STILLWATER/NEW YORK CITY (March 23, 2022) – The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts and the New York Philharmonic announced today a three-year residency partnership which will bring the renowned orchestra to Stillwater on a regular basis. The partnership provides valuable educational opportunities for Oklahoma State University (OSU) Greenwood School of Music and Stillwater Public Schools students. Each year, the residency will include a gala event, public performances, a youth education concert and a multitude of masterclasses where students can interact with some of the world's greatest musicians. As part of the program, select OSU music students will travel to New York City each year for immersive learning opportunities with the Philharmonic.
With a commitment from Oklahoma State University to transform its arts facilities, The McKnight Center was established in 2016. Philanthropists Ross and Billie McKnight provided leading support through a $25 million gift, establishing a visionary and unique programming endowment. The Center's partnership with the New York Philharmonic reflects an aligned commitment between two organizations dedicated to sharing world-class education and art.
"We are pleased to expand our partnership with a distinguished institution like the New York Philharmonic through this three-year residency," said The McKnight Center namesake Ross McKnight, who serves as a board member at the New York Philharmonic and as Board Chair at The McKnight Center. "We envision the Center as a transformational space for our university, community and region to experience world-class art. Over the next three years, the residency will help to establish a cultural legacy in Stillwater that will draw audiences and develop the next generation of musicians.”
The New York Philharmonic returns to The McKnight Center on Sept. 23, 24 and 25, 2022 with New York Philharmonic Music Director Jaap van Zweden conducting. The weekend of performances will feature acclaimed violinist Gil Shaham and pianist Conrad Tao. The orchestra will return during the Center’s 2023-2024 and 2024-2025 seasons.
“The musicians of the Philharmonic and I are very much looking forward to returning to Oklahoma State University’s McKnight Center for the Performing Arts. When we inaugurated the beautiful new concert hall in 2019, we were touched by the warm welcome we received and by the enthusiasm of the audience. It will be a joy to return,” said van Zweden.
A special highlight of the Gala concert on Sept. 23 is the opportunity for more than 100 OSU vocal students to share the stage with the orchestra, providing an incredible and unique learning experience. The students will perform the choral section of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, “Ode to Joy.” Considered to be Beethoven’s greatest work, it is one of the most frequently performed and recognizable symphonies in the world.
"We strive to create a professional environment that stimulates the highest standards in music education and have enjoyed a strong relationship with The McKnight Center,” said Professor and Director of the Michael and Anne Greenwood School of Music at Oklahoma State University, Dr. Jeff Loeffert. “A partnership of this magnitude with the New York Philharmonic sets the standard in music programs and provides OSU students with opportunities not available anywhere else.”
The New York Philharmonic and The McKnight Center have a history of meaningful partnering. In 2019 the New York Philharmonic kicked off The McKnight Center’s inaugural season with a four-day residency that included 16 masterclasses, four performances, a gala event and engaging performances for elementary school students. In 2018, prior to the Center opening, the orchestra’s principal musicians led mini-residencies that included masterclasses and guest performances with student music ensembles.
“We are delighted to continue our partnership with the New York Philharmonic which includes some of the world’s most accomplished musicians,” said OSU President Kayse Shrum. “Their expertise will further advance the learning opportunities and academic excellence at Oklahoma State University. I am grateful for the vision and support of Ross and Billie McKnight and to the New York Philharmonic for bringing their talents, artistry and the beauty of their music to our student musicians and our community.”
The McKnight Center serves as a world-class epicenter for the arts with immersive learning opportunities.
"This three-year residency illustrates The McKnight Center’s commitment to present unparalleled artists in a format that goes deeper than performances alone," said The McKnight Center’s Marilynn and Carl Thoma Executive Director Mark Blakeman. "Our partnership with the New York Philharmonic strengthens the Center’s growing reputation as a venue that attracts top talent. Through the residency’s main components – performance, education, and outreach – we are poised to foster a powerful artistic environment for our community.”
The McKnight Center will announce its full slate of 2022-2023 performances in May 2022, which will run from September 2022 to May 2023. The New York Philharmonic recently announced its 2022-2023 season and the reopening of the Philharmonic’s newly renovated David Geffen Hall.
McKnight Center season subscribers enjoy benefits including discounts, exclusive access to tickets and pre-sales, seats to high demand performances and the opportunity to renew into prime seats each year. Subscription packages will go on sale to the public in mid-summer. Tickets to single events will go on sale in August 2022. To join the Center’s family of subscribers, contact the box office at 405-744-9999 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts
The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts at Oklahoma State University is a world-class epicenter for the arts dedicated to attracting celebrated national and international programs with notable performing arts productions and artists. The McKnight Center is an expression of Oklahoma State University's commitment to the arts to inspire and transform lives through artistic excellence, creative experiences, and impactful learning opportunities. To learn more, visit mcknightcenter.org.
About the New York Philharmonic
The New York Philharmonic plays a leading cultural role in New York City, the United States, and the world. Each season the Philharmonic connects with up to 50 million music lovers through live concerts in New York City and on its worldwide tours and residencies; digital recording series; international broadcasts; education programs; and the New York Philharmonic Leon Levy Digital Archives. To learn more, visit nyphil.org.