Kansas City Symphony to cancel remainder of 2019/20 season due to COVID-19 concerns
April 23, 2020
The Kansas City Symphony has canceled all remaining concerts in the 2019/20 season due to ongoing concerns with the COVID-19 pandemic. The Symphony intends to resume a full performance schedule in the fall for its 2020/21 season as conditions permit. Previously, the Symphony canceled more than 20 concerts and events through May 10. With the most recent stay-at-home orders in the Kansas City area extending until May 15, the Symphony had to reassess its upcoming schedule of events.
These new cancellations affect the following Kansas City Symphony concerts through June 21, 2020:
Canceled: May 13-14, Film + Live Orchestra: The Red Violin in Concert featuring Joshua Bell
Canceled: May 15-17, Frank and Ella, Together Again
Canceled: May 20-21, Symphony Contributors’ Concerts
Canceled: May 24, Bank of America Celebration at the Station
Canceled: May 27, At the Movies: From Mao to Mozart — Isaac Stern in China
Canceled: May 29-31, Beethoven’s “Pastoral”
Canceled: May 30, Petite Performance: Musical Moods
Canceled: June 3, At the Movies: Humoresque
Canceled: June 5-7, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven and Tree of Dreams
Canceled: June 19-21, Beethoven’s Ninth
While Symphony Executive Director Danny Beckley understands the news is difficult to hear, he assures it is the right decision and that safety is paramount.
“While canceling the rest of the season is a decision we do not take lightly, it is undoubtedly necessary in order to do our part in limiting the spread of coronavirus,” Beckley explains. “We care deeply about our audiences, musicians and staff, and we have their health and safety in mind. The entire organization yearns for live symphonic music, and we look forward to being together again in Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. And, now more than ever, we need the community’s support.”
This cancellation update impacts the 18th annual Bank of America Celebration at the Station that was set for Sunday, May 24 in front of Union Station and the grounds of the National WWI Museum and Memorial. As one of the largest free outdoor events for Memorial Day weekend in the Midwest, with crowds averaging 50,000 people, the Symphony was understandably concerned about holding the annual event during the coronavirus pandemic.
“We’re all saddened to have to cancel the Symphony’s biggest event of the year — Bank of America Celebration at the Station,” Beckley adds. “We’re incredibly grateful for the annual support from Bank of America and the entire Kansas City community who show up to celebrate and remember those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. While we cannot be together in person, we will be together in spirit. The power of music is more important now than ever, and all of us at the Kansas City Symphony will continue to find ways to share our music with you during this time.”
Music Director Michael Stern also thanks for the community for their unwavering support.
“Musicians everywhere are wondering when we can gather together again, on stage where we long to be, to bring back the music we all need and love,” Stern says. “For all of us at the Kansas City Symphony, that desire is unusually intense because of our close bond with our audience and our entire community. This interruption in all our lives is necessary to come to the other side of this surreal time, together and stronger, and we want everyone to be safe and healthy. I am ever grateful for the courage and the steady leadership of our Board, and for the spirit and dedication of our musicians, staff, and volunteers. We will get through this together. Above all, we are so fortunate to have the support and affection from our audiences. We cannot say when all of this will be behind us, and none of us can predict the many ways our world may be transformed. I am convinced that we will need music more urgently than ever, and we are going to be ready for whatever comes next.”
The cancellation of concerts presents a significant financial challenge for the Symphony. As a performing arts nonprofit, the organization relies on revenue from ticket sales and philanthropic contributions from the community.
“As a ticketholder to a canceled concert, you have the opportunity to help us in a meaningful and impactful way — by returning back the value of your tickets as a tax-deductible contribution to the Kansas City Symphony,” Beckley says. “Doing this thoughtful action today allows us to immediately put those dollars to work in support of your Symphony. Your generosity will make a major difference in our ability to weather this crisis and return to our mission of enriching this region through the power of live orchestral music.
“We’re asking patrons to please consider returning tickets as a donation. Thank you to everyone who has done this so far and those who have made contributions to help us move forward during this difficult time. We greatly appreciate and value your support. Your generosity will allow us to keep the music going for many years ahead.”
Ticketholders who wish to donate their tickets should visit the Symphony website to submit an online donation form. Those who donate will receive a tax receipt in the mail. For additional questions or ticket needs, contact the Symphony Box Office at (816) 471-0400, Monday through Friday, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Please note call volume may be heavy. If longer-than-usual wait times are occurring, callers are given the option to leave a message and have a representative return their call at a later time.
The Kansas City community is also showing support by ordering season tickets for the 2020/21 Classical, Pops and Family Series. View the next season lineup.
Kansas City Symphony’s Associate Conductor Gonzalo Farias wins audition for Assistant Conductor in Houston, Texas
Matthias Pintscher Is Named Fifth Music Director of Kansas City Symphony, Starting 2024–25