Brightmusic Society of Oklahoma celebrates Sweet Sixteen

Sixteen Oklahomans joined together six years ago to create a musical organization that has paved the road for change in locally staged classical music.

From Baroque to classical works from the 21st century, the Brightmusic Society of Oklahoma is a chamber music organization that focuses on works made by musicians within the state.

Chamber music is a type of classical music is written for a small group of instruments rather than a large ensemble group. Traditionally performed in palace chambers, and often with a solo performers the style has become a delicate, celebrated form among classical musicians.

Although trios or quartets featuring strings and a pianos are typical at small classical performances, Brightmusic has opted to expand to encompass performances that utilize woodwinds and brass, said David Johnson, the group's vice president. Brightmusic was founded in 2003 after a group of university faculty members and Oklahoma City Philharmonic principals joined for a concert series.

"These people that are up to their gills in music every day love chamber music," Johnson said. "Nobody gets to where they have gotten without music being their passion and their career."

Brightmusic's chamber musicians will perform works by Beethoven, Chopin and Brahms at their free "Poetry and Passion" concert staging 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Saint Paul's Episcopal Cathedral, 127 N.W. 7th. The concert will feature celebrated pianist Daniel Blumenthal, a music professor at the Royal Conservatory in Brussels, Belgium.

While Tuesday's concert is more traditional, Johnson said the Brightmusic's musicians aren't afraid of experimenting with contemporary styles

"You don't have to go to New York or Dallas or Chicago or Los Angeles to hear great chamber music, we've got it right here," he said. "And to most people that comes as a surprise." "Paige Lawler

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