Two Musicians Hit the Stage with Beautiful Music

After a hiatus lasting a year and a half, two Marshall University professors musicians took the stage Sunday with a recreation of sonatas from the romantic era at the Joan C. Edwards Playhouse. Students were welcomed to a free performance at 3 p.m. by professors Solen Dikener, who plays cello and Johan Botes, who plays piano. 

“What we’re hoping to achieve is to bring back live music to campus, in a safe way,” said Botes. 

Since the start of COVID-19 last March, each performance they held was recorded. “Recording is nowhere near the same as having a live audience, having a live audience creates a different vibrant energy as opposed to being alone in the concert hall with just a camera,” said Dr. Botes. Dr. Botes and Dr. Dikener have been playing as a duo for several years at venues both within and out of the state. 

“In addition to our teaching duties, we are fortunate to have the opportunity to perform recitals and concerts annually at Marshall University and beyond,” said Dikener, “Each year we come up with a select repertoire that works from our list that we enjoy performing.” 

This year, the two focused on two sonatas from the Romantic era by French composer César Franck and Polish composer Fredrick Chopin. 

“Each work is different in nature and represent qualities from composer’s homeland. Both works display virtuoso playing and of course, many unforgettable tunes,” said Dr. Dikener. 

They both plan to have many more concerts soon, including this semester. On Sept. 17 at 7:30 p.m., they will be joined by Wendell Dobbs, interim dean of the College of Arts and Media, who will play flute in the Smith Recital Hall. 

The wind symphony and orchestra are also preparing for live concerts this semester. 

“We offer so many amazing concert programs throughout the academic year,” said Dikener, “We look forward having all Marshall students to take advantage of this.” 

The recorded version of Dikener and Bote’s performance can be found on YouTube, uploaded by MU’s School of Music. 

For more upcoming events by both musicians and other live concerts, check out the event calendar on the Marshall University page.