The Topkea Symphony Orchestra will continue to celebrate its 75th anniversary season with its February concert, “Gems for Cello and Orchestra.”
The concert, which will be held virtually and livestreamed from the Topeka Performing Arts Center, will take place at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 13. To purchase streaming access, guests may visit topekasymphony.org and click on the link on the home page.
According to a news release from TSO executive director Bob Keckiesen, the concert will feature the symphony’s principal cellist, Eman Chalshotori. During the concert, the orchestra will perform Edward Elgar’s “Cello Concerto in E Minor” and Johannes Brahms’ “Symphony No. 2.”
“Composed and premiered in 1919, Edward Elgar’s cello concerto is haunting and intimate, yet highly virtuosic,” the release said. “It has become a solid staple in the cello repertoire.”
The piece’s backstory starts when Elgar reportedly woke up from sedation after a tonsillectomy, asked for a pen and paper, and wrote the concerto’s opening theme. It was the composer’s last major piece and one of only two concertos he completed.
“I am so thrilled to be featuring the TSO’s principal cellist Eman Chalshotori playing Edward Elgar’s stunningly beautiful and moving ‘Cello Concerto,’ ” TSO music director and conductor Kyle Wiley Pickett said. “It is always a treat to feature one of our own and I know our audience will be impressed with Eman’s playing.”
Chalshotori has been a member of the symphony since 2012 and become principal cellist in 2017.
The orchestra will close out the performance by playing “Symphony No. 2,” the second of four pieces that Brahms wrote.
The release said that Brahms composed this symphony in 1877 in four months while he was on holiday in Austria.
“To continue our 75th anniversary celebration, I have chosen another masterpiece to showcase our orchestra … ” Pickett said. “This piece will showcase the sensitive and beautiful musicality of our musicians.”