Department of Music
  • slider

Musical Arts Series

Musical Arts Series – 45th Season

All concerts are free to the public. Thank you to our sponsors and donors, without whom this series would not be possible. Special thanks goes to the National Endowment for the Arts, Oklahoma Arts Countil, Steger Piano Institute, and the Clark and Wanda Bass Foundation.  Consider being a part of the Musical Arts Series by becoming a donor! Contact Dr. Jeremy Blackwood at or call 580-745-2096 for more information.


St. Louis Brass 

Sunday, October 7, 2018
First Christian Church (301 North 3rd Ave)
7:30 PM

(A Public Masterclass will be presented at 2:00 PM in the sanctuary of First Christian Church.)


Founded in 1964, the Saint Louis Brass Quintet is one of America’s longest standing brass quintets. The group was originally formed by members of the St. Louis Symphony to play children’s concerts around the St. Louis area. Soon though, they had expanded to present full length concerts funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Missouri Arts Council and the Mid-America Arts Alliance. Now, forty years and more than 2,500 engagements later, the only original member still in the group — and the only one who actually lives in St. Louis — is trombonist Melvyn Jernigan – who retired from the Saint Louis Symphony after 35 years. The other quintet members hold top positions across the United States: Professors at Yale, UT Austin and Indiana University.

The group now performs three ten day concert tours throughout the United States each year, plus recording and international touring. The SLBQ was featured at the Norway Brass Band Festival in 1994, at a festival in Bombay, India in 1995, and they performed a two-week concert tour in Japan in 1997. In May of 1999 the quintet toured Mexico, and in October of 2001 they toured Germany. June 2003, they were performing in Sweden.

It was out of the Saint Louis Brass Quintet that Summit Brass got its start. In 1985, led by trumpeter David Hickman, who was at that time a member of the quintet, personnel were chosen for this new group. Since its first concerts in 1986, Summit Brass has hosted an annual institute for brass players, performed dozens of concert tours in the United States and Europe, and has recorded ten CDs.

For more information:


Wednesday, November 7, 2018
Hallie-McKinney Ballroom A
7:30 PM



This event is sponsored by the Oklahoma Arts Council.

Frisson is explosive!

From New York City, the ensemble features the best and brightest of classical music’s rising stars drawn from many of the nation’s major music schools including Juilliard, Curtis, and Yale. Frisson showcases a myriad of rarely-performed masterworks. Listen and enjoy as Frisson expands and contracts into a variety of ensembles, including quintets, sextets, nonets, and a small chamber orchestra. The ensemble debuts in major cities across the United States during the 2017-18 season and they are rapidly becoming one of the busiest classical music ensembles with dozens of performances planned for the 2018-19 season. 

For more information:

Ruth Steger Piano Institute / Clark & Wanda Bass Foundation

Catalin Dima, piano

Wednesday, February 6, 2019
Fine Arts Recital Hall
7:30 PM


Pianist Catalin Dima, newly appointed Instructor of Piano at Southeastern Oklahoma State University, has been a prize-winner in many national and international competitions, and performed in numerous solo recitals and concerts in the US, Romania, France, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and Malawi.

Among most recent concerts, Catalin performed at the Cosmos Club in D.C. as a guest artists invited by the Embassy of Romania and at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. He also played in six concerts together with violinist Alexandru Malaimare, where they promoted Romanian music in Illinois and Indiana states. Other previous concerts include performances at the Romanian Cultural InstituteKlavierhaus, and International House in New York, Preston Bradley Hall in Chicago, Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest, and orchestral debuts with George Enescu Philharmonic OrchestraWashington SinfoniettaShenandoah Conservatory Orchestra, and Pitesti Philharmonic Orchestra.

As a dedicated performer, Catalin has been involved in many musical projects and promoted classical music on numerous occasions. In 2012, he was selected to be a part of the program fellow team at the International House in New York. There he organized contemporary and classical music concerts on a monthly basis and collaborated with young international artists.

Before moving to the US, Catalin Dima appeared regularly on many stages throughout his native country, Romania, such as the Romanian AthenaeumSibiu Philharmonic Hall, and Mihail Jora Philharmonic Hall. As the pianist of Pitesti Philharmonic for five seasons, he had the opportunity to perform and collaborate with many distinguished artists and conductors, such as Gheorghe Zamfir, Christian Badea, Alexandru Ganea and Cornel Țaranu. 

Catalin Dima has been a frequent attendee and performer at international music festivals such as International Keyboard Institute and Festival (New York), Interharmony International Music Festival (Germany), and International Summer Academy Prague – Wien – Budapest (Austria). During his studies and masterclasses, he benefitted from the teachings of many distinguished artists such as John O’Conor, Irina Morozova, Richard Goode, Ann Schein, Victor Rosenbaum, Jeno Jando, Noel Flores, Gabriel Amiras, Dana Borsan, and Orion Quartet members.

He completed his Doctorate of Music Degree from Shenandoah University studying with the esteemed Irish pianist, John O’Conor. He holds a Master’s degree from Mannes School of Music, in New York, where he studied with pianist Irina Morozova, and a Bachelor and Master’s degrees from the National University of Music Bucharest, where he studied with pianist Dana Borsan. 

For more information:

Diane Walsh, piano

Tuesday, April 9, 2019
Fine Arts Recital Hall
7:30 PM


Since making her New York recital debut on the Young Concert Artists Series, the American pianist Diane Walsh has toured the globe, with performances in forty-six of the fifty states and in twenty-one other countries. Highlights include recitals at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie, Merkin Concert Hall, Kaufmann Auditorium and Miller Theatre in New York City; the Kennedy Center in Washington, Orchestra Hall in Chicago, Wigmore Hall in London, the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, the Philharmonia Great Hall in St. Petersburg, and the Rudolfinum Dvorák Hall in Prague. Recent reviews have praised her “soulful outpouring,” “intelligent virtuosity” and “exquisite care and loving touch.”

Ms. Walsh has appeared as soloist with the San Francisco, Indianapolis, Portland, Austin, Springfield, Rochester, New Bedford, Delaware, Syracuse and American symphonies. She has toured the United States with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, appeared at Carnegie Hall and toured Europe with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and soloed with orchestras in Germany, Brazil, Russia, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic. Conductors with whom she has collaborated include David Zinman, Seiji Ozawa, Kazuyoshi Akiyama, Leon Botstein, Stephen Gunzenhauser, Eliahu Inbal, John Giordano, Kevin Rhodes, John Nelson, and Peter Bay.

In 2009 she was the onstage pianist in the Broadway production of Moisés Kaufman’s play 33 Variations, starring Jane Fonda, during which she gave 113 performances of Beethoven’s Variations on a Waltz of Diabelli. Ms. Walsh was the pianist in three other productions of the play, in Washington, La Jolla and Los Angeles.

Diane Walsh has been awarded many honors including the top prizes at the Munich ARD International Piano Competition, Salzburg International Mozart Competition, Concert Artists Guild International Competition and Young Concert Artists International Auditions. She was also a prizewinner at the Ferruccio Busoni, Van Cliburn and William Kapell competitions.

Summer chamber music festivals where she has performed include the Marlboro Festival, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Bard Music Festival, Chesapeake Chamber Music Festival, Eastern Music Festival and the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival. She also was artistic director of the Skaneateles Festival for five years. She is a member of the quintet La Fenice and of the Walsh-Drucker-Cooper Trio. 

Ms. Walsh has released eighteen recordings of diverse repertoire on the Bridge, Newport, Sony, Nonesuch, Koch, Stereophile, CRI, Jonathan Digital and Naxos labels. Her latest recording, Bach Suites, includes a French Suite, English Suite and Partita by J. S. Bach. She holds degrees from the Juilliard School, where she studied with Irwin Freundlich, and from the Mannes College of Music, where she studied with Richard Goode. She is a Steinway Artist. She was an associate professor at Mannes College of Music in New York for 32 years, and in 2015 she was a visiting artist at Colby College. She lives in Portland, Maine with her husband, the writer Richard Pollak.

For more information:

Minneapolis Guitar Quartet

        with Southeastern Chorale

Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Fine Arts Recital Hall
7:30 PM


This event is sponsored by the Oklahoma Arts Council.

With profoundly moving performances expressing heart-felt intimacy to dazzling bravado, the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet has captivated audiences throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. From Bach to Piazzolla to Prince, MGQ’s eclectic programs are propelled by virtuosity and synchronization that come from decades of classical training and ensemble experience. The foursome—Joseph Hagedorn, Maja Radovanlija, Ben Kunkel and Wade Oden—build an intimate and comfortable rapport with their audiences through their engaging stage presence and good humor. “More than a guitar quartet, more than superb musicians, and more than a great chamber group,” says composer/performer Daniel Bernard Roumain. “They are ambassadors of sound, style, and substance.” 

The Minneapolis Guitar Quartet’s highly varied repertoire includes their own acclaimed arrangements of music by Japanese jazz pianist Hiromi, Finnish folk musician Maria Kalaniemi, and classical composers Joaquin Rodrigo, Alberto Ginastera, and Modest Mussorgsky. Their numerous commissions include Ian Krouse’s StarWaves, an exhilarating fusion of rock and classical music based on a song by British pop/rock musician Nick Drake. MGQ’s diverse and innovative collaborations include their new program for guitar quartet with choir, programs with flamenco dancer Sachiko “La Chayí”, and a program with Chinese pipa master Gao Hong. MGQ has been heard on the nationally syndicated radio program Saint Paul Sunday, and on National Public Radio’s Performance Today and been featured on Twin Cities Public Television’s “Minnesota Original”. They have also garnered unanimous international critical acclaim from its five CDs on the Albany, GSP, and innova labels.

The cultural accessibility of the guitar makes it a natural for MGQ’s various educational and community engagement programs like its popular “Guitar Talk” for all ages. MGQ’s newest educational offering is its “Guitar Ensemble Crash Course”, a 90-minute class introducing participants to the “hands-on” experience of guitar ensemble playing, culminating in a live performance. All members of the Minneapolis Guitar Quartet are collegiate faculty members and frequently conduct master classes and workshops at festivals and universities throughout the United States.

For more information, please visit, follow on Facebook and Twitter @MplsGuitarQt  and Instagram @mplsguitarquartet


It is with sincere gratitude that the Musical Arts Series thanks these foundations,

corporations, and donors without whom these performances would not be possible.

Ruth Steger Piano Institute

Clark and Wanda Bass Foundation