TSO’s 2020-2021 Season

75th Anniversary Season
The 2020-2021 season marks the Topeka Symphony Orchestra’s 75th Anniversary! The 75th anniversary is traditionally recognized with diamonds, so we will be celebrating all season long with music that sparkles and shines. We will kick off the year with a concert of favorites featuring the always popular Carnival of the Animals and Wagner’s shimmering Siegfried Idyll, and follow that up with an all-Beethoven concert to celebrate his 250th birthday. Our holiday pops will sparkle with the music of the season and our first concert of 2021 will include Russian gems like Stravinsky’s show-stopping Rite of Spring and Mussorgsky’s Night on Bald Mountain. We’ll feature our very own principal cellist Eman Chalshotori in February’s concert, and March’s concert will be a night of radiant beauty with a premiere of Topeka composer Gordon McQuere’s setting of a collection of Rossetti songs paired with the stunning Pictures at an Exhibition. We finish our season with the diamonds of the night-sky with the music of Star Wars. Join us for our Diamond Anniversary season and celebrate in glittering, sparkling style.
Kyle Wiley Pickett,
Music Director and Conductor

75 Years!

An Archive of TSO’s 2020-2021 Season

Click the concert listings below to toggle open concert details.

Oct. 3, 2020 • 7:30 p.m. — Diamonds are Forever

Central National Bank — concert sponsor

We’ll launch our Diamond Anniversary season with an evening of sparkling favorites for smaller orchestra, including the intimate and romantic Siegfried Idyll that Wagner composed as a surprise birthday present for his wife, and Dvorak’s charming Serenade for Strings. We’ll also perform Stravinsky’s lighthearted Dumbarton Oaks Concerto for small chamber orchestra. And we’re very excited to present Saint-Saens’ ever-popular musical portrait of the animal kingdom as we go through jungles, across the plains, and dive deep into the oceans with Carnival of the Animals.

Dvorak – Serenade for Strings
Wagner – Siegfried Idyll
Stravinsky – Dumbarton Oaks Concerto
Saint-Saens – Carnival of the Animals

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Nov. 14, 2020 • 7:30 p.m. — Birthday Candles

Imagine candles burning brightly on a birthday cake at this concert as we celebrate the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth. We’ll play an all-Beethoven concert with possibly the most famous piece in the entire orchestral repertoire, Beethoven’s brilliant Fifth Symphony. And we will bring Sean Chen, the 2013 Crystal Winner of the Van Cliburn Competition, to perform the dramatic Piano Concerto No. 3 with us.

Beethoven – Piano Concerto No. 3
With Sean Chen, Piano
Beethoven – Symphony No. 5

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Dec. 2, 2020 • 7:30 p.m. — Capitol Federal® Holiday Concert — POPS

Shimmering Holiday Lights
Join us for an evening of holiday favorites in the season when Christmas lights and Hannukah candles shine brightly against the darkness.

Favorite holiday classics

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Jan. 16, 2021 • 7:30 p.m. — Russian Jewels

Don’t miss this night of spectacular Russian orchestral fireworks, including the Topeka Symphony premiere of Stravinsky’s show-stopping Rite of Spring, along with Mussorgsky’s rambunctious Night on Bald Mountain.  We’re also delighted to bring the 2020 TSO Young Artist Winner Nina Jaramillo to play the hauntingly beautiful Chaminade Concertino for Flute and Orchestra.

Mussorgsky – Night on Bald Mountain
Chaminade – Concertino for Flute and Orchestra
With Young Artist Winner, Nina Jaramillo
Stravinsky – Rite of Spring

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Feb. 13, 2021 • 7:30 p.m. — Gems for Orchestra and Cello

It’s always thrilling when we feature one of our own musicians as a soloist, so join us for this spectacular evening of music with principal cellist Eman Chalshotori playing Elgar’s stunningly beautiful Cello Concerto with the TSO. We’ll also play one of the true gems of the orchestral repertoire, Brahms’s Symphony No. 2, full of passion and beauty.

Elgar – Cello Concerto
Eman Chalshotori, Cello
Brahms – Symphony No. 2

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Mar. 27, 2021 • 7:30 p.m. — Brilliant Scenes and Songs

This concert will feature Ravel’s shimmering La Valse that will take you to a swirling waltz party, at times beautiful and at times chaotic, in a virtuosic orchestral showpiece. We are also delighted to premiere an elegant song cycle of love poems by Christina and Dante Rosetti in a new setting for orchestra and soprano by Topeka’s own Gordon McQuere and featuring soprano Jennifer Forni. We’ll conclude with Mussorgsky’s orchestral masterpiece, Pictures at an Exhibition, a musical promenade through a collection of paintings by Russian artist Viktor Hartmann. 

Ravel – La Valse
Gordon McQuere – Rossetti Songs
With Jennifer Forni, Soprano
Mussorgsky/Ravel – Pictures at an Exhibition

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April 24, 2021 • 7:30 p.m. — Diamonds in the Sky — POPS

Our final concert of our Diamond Anniversary year will take you to a galaxy far, far away as we perform music from the entire Star Wars movie franchise. Don’t miss the chance to hear these iconic musical masterpieces live with a full orchestra.

Star Wars – Suite for Orchestra

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