In Thursday’s (6/9) Tulsa World (Oklahoma), James D. Watts Jr. writes, “When the OK Mozart International Festival began some 27 years ago, music—in particular, classical music—was its reason for being. … It wasn’t until the festival’s 25th anniversary in 2009 that OK Mozart really began to evolve into something more than a classical music event. … Last year’s festival, for example, offered genre-bending ensembles like Time for Three, Celtic Spring and the supergroup of Bela Fleck, Edgar Meyer and Zakir Hussain as well as orchestral concerts featuring everything from Gershwin’s beloved ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ to a concerto for tuba. … It is a spirit that continues with this year’s festival, which runs Friday through June 19 in Bartlesville. The festival’s classical roots remain strong, with concerts that will feature violinist Joshua Bell and the festival’s orchestra-in-residence Amici New York, along with a full roster of concerts performed by members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and the world premiere of ‘Wiley Post,’ an original tone poem by composer Callen Clarke that will feature Oklahoma violinist Kyle Dillingham. Then there are events such as the Alloy Orchestra, a three-person ensemble performing original music live to accompany classic silent films. … ‘In a real sense, OK Mozart is growing into a true arts festival, rather than just a classical music festival,’ [Executive Director Shane] Jewell said.”

Posted June 9, 2011