When the McKnight Center for the Performing Arts at Oklahoma State University officially opens to the public October 11, it will put its first audiences into a New York state of mind. 

The New York Philharmonic will be in residence at the center for the opening weekend, presenting four public concerts - including two featuring Oklahoma native and Tony award winner Kelli O'Hara, and a yound people's concert for local first and second grade students - and numerous master classes for OSU music students.

The McKnight Center is the newest addition to the OSU campus - a 65,000-square-foot facility that houses two state-of-the-art performance spaces as well as an adjacent outdoor plaza that sports a 32-foot LED screen and a surround-sound system that will allow performances to be simulcast in real time. 

And the New York Philharmonic's presence as the principal guest artist for the center's opening weekend is an example of what sets this particular arts venue apart from similar facilities. 

Get a look inside the center in this gallery and read the story by James D. Watts Jr. on Sunday. 

McKnight Center

The sculpture “DNA IV” by Bill Barrett stands at one end of the McKnight Center’s open-air plaza, where performances will be simulcast live. The sculpture, purchased through a partnership with the Oklahoma Arts Council, was dedicated Sept. 27.

The performance hall at the McKnight Center is designed to give patrons a uniquely intimate experience.

A 32-foot LED screen and special surround-sound system is part of the McKnight Center's plaza on the facility's west side. All the concerts that will be presented by the New York Philharmonic will be simulcast in the plaza area.Devin Lawrence Wilber

The outdoor plaza was inspired by a similar space at the New World Center in Miami Beach, Florida. The pillars that circle the greenspace contain the surround-sound speakers.

A portrait of donors Billie and Ross McKnight is on display in the McKnight Center's main lobby. The McKnight's made a gift of $25 million to begin an endowment for programming for the center. The endowment is currently $50 million.