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OU Symphony Orchestra

The OU Symphony Orchestra is one of the most exciting collegiate ensembles in American universities today. The orchestra has gained attention for its sell-out performances in Dallas’ Morton H. Meyerson Center and Houston’s Wortham Center, as well as for hosting the unique 4x4 Prizes for Composers and Conductors. The ensemble performs regularly at the University of Oklahoma, playing a wide repertoire of orchestral and opera music.

Concert highlights of recent seasons include performances of Beethoven’s Symphonies No. 1, 7 and 8, Brahms’ Symphonies Nos. 1 and 4, Sibelius’ Symphony No. 3, Nielsen’s Symphony No. 3, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 1 and staged performances of The Nutcracker (with the OU School of Dance), Bartok’s Miraculous Mandarin, the Oklahoma premieres of Wang Lu’s Wailing and Anthony Brandt’s Making Perfect, Debussy’s La Mer, Strauss’ Death and Transfiguration and Four Last Songs with alumnus Julie Davies, Stravinsky’s Orpheus and Dumbarton Oaks Concerto, Franck’s Symphony in d minor, Schumann’s Symphony No. 4, Leonard Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, Haydn’s Symphonies No. 44 and 99, Duke Ellington’s Three Black Kings, Kodaly’s Dances of Galanta, Roger Sessions’ The Black Maskers, Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate’s Clans (with the participation of the composer and members of the Chickasaw Nation), William Levi Dawson’s Negro Folk Symphony, and staged performances of Lori Laitman’s opera The Scarlet Letter, Rimsky-Korsakov’s The Golden Cockerel, Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte, Lehár’s Merry Widow and Carlisle Floyd’s Susannah.

Repertoire for the 2024-25 season will include works of Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and many others as well as staged performances of Ravel’s L’heure espagnole and Kurt Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny.


Jonathan Shames
Music Director and Conductor, OU Symphony Orchestra
Artistic Director and Conductor, OU Opera Theater
Director of Orchestral Studies, OU
Professor of Orchestral Conducting