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'It's Going to Be Very Emotional' - Wendy Warner Returns to the Stage with Columbus Symphony

Updated: Feb 15, 2022

The Columbus Symphony Orchestra is set to close their season Saturday, May 22 with a concert featuring internationally-renown cellist Wendy Warner. The concert will take place in Heard Theatre at RiverCenter for the Performing Arts.

Saturday evening's concert will mark the finale of the CSO's Spring season - an abbreviated schedule featuring a modified collection of repertoire suited best to the safety of both the instrumentalists and the audience. CSO's Maestro George Del Gobbo explained his desire to safely accommodate the appropriate number of instrumentalists and match it with a season he "thought was kind of a comfort food of classical music."

It has been, indeed.

Saturday's concert will open with Copeland's Appalachian Spring, and then Warner will come on stage as the featured soloist for Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme, Op. 33. This will be the first time Warner has played live with orchestra in 15 months.

"As a professional classical musician, you never really stop," Warner explained. "your career is dependent on hours of practice a day. So in that regard, I guess, that stayed very much the same for me. I kept practicing, teaching my students, and doing what it took to keep my skills up."

The day-to-day practicing didn't stop, but the performances certainly did.

"Before the pandemic hit, I had several major concerts lined up in 2020," said Warner. "All of them were, understandably, cancelled. Thankfully, I was able to continue teaching. I have thoroughly enjoyed this valuable time with my students. They have been a great source of inspiration during this time."

Warner has a longstanding relationship with the CSO and Maestro Del Gobbo. This will be her fourth concert in the last 15 years under the Maestro's baton.

"I always enjoy performing with George (Del Gobbo)," Warner said happily. "He's a wonderfully thoughtful musician and he's so kind. I'm really glad to have been asked to perform with the CSO again."

Saturday's concert marks a moment Warner has been looking forward to for some time. Her pre-pandemic lifestyle saw her traveling across the nation to perform as a soloist, and it's something she's thrilled to get back to when she can.

"It's funny, you know... " shared Warner. "Until just now, I didn't realize that the CSO concert would be the first time I'll be back on stage with orchestra since the pandemic hit. It's actually kind of taken me back a bit just now. I've been looking forward to getting back on stage for so long now, it's hard to believe it's finally here. It's going to be very emotional for me, I'd imagine. Very emotional, and healing, too. I hope it will be a beautiful moment shared together - with all of us on stage and those in the audience as well. I'm really, really looking forward to it." ◼︎

If You Go...

What: CSO's Appalachian Spring and Wendy Warner

Where: RiverCenter for the Performing Arts When: Saturday, May 22 at 7:30 p.m. GET TICKETS!

*At the time of publication, extensive COVID-19 safety requirements were still in effect for all audience members and musicians at RiverCenter for the Performing Arts. Questions? Contact the CSO for more information.

Watch Wendy Warner play a recital at Schwob School of Music...


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