Extra Credit: SEK Symphony Concert Sunday

The Southeast Kansas Symphony will present a concert of works entitled “Pianissimo” at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 20, in Pittsburg’s Memorial Auditorium, 5th and Pine. The concert will feature works by Gustav Holst, Ludwig van Beethoven, George Gershwin and Franz Liszt. The Southeast Kansas Symphony is under the direction of Dr. Selim Giray, a member of the PSU Music Department faculty.

The program will begin with “Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity” from Gustav Holst’s seven-movement orchestral suite, “The Planets.” From its premier until its present day, “The Planets” has remained one of Holst’s most performed works.

Holst described “The Planets” as a series of mood pieces, and in each movement named for a different planet of the solar system, many listeners see the progression of life. In this view, “Jupiter” represents the prime of life.

The second piece on the program is the first movement of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major, opus 19, featuring Pittsburg State University’s 2010 Concerto Aria winner Dongyuan Chen.

Beethoven was the soloist for the premier of this work in 1795 and the piece is generally considered a vehicle that helped the young composer advance his stature as a piano virtuoso.

The third piece on the program, George Gershwin’s iconic “Rhapsody in Blue,” transports the audience from 18th century Europe to 20th century America. The piece features PSU 2010 Concerto Aria winner Cagdas Soylar.

“Rhapsody in Blue,” written for solo piano and jazz band in 1924, helped establish Gershwin’s reputation as a composer and today remains one of the most recognizable and most frequently performed concert pieces in the U.S.

The symphony will close the program with “Les Préludes,” a symphonic poem by Franz Liszt. “Les Préludes,” composed between 1848 and 1854, appears to be related to a French ode that describes a man’s life from youth and romance through war, work and, finally, acceptance.

Tickets for the symphony are $7 for adults and $5 for students 13-18. Children 5 and under are free, although children 5-12 must have tickets. PSU students with identification are admitted free.

Tickets are available in person at the PSU Ticket Office in the Overman Student Center, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday, online (pittstate.edu/tickets) or by phone (620-235-4796). Tickets are also available at the Memorial Auditorium box office one hour before the performance begins.

For more information, call the PSU Department of Music at 620-235-4466.