthony Manzo, double bass; and Tara Helen O’Connor, flute.

The Festival includes multiple opportunities to experience world-class programming and interact with the guest musicians, including masterclasses, conversations, and concerts. A special Soirée evening invites McKnight Center donors to a private concert followed by a catered dinner on stage with the musicians.

Headlining the Festival are two concerts with unique programming held on Friday and Sunday to close out the week’s activities. Both concerts are open to the public and tickets are on sale now.

Friday's program includes Hummel's Piano Quintet in E flat. A composer highly regarded during his time as a prodigy on piano, this work showcases lyrical charm and subtle passion. Also on the program is Schubert’s “Trockne Blumen,” variations, a singular virtuoso composition that features tremendously difficult passages for flute, and Tchaikovsky’s Piano Trio in A minor, Op. 50, which is symphonic in scale, alternating between soaring and euphoric and tragic and funereal.

Sunday's program includes Dvořák’s Bass Quintet No. 2, Op. 77. The quintet features the double bass, bringing a fullness of sound and a rich chamber texture to this early work that is both energetic and expressive. Coleman’s “Maombi Asante” (Prayer of Thanks), and Coleridge-Taylor’s Piano Quintet in G minor, Op. 1 close out the program.

Prior to each concert, Dr. Thomas Lanners will host “Preludes,” pre-concert conversations with the Festival artists. “Preludes” is free to attend and provides insight into the evening’s program as a way to enhance concert-goers' enjoyment of the music.

“This music festival holds a special place in the hearts of our team,” said Mark Blakeman, the Marilynn and Carl Thoma Executive Director of The McKnight Center. “We held our first Chamber Music Festival before the completion of our incredible center and it’s an event audiences look forward to each year. It’s rewarding to look back and see how this event has evolved to include educational opportunities in addition to the regular concert programming.”

The Festival begins on Tuesday, November 1 with masterclasses. Select students at OSU’s Greenwood School of Music will have the opportunity to learn one-on-one from the guest musicians. Masterclasses are open to the public for observation and are free to attend. They offer rare insights into what it takes to train as a professional musician.

The Festival will also include a Young People’s Concert for all Stillwater Public Schools 6th & 7th graders on Wednesday, November 2. “There’s nothing more gratifying than hearing 1,000 school children screaming and cheering,” said McDermott. “I think the Festival’s mission really is to deepen people’s relationship with the arts overall at The McKnight Center. I truly believe music enriches everybody’s life.”

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.mcknightcenter.org or contact the box office at 405.755.9999.

Chamber Music Festival Schedule
● Tuesday, November 1, 3 pm - Violin Masterclass with Ida Kavafian
● Tuesday, November 1, 6 pm - Double bass Masterclass with Anthony Manzo
● Wednesday, November 2, 10 am - Young People’s Concert for Stillwater Public Schools
● Wednesday, November 2, 3 pm - Piano Masterclass with Anne-Marie McDermott
● Thursday, November 3, 6 pm - On Stage Soirée for McKnight Center Director’s Circle donors
● Friday, November 4, 12 pm - Chamber Ensemble Masterclass with Festival Artists
● Friday, November 4, 2 pm - Flute Masterclass with Tara Helen O’Connor
● Friday, November 4, 6:30 pm - Preludes: Pre-Concert Conversations with Dr. Thomas Lanners and Anne-Marie McDermott
● Friday, November 4, 7:30 pm - Concert
● Sunday, November 6, 2 pm - Preludes: Pre-Concert Conversations with Dr. Thomas Lanners and Anne-Marie McDermott
● Sunday, November 6, 3 pm - Concert

For more information or to schedule interviews, contact Sam Powell at sam@six-pr.com or 918.857.1750.