Spooktoberfest kicks off an outstanding musical season

Barbara Drake

On Sunday, Oct. 20, at 3 p.m., Oracle Piano Society Artistic Director Dr. Stephen Cook will kick off the 2019-20 Signature Series Season at the Oracle Center for the Arts with Spooktoberfest, a concert mashup of two favorite October traditions: Halloween and Oktoberfest.

Cook revels in shaking up the traditional classical recital format with programming that emphasizes artistic fusion and audience participation. In the past, he has presented wine-tasting concerts, space concerts, phantasmagorical Halloween concerts, and even a one-man-show written by Paul Harvey, Jr.

Spooktoberfest will feature rare ghostly melodramas by Liszt and Schumann for spoken voice and the piano (presented with visual projections), the infamous Brahms-Paganini Variations, Op. 35 (nicknamed Hexen-Variationen), the Academic Festival Orchestra of Brahms (based on German drinking songs), and a drinking song sing-along lead by members of the Voices in the Oaks Chorale with Cook at the piano.

German themed refreshments will be available for purchase at the concert, and a season kickoff party will follow the performance. Halloween or Oktoberfest costumes are encouraged!

Cook performed a preview of this concert at Glow!’s Mythological Night on Sept. 14. (www.trianglelranch.com/glow).

The Spooktoberfest launches Oracle Piano Society’s exciting 2019-20 season which includes world renowned performers, a gold medal winner of the 2019 USASU Bösendorfer International Piano Competition, three world premiere performances of new works, concerts of solo, duo, and two piano music, chamber concerts and two music festivals (Oracle Chamber Music Festival and Nocturne Festival of New Music).

All SaddleBrooke Ranch residents are invited and encouraged to attend Spooktoberfest and the concerts listed below. The Oracle Center for the Performing Arts is only six miles north on Highway 79, a short 20-minute drive! Free parking is available.

Tickets are $30 or free for students.

The concerts take place at the Oracle Center for the Arts, 700 E. Kingston St., Oracle, AZ 85623.

For more information, visit www.oraclepianosociety.org, facebook.com/oraclepianosociety, or call 623-259-9677.

Oracle Piano Society Signature Series schedule 2019-20

Oct. 20: 3 p.m. Spooktoberfest season opener; Stephen Cook, piano.

Nov. 17: 3 p.m. Solo and duo piano music; Michael Manning and Eleanor Perrone.

Dec. 15: 3 p.m. Violin and piano duo; Jesse Mills and Rieko Aizawa

Jan. 2: 4 p.m. Oracle Chamber Music Festival faculty concert

Robert Hamilton, piano; Jeffrey Weisner, bass; Monti Belknap, violin; Kate Hamilton, viola; Dr. Greg Hamilton, cello; Dr. Milton Masciadri, bass; Dr. Allyson Wuenschel, viola; Patricia Cole, violin; Dr. Luciana Gallo, cello; and Dr. Stephen Cook, piano.

Jan. 4: 4 p.m. Oracle Chamber Music Festival student concert.

Feb. 9: 3 p.m. Mark Fouxman, piano.

March 8: 3 p.m. Gala USASU Bösendorfer gold medalist; Dmytro Choni, piano.

April 19: 3 p.m. Two Piano Concert; Eteri Andjaparidze, Inga Kashakashvili, George Oakley, Stephen Cook.

May 2: 7 p.m. Nocturne Festival of New Music Concert 1; Dr. James DeMars, Dr. Christopher Norby, Oracle Piano Quartet.

May 3: 3 p.m. Nocturne Festival of New Music Concert 2; Dr. Christopher Norby, composer.