2018 - 2019 SEASON

This season, the Topeka Symphony is going to ask THE BIG QUESTIONS.  Who am I?  Where am I going? What happens after death?  What is our destiny?  What is the meaning of life?

But don't worry, we won't get too heavy.  We'll also ask the happy questions:  Will you dance with me?  Will you marry me?  Will you be mine?

And since we're an orchestra, we think we ought to ask a few artsy questions:  What inspires us?  Does art give life meaning?  Are we living in the best of all possible worlds?

We're going to use classical and popular music to explore big issues about life and death, fate and destiny, art and inspiration, and love and marriage.  Composers and artists have grappled with these issues through the centuries and offered their answers in powerful, fascinating, and thought-provoking works which we will showcase in this season of THE BIG QUESTIONS.

 Kyle Wiley Pickett, Music Director and Conductor

All concerts are at White Concert Hall, Washburn University, Topeka, KS unless otherwise noted.

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Will You Marry Me?

Saturday, April 6, 2019

Our pieces on this concert take us to two different locations for romance and wedding celebrations. English composer Peter Maxwell Davies’s Orkney Wedding, With Sunrise depicts a boisterous Scottish wedding, followed by the sun coming up after the night of parties and dancing. It is one of the only pieces for orchestra that features a bagpiper in full regalia—you won’t want to miss this spectacle! Finally, we go to a small village in Pennsylvania for a wedding party in Aaron Copland’s Pulitzer Prize-winning ballet Appalachian Spring. This beautiful and moving piece depicts the excitement of the wedding, the nervousness of the newlyweds as they begin their life, and the comfort and faith their neighbors give them through the Shaker hymn Simple Gifts.

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What is My Fate?

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Tchaikovsky’s Sixth Symphony, The Pathetique, has been interpreted variously as a suicide note, a requiem for a friend, and a meditation on life and fate. The title suggests emotion tinged with suffering, the Russian Orthodox requiem makes a brief but conspicuous appearance in the first movement, and the final movement, unlike many of the composer’s other works which end in pomp and celebration, ends in somber softness, suggesting the final dimming of the light and life-force. It is moving, powerful, and heart-breaking. We also feature TSO Concertmaster Zsolt Eder and principal cellist Eman Chalshotori for Brahms’s beautiful Double Concerto for Cello and Violin.

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Ticket Pricing:
Adult/Senior: $31 or $36
Student: $15.50 or $18

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