OKC Philharmonic’s new music director loves his new hometown—and gig

Posted on: September 13, 2018

Alexander Mickelthwate, the Oklahoma City Philharmonic’s new music director, “has laid his hands on the twisted trunk of the Survivor Tree, kicked around a soccer ball with the Oklahoma City Energy and hung out backstage with Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne,” writes Brandy McDonnell in Sunday’s (9/9) Oklahoman (Oklahoma City). “The philharmonic’s staffers have cannily turned [his love of Oklahoma City] into a video series on social media… ‘It’s like really awesome stuff happening here,’ says Mickelthwate.” Mickelthwate, 48, a native of Germany, “wrapped up his 12-year tenure as music director of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra [last season].… Along with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, Saturday’s [season-opening] concert …  will include … Berlioz’s ‘Le Corsaire’ and … Tan Dun’s innovative ‘Passacaglia: Secret of Wind and Birds,’ which will include audience participation via cellphones.” Programming for this season will include harpist and Norman, Oklahoma native Yolanda Kondonassis in Jennifer Higdon’s Concerto for Harp and Orchestra. “The Feb. 16 concert that will showcase a piece from another Norman native … Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate.” Says Mickelthwate, “I love all the classics…. But then what I love is I love to pair them next to each other with contemporary things or … interesting opposites.”

Posted September 13, 2018

Alexander Mickelthwate photo by Shevaun Williams