September 13, 2018
Oklahoma History Center to Present Buster Keaton’s “The General” Accompanied by Walt Strony on the Kilgen Theater Organ
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma History Center is honored to announce its fall presentation of the Kilgen Theater Organ Series. Organist Walt Strony will accompany the classic Buster Keaton silent movie “The General.” The performance will be Monday, October 22, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. and will take place in the Devon Great Hall. Ticket costs are $10 for Oklahoma Historical Society members and $20 for nonmembers and may be reserved by calling 405-522-0765. The Oklahoma History Center is located at 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive in Oklahoma City.
Walt Strony is not only one of America’s most sought-after concert organists but also is known worldwide for his expertise in designing various organ registrations or voicing adjustments. He is a published author on this topic as well as theater organ restoration. The Allen Organ Company commissioned him to design a new four-manual instrument fitted with his unique settings. He is one of only two organists to have a signature model organ named after them. Strony is also well known for offering a one-of-kind style to his performances that displays his original approach to the instrument. One reviewer said, "Strony has become one of the rare breed of today's younger theater organists to have developed a style uniquely his own. It is a style that is inventive, harmonically interesting and, above all, right for today."
The Kilgen Opus 5281, a four-manual, 14-rank, theater-style pipe organ was purchased by E. K. Gaylord for live WKY radio broadcasts. The performance history of this Kilgen organ dates back to April 13, 1936, when it premiered to the radio audience of WKY, broadcasting from the Skirvin Tower in downtown Oklahoma City.
The Oklahoma History Center is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, National Archives and is an accredited member of the American Alliance of Museums. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.