Brightmusic hosts annual festival

Johann Sebastian Bach (left) and Johannes Brahms. File photos.

“Our first Bach and Brahms festival in 2012 proved so popular that it deserves a sequel,” says Brightmusic Chamber Ensemble’s announcement of their sixth annual spring chamber music festival.

Bach and Brahms II will be presented June 8-13 at St. Paul’s Cathedral in downtown Oklahoma City.

The four-concert festival will present some of the best-loved works by two of the world’s greatest composers, including two of Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos and works for organ, a cello suite and a cantata.

The program also includes the powerfully moving Chaconne from Bach’s Partita No. 2 in D minor. Violinist Joshua Bell describes the piece as “not just one of the greatest pieces of music ever written, but one of the greatest achievements of any man in history.”

 Also on the program will be works by Brahms: sonatas, organ and chamber works and lieder featuring Philadelphia baritone Randall Scarlata. 

Concert No. 1 – June 8, 7:30 p.m. An all Bach program, featuring, Trio Sonata in G Major, Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 in D Major, Chaconne from Partita No. 2 in D Minor for Solo Violin and Cantata – Ich habe genug.

Concert No. 2 – June 11, 4 p.m. The Mae Ruth Swanson Memorial Concert features three Brahms pieces and one by Bach. By Brahms, Six Volkslieder from WoO 33, Five Liederfrom Opuses 45, 47, 72 and 106 and Piano Trio in C Minor, Op. 101. By Bach, Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 in F Major, arranged for piano four hands by Max Reger.

Concert No. 3 – June 12, 7:30 p.m. By Bach, Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major, Organ Works -- Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele, and St. Anne Fugue. By Brahms, Sonata No. 1 in F Minor for Clarinet and Piano, Op. 120 and Sonata No. 2 in F Major for Cello and Piano, Op. 99.

Concert No. 4 – June 13, 7:30  p.m. An all Brahms concert, featuringOrgan Works – Five Chorale Preludes from Opus 122 and WoO 7, Vier ernste Gesänge Op. 121 and Quintet for Clarinet and Strings in A Minor, Op. 115.

Fourteen Brightmusic musicians will be appearing during the Festival. They are: Sean Y. Wang, Violin; Katrin Stamatis, Violin; Mark Neumann, Viola; Jonathan Ruck, Cello; John Krause, Double Bass; Parthena Owens, Flute; Lisa Harvey-Reed, Oboe; Chad Burrow, Clarinet; Amy I-Lin Cheng, Piano; Sallie Pollack, Piano; Ruirui Ouyang, Piano; Melissa Plamann, Organ; Andrew Schaeffer, Antiphonal Organ; and Randall Scarlata, Baritone.

St. Paul’s Cathedral is at 127 NW 7th Street (at Robinson) in downtown Oklahoma City.  A pass for all four concerts is available at the door or on their website at for $50 each (a savings of $30 over individual concert tickets of $20). Students and active-duty military personnel are admitted free with ID. 

More information about the festival is available at

Copyright 2017 The Gayly – June 2, 2017 @ 10:10 a.m.