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Grammy-Winning Lute Virtuoso to Make Oklahoma Debut

by Rod Jones

Grammy Award winner Paul O’Dette will make his Oklahoma debut at 8 p.m. April 8 in the season finale concert of Oklahoma City University’s Distinguished Artists Series at the Bass School of Music.

Tickets to the Petree Recital Hall concert are available online at okcu.edu/tickets or by calling 405-208-5227. All tickets are open seating and cost $20.

O’Dette is best known for his virtuosic performances on solo lute. He has been featured on more than 140 recordings, winning two Grammys and numerous international awards.

A rock guitarist-turned-champion of Renaissance and Baroque music, O'Dette established Eastman School of Music’s early-music program in 1976, and remains its director. He has performed and conducted at festivals from Boston to Barcelona and is a member of Tragicomedia, a continuo ensemble acclaimed for its recordings and performances of 17th-century operas, cantatas and oratorios.

After a recent concert in Carnegie Hall, The New York Times noted: “For fans of the lute and its repertory, Paul O’Dette’s annual recitals — and, for that matter, his work as a vocal accompanist and ensemble player — are highlights of the concert season. His playing is fleet and clean, and in the best parts of the repertory...he tempers sheer virtuosity with an emotional warmth that makes this antique music seem not very distant at all.”

O’Dette is also active as a conductor of Baroque opera. He and Stephen Stubbs won a 2015 Grammy Award for Best Opera Recording for Charpentier’s “La Descente d’Orphée aux Enfers”with the Boston Early Music Festival Chamber Ensemble. O’Dette also won a Grammy Award in 1996 for a CD of Purcell songs with Sylvia McNair.

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