Well OK then! Oklahoma State University (OSU) is the newest on the growing list of New York Philharmonic educational partnerships throughout the U.S. and world, joining the University Musical Society at the University of Michigan and New York Philharmonic Global Academy partnerships with Santa Barbara’s Music Academy of the West, The Shepherd School at Rice University and the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra.
OSU and the New York Philharmonic have announced a residency partnership marking the opening of the new McKnight Center for the Performing Arts at OSU in October 2019. The partnership is made possible in part by the $25 million programming gift to OSU by alumni Billie and Ross McKnight.
The Philharmonic, conducted by future New York Philharmonic Music Director Jaap van Zweden, will give multiple performances at the McKnight Center, along with educational opportunities for OSU students with Philharmonic musicians and management, such as masterclasses, audition workshops, and lectures.
On Saturday the partnership was celebrated at a groundbreaking event featuring VanBesien, OSU President Burns Hargis, Billie and Ross McKnight, and student performers from the Department of Music. The halftime performance at the OSU football game featured a special tribute by The Cowboy Marching Band (see left). (OSU went on to beat Texas in the game. Go Cowboys!)
“While we often hear how residency partnerships benefit faculty, students and the regional community, I can say from experience that the musicians and management of the New York Philharmonic also benefit immensely from the creative energy stemming from academic and professional collaboration,” said New York Philharmonic President Matthew VanBesien. “We very much look forward to performing at what promises to be a spectacular new performing arts center and to engaging with the university and the community in Stillwater.”
Top Photo (left to right): New York Philharmonic President Matthew VanBesien, OSU President Burns and Ann Hargis, consultant John Giovando, student Kevin Kamau, and donors Carl Thoma and Billie and Ross McKnight.