Autumn begins on Sept. 22, but it’s far from the only new season to get underway this month in central Oklahoma – by the time we bid farewell to summer, these local arts organizations will be welcoming new undertakings of their own. Mark your calendars!
► It’s Hip to Be Squares
September 23, Science Museum Oklahoma
Art doesn’t have to be huge to make a visual and emotional impact. Pieces from 175 area artists fill the Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition’s annual fall event 12 x 12, named for the one square foot within which they had to operate. Each work is up for auction in the Sept. 23 shindig that includes live music and delightful hors d’oeuvres; come see how much beauty can fit in a small space.
► OKC Philharmonic
Sept. 10, OKC Civic Center
Baron of the baton Joel Levine is planning his impending retirement after nearly three decades of conducting the orchestra to ever-greater heights. Much of the Philharmonic’s Classics season will feature guest conductors hoping to take over the podium, but this Gala Opening Night has the maestro front and center, leading skilled musicians including exceptional guest pianist Yefim Bronfman through a program of Strauss, Falla, Arnold and Tchaikovsky. Bravo!
►OCCC Performing Arts Series
Sept. 13, OCCC Theater
Buoyed by a gift for songwriting, a brilliantly rich voice and the skill and élan to combine them into emotionally rewarding performances, British singer Polly Gibbons is a blues-influenced wonder who should play very nicely with the smooth, muscular sound of the OKC Jazz Orchestra in this opener to another year of varied pleasures from Oklahoma City Community College.
Sept. 13, St. Paul’s Cathedral
Smaller in scale but breathtaking in skill, the Brightmusic Chamber Ensemble’s artists are at the peak of their performance skills, presenting classical compositions in intimate, accessible concerts. Their first showcase has them feeling bearish, via trios written by Shostakovich and Tchaikovsky for piano, violin and cello, in an evening called “Russian Revelations.”
Sept. 15, Armstrong Auditorium
What do you get when you mix bluegrass and Celtic music with dancing influences from here to Galway and turn the intensity up to high? The one-of-a-kind performance party known as the Stepcrew. Fancy footwork, fiery fiddles and a flavor of festivity fuel the first installment of Armstrong’s performing arts series.