The McKnight Center Celebrates Fourth Annual Chamber Music Festival

Slate includes three exciting acclaimed performances and seven educational events

Story provided by McKnight Center for the Performing Arts

The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts at Oklahoma State University will host its Fourth Annual Chamber Music Festival featuring returning Artistic Director Anne-Marie McDermott and performing artists Paul Neubauer, Susanna Phillips and the Escher String Quartet. The festival kicks off with an On-Stage Soirée, featuring an intimate performance and dinner with the artists, on Thursday, Nov. 4 at 6 p.m., followed by performances on Friday, Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 7 at 3 p.m. Each of the three festival concerts features different musical repertory and includes works by Beethoven, Elgar, Handel, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Schubert, and more.

“The McKnight Center is eager to host its fourth annual Chamber Music Festival, one of The Center’s most revered events, and with a slate of incredible performers and masterclasses,” said The McKnight Center’s Marilynn and Carl Thoma Executive Director Mark Blakeman. “This caliber of guests and educational opportunities is a testament to the talent and mentorship we bring to The Center. Our venue is acoustically a perfect fit for our lineupof performers.”

Educational masterclasses for Oklahoma State University Greenwood School of Music students will take place throughout the week. All classes are free for the public to attend and observe. The McKnight Center will also host a virtual Young People’s Concert livestreamed for Stillwater Public School students. 

Masks are required for all of 2021 Chamber Music Festival events. Events and masterclasses include:

  • Cello Masterclass – Nov. 2 from 3-5 p.m. in the Recital Hall
  • Viola Masterclass – Nov. 2 from 6-7 p.m. in the Recital Hall
  • Young People’s Concert – Nov. 3 at 10 a.m. via livestream on Inside OSU
  • Piano Masterclass – Nov. 3 from 3-5 p.m. in the Recital Hall
  • Panel Discussion – Nov. 4 from 3-4 p.m. in the Recital Hall 
  • On-Stage Soiree – Nov. 4 at 6 p.m. in the Performance Hall
  • Chamber Ensemble Masterclass – Nov. 5 from 12-1 p.m. in the Recital Hall 
  • Vocal Masterclass – Nov. 5 from 2-3 p.m. in the Recital Hall
  • Chamber Music Performance – Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m. in the Performance Hall
  • Chamber Music Performance – Nov. 7 at 3 p.m. in the Performance Hall
Anne-Marie McDermott

Internationally recognized pianist, Anne-Marie McDermott returns as Artistic Director with over 25 years’ experience as a pianist and over 50 concerti in her repertoire. She has served as the Artistic Director of the Bravo Vail Festival for the past 10 years and has served as Artistic Director of The McKnight Center’s Chamber Music Festival for four years.

Paul Neubauer

Violist Paul Neubauer is referred to as a “a master musician” by the New York Times. He was appointed principal violist of the New York Philharmonic at age 21 and is a two-time Grammy nominee. He is a critically acclaimed artist who The Atlanta Journal has praised as “one of America’s finest concert artists.”

Susanna Phillips

Soprano Susanna Phillips is a McKnight Center favorite whose sought-after voice has been described as “sumptuous and elegant.” She has sung at the Metropolitan Opera for 12 consecutive seasons, and she has won honors at a myriad of leading vocal competitions.

Escher String Quartet

The Escher String Quartet, an ensemble known for their artistic, nuanced performances, is a former BBC New Generation Artist. The Quartet will complement the other artists for an unforgettable experience. 

“I am thrilled to return to The McKnight Center as the artistic director for the Fourth Annual Chamber Music Festival,” said McDermott. “The McKnight Center’s intimate venue provides an ideal viewing and listening experience for this event. I look forward to building upon the last three years of success in this year’s event.”

The 2021 Chamber Music Festival sponsors are Helen Hodges and Brett and Terri Carver. The performances precede the rest of The McKnight Center’s 2021-2022 season, which includes The Polar Express™ In Concert with the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra, Million Dollar Quartet Christmas, Bernadette Peters, Sarah Coburn and more. To learn more about the season and to purchase tickets to the Chamber Music Festival, please visit or call (405) 744-9999.

COVID-19 Safety Precautions

The McKnight Center has enhanced health and safety measures to keep guests, artists and employees safe. Any concert presented as a McKnight Center season event may require any combination of a face mask, proof of vaccination, or a negative COVID-19 test, depending on the requirements set by each visiting artist. Masks are required for all Chamber Music Festival events and masterclasses. For specifics regarding COVID-19 safety guidelines, please click here.

About The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts 

The McKnight Center for the Performing Arts at Oklahoma State University is a world-class epicenter for the arts dedicated to attracting celebrated national and international programs with notable performing arts productions and artists. The McKnight Center is an expression of Oklahoma State University’s commitment to the arts to inspire and transform lives through artistic excellence, creative experiences, and impactful learning opportunities. To learn more, visit