OKM Original Artist Concert Series features world-premier a collaboration.
BARTLESVILLE, OK – The popular year-round OKM Original Artist Concert Series will conclude this year’s season with a world-premiere event, pairing OK Mozart’s Amici New York String Quartet with the Fort Collins, Colorado contemporary sister-quartet, SHEL, on stage at the Frank Phillips Club in the Kress Building at 206 SE Frank Phillips Boulevard.
Doors open at 7:00 p.m. for the Wednesday, May 14 concert, which begins with the Amici String Quartet showcasing selections from the 2014 OK Mozart Festival repertoire along with a few additional musical surprises. The SHEL quartet follows, and the concert concludes with a collaborative set featuring both groups.
OK Mozart Artistic Director, Constantine Kitsopoulos, has specifically prepared string arrangements for collaboration of this world-premiere event.
“Combining contemporary artists with members of Amici New York orchestra is a perfect way to enhance the crossover concert experience,” said Kitsopoulos. “Small orchestral ensembles are key, as it makes it easier to fit this sort of ‘genre bending’ into our house concert series.”
Kitsopoulos explained that it was during SHEL’s performance closing out the 2013 OKM Festival showcase series that an epiphany occurred. While the sister-group performed their original tune “Tuscany”, which was influenced liberally from the quartet’s classical upbringing, he realized they provided a great opportunity to bring chamber music to diverse audiences.
“I was intrigued by the originality of SHEL’s music,” Kitsopoulos remembers. “I could hear additional strings weaving in and out of the arrangements of the songs. After a brief conversation with the band, I knew it was something we should explore further.”
“Hopefully it’s a way to lead people into the OK Mozart chamber music scene, and then into the larger orchestral concerts,” he added.
Bringing the Amici New York String Quartet to Oklahoma for media outreach, educational presentations and a concert is an annual affair, but combining the quartet with a contemporary group is a new twist for OKM.
“We are excited to be collaborating with SHEL,” said Amici New York artistic administrator and quartet violist Adria Benjamin. “This is a new undertaking in many ways for OK Mozart and will be a great mix of many talents, starting with Constantine’s beautiful ability to create gorgeous arrangements.”
“For us, [this concert] is a long-standing dream come true — we’re extremely excited,” said SHEL’s cellist and mandolin player Eva Holbrook. “Bartlesville is without question one of the most unique and wonderful towns we’ve ever visited, and we’re thrilled to be working with OK Mozart once again to bring a very special concert experience to one of our favorite audiences.”
SHEL is comprised of the Holbrook sisters – Sarah, Hannah, Eva and Liza – four talented young artists ranging in age from 19 to 24 who demonstrate a musical prowess that belies their years. The quartet creates beautiful four-part harmonies in lilting vocals that represent just a fraction of their allure. These young ladies are exceptional musicians who all play an array of instruments including mandolin, cello, violin, electric bass and various percussion including drums and djembe.
Tickets for this concert are $32 and can be purchased online at www.okmozart.com, in person at the Bartlesville Community Center, at the OK Mozart box office or via phone at 918-337-2787.
Additionally, a VIP ticket is available for $72. Limited to just 40 tickets, the VIP package includes an opportunity to visit with SHEL, the Amici New York String Quartet and OKM artistic director Constantine Kitsopoulos in the Bartlesville Monthly Magazine loft above the Frank Phillips Club. Heavy appetizers, wine and beer will be offered and VIP ticket holders will be entitled to reserved seats for the downstairs concert. The meet-and-greet begins at 5:30 p.m.