New York Philharmonic

Jaap van Zweden leads the New York Philharmonic in Residency during an October performance at McKnight Center on the Oklahoma State University campus in Stillwater.

The New York Philharmonic will return to Stillwater next month for a series of three concerts at The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts at Oklahoma State University. Each concert features a different repertory of classical music and special guest soloists. The weekend of performances opens Friday, Sept. 23 with a special Bright Night Gala Concert that celebrates Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9.

Joining the New York Philharmonic on stage for the choral section of the grand finale are 100 OSU music students and Stillwater community voices.

“This is a unique opportunity for music students at the Greenwood School of Music,” said The McKnight Center’s Marilynn and Carl Thoma Executive Director, Mark Blakeman. “It’s rare that students can perform in such a meaningful way in a professional concert with a revered institution like the New York Philharmonic.”

Beethoven’s Ninth, often referred to as, “Ode to Joy,” remains one of the most important musical works in Western culture even 195 years after the composer’s death. It is one of the most frequently performed and recognizable symphonies in the world. The New York Philharmonic will perform this work with students only at the Sept. 23 Gala Concert.

The Bright Night Gala Concert experience begins at 5 p.m. on Sept. 23 with a welcome reception. All ticket holders are invited to the reception and will also enjoy complimentary parking with their ticket purchase. Bright Night Gala sponsors are invited to a private dinner following the concert.

“Bright Night is an annual Gala event that celebrates and fundraises for the performing arts,” said The McKnight Center’s Director of Development, Amy Miller. “Our family of donors are passionate about the arts, and their generosity ensures the center continues to grow as a cultural destination that presents unique concert experiences that music lovers can’t find anywhere else.”

To become a sponsor contact Miller at 405-385-2139 or

Tickets to both the Bright Night Gala Concert and Gala Dinner are in high demand and are expected to sell out. Tickets start at $90, to purchase tickets to The Gala Concert or other events in the center’s season, or contact the box office at 405-744-9999.

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