Sunday, June 23 at 2pm CDT is the world’s leading classical music channel

KANSAS CITY, Mo. | June 18, 2024 — The Kansas City Symphony has partnered with to stream Michael Stern’s final concert as Music Director of the orchestra, concluding his 19-year tenure. The Symphony’s first-ever Medici live stream will take place on Sunday, June 23, 2024 at 2 p.m. CDT, bringing this renowned American orchestra to a worldwide audience. The program, “Stern’s Farewell with Sibelius and Barber” is comprised of three masterworks that are part of the fabric of Stern’s long connection with the Kansas City Symphony musicians: Mendelssohn’s Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Barber’s First Symphony; and Sibelius’ Second Symphony. The concert has no soloist by design; the focus is on the remarkable partnership of the Orchestra and its longtime conductor.

Mendelssohn’s Overture was the first work that Stern ever rehearsed with the orchestra when he was invited to the Music Director search process with the Kansas City Symphony, so this piece brings his nearly two-decade tenure full circle. Stern has long championed American composers and has made commissioning new music, especially by American composers, a priority. Stern told the Kansas City Star, “The Barber is very forward looking, but it’s also rooted in the past. Barber owed a tremendous debt to the Sibelius Seventh Symphony when he wrote that piece.” Among the many critically acclaimed recordings that Stern and the KCS released on Reference Recordings, the disc that included the Barber First Symphony, along with the Sibelius Seventh and the Scriabin Poem of Ecstasy, was a standout release. Anchoring the program is Sibelius’ Symphony No. 2, composed in 1901, following his anthem to his homeland, “Finlandia.” “It is such a powerful statement of how music can have an effect in the world,” Stern told the Star. “Sibelius basically changed the hearts and minds of an entire nation. This second symphony was like a rallying cry for the Finnish people at a moment when they were resisting Russian aggression, which is pertinent for our times. It’s one of the most extraordinarily powerful and beautiful pieces ever and a piece close to my heart.”

About the live stream, Stern said, “The global platform and wide reach of is without equal, and it is a very special opportunity for the Kansas City Symphony to share so widely our very last performance together in my time as Music Director. The artistic evolution of the Symphony has been nothing short of transformational. I love the fact that a sizable international audience will have the chance to hear for themselves what our committed music lovers in Kansas City know first-hand: that the dedication, cohesive spirit, and artistic excellence of the KCS musicians has been the key to our many successes over the course of these past two decades. And it explains the profound cultural impact that the KCS has had for music and the arts across our city and beyond.”

The concert stream will be freely accessible on the platform for 90 days. After that, it will remain available to subscribers for three years. The live broadcast will appear on the homepage of on Sunday, June 23 at 2 p.m. Central Daylight Time (12 pm PDT; 3 pm EDT; 9pm CET). Once live, viewers also may find the broadcast by searching “Kansas City Symphony” on the platform.

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About Michael Stern
Conductor Michael Stern has long been devoted to building and leading highly acclaimed orchestras known not only for their impeccable musicianship and creative programming, but also for collaborative, sustainable cultures that often include a vision of music as service to the community. Stern currently holds three Music Director positions: with the Kansas City Symphony, where he concludes his 19-year tenure on June 23, 2024; with the National Repertory Orchestra, a summer music festival in Breckenridge, CO; and with Orchestra Lumos (formerly the Stamford Symphony). Stern also serves as Artistic Advisor of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra. And he served for 22 years as founding Artistic Director of Iris Orchestra in Germantown, Tennessee, which continues now as the Iris Collective.

As part of his ongoing activities to engage and mentor young musicians, he was asked by Yo-Yo Ma to be the Music Director of YMCG, Youth Music Culture Guangdong; he was also invited to the National Orchestral Institute, Music Academy of the West, and has been a regular guest at the Aspen Music Festival and School.

Stern’s illustrious American conducting engagements have included the Boston, Chicago and Atlanta Symphonies; the New York Philharmonic; and the Minnesota Orchestra. Stern has also served as guest conductor with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Internationally, he has led major orchestras in London, Stockholm, Paris, Helsinki, Budapest, Israel, Moscow, Taiwan, and Tokyo. He was Chief Conductor of Germany’s Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra and Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestre National de Lyon and the Orchestre National de Lille, both in France.

Stern earned a degree in American History from Harvard University before attending the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, where his primary teacher was the noted conductor and scholar Max Rudolf.

About the Kansas City Symphony
Founded in 1982 by R. Crosby Kemper, Jr., the Kansas City Symphony has risen to rank among the top 25 orchestras in the United States. The orchestra is comprised of 80 full-time musicians from around the world; over a 42-week season, it presents a diverse repertoire of orchestral and chamber music at Helzberg Hall, located in the prestigious Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Season after season, the Kansas City Symphony features soloists from various genres, bringing a diverse range of musical experiences to its audience; the Symphony Chorus, led by Charles Bruffy, frequently joins them in performance.

Under the direction of Michael Stern for 19 years, the Symphony has achieved artistic excellence, critical acclaim, and national recognition. In July 2024, Stern will assume the title of Music Director Laureate, and the orchestra will begin a new chapter with the arrival of internationally known conductor and composer Matthias Pintscher as its new Music Director.

Beyond traditional performances, the Symphony extends its reach across the Kansas City metro region with its portable stage, the Mobile Music Box. As the proud orchestra for the Kansas City Ballet and Lyric Opera of Kansas City, the Symphony continues to enrich the community through music. Whether captivating audiences at the Kauffman Center, on the Mobile Music Box, or at community events like Celebration at the Station, the Symphony remains dedicated to enriching the lives of all Kansas City residents and visitors through the transformative power of music. For more information, visit

Jeff Barker
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