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Press Release

January 10, 2019

Contact: Steve Hawkins
Oklahoma History Center, Oklahoma Historical Society
Office: 405-522-0754

Oklahoma History Center Presents the First 2019 Kilgen Performance “Out of the Box”

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma History Center will offer the first Kilgen Theater Organ performance of the 2019 season entitled “Out of the Box” on Monday, February 11, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Devon Great Hall. Doors will open at 6 p.m. Ticket costs are $10 for Oklahoma Historical Society members and $20 for nonmembers, and may be reserved by calling 405-522-0765. 

Appropriately named, this performance will offer selections and methods of presentation that are not usually associated with a theater organ program. The featured organist will be Nathan Avakian of New York City, accompanied vocally by his sister, Claire. Nathan will use a selection of modern silent shorts from the International Youth Silent Film Festival, and also will present modern solo organ numbers from his contemporary repertoire between the silent shorts. Utilizing additional technology, Nathan will play grand piano accompaniment while the digitally equipped Kilgen plays in the background.

Nathan has gained a great deal of notoriety with this unique approach of mixing modern tech and contemporary musical tastes while still managing to uphold the historical sound of the theatre organ. In response to this format, audience members have said, "Brought tears to my eyes the first time I saw this. It’s breathtaking to see the instrument that we love given new life when infused with today’s technology in such a disciplined and tasteful way.” Another listener said, "It was great to hear such a highly professional modern take on what a theater organ concert can be. I love the traditional, but also enjoyed the new.”

Nathan lives in New York City where he runs his own lighting design business. He served as Youth Representative for the American Theatre Organ Society (ATOS) from 2011 to 2013, after having won the 2009 ATOS Young Organist Competition. He has played successful concert tours across the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

The Oklahoma History Center is located at 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive in Oklahoma City. It is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, please visit www.okhistory.org/historycenter.

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.


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