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Kansas City Symphony Unveils Star-Studded 2017-18 Season

From iconic stars to timeless music, there’s never been a better time to be a subscriber to the Kansas City Symphony 2017-18 season. 

The Symphony has just unveiled 14 Classical Series, 4 Pops Series, 4 Family Series and numerous holiday and special concerts for the 2017-18 season, which begins September and runs through June 2018. 

“I am excited about our 2017-18 season for the depth and diversity of our programming,” says Kansas City Symphony Executive Director Frank Byrne. “We feature world-class guest artists as well as our own gifted musicians, and we offer everything from Mozart and Beethoven to Rodgers and Hammerstein and a tribute to Kansas City jazz. While the range of musical styles is considerable, the one constant is the excellence of our Kansas City Symphony, and of that I am especially proud.” 

The Symphony’s Classical Series is available for purchase as the Bravo Series (7 concerts), Ovation Series (7 concerts) or Masterwork Series (all 14 concerts). Music Director Michael Stern, who begins his 13th season in September, has put together an impressive lineup with many outstanding guest stars. The 2017-18 season will mark the Symphony’s seventh season in Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 

“I’m thrilled by our 2017-18 Classical Series with great music by Rachmaninoff, Dvořák, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, Mendelssohn and more,” Stern says. “We welcome back conductors Robert Spano and Yoav Talmi, and we look forward to the first appearances of Johannes Debus and, at long last, my dear friend David Zinman, one of the most important American conductors of the last 50 years. 

“Our exciting list of guest soloists includes Augustin Hadelich, Jessica Rivera, Kansas City’s own Joyce DiDonato, and the incomparable Yo-Yo Ma, just to name a few. We’re also honoring the 100th anniversary of the birth of Leonard Bernstein, arguably the most influential and brilliant American musician of the 20th century, over six different programs displaying the extraordinary range and beauty of some of his most significant achievements as a composer. I am proud of these programs, and I invite you all to join us in this American season for a great American city.” 

The opportunity to renew or purchase a new subscription for the 17-18 season begins immediately, with a renewal deadline of Wednesday, March 15. Symphony season subscribers not only benefit from securing the best seats at the best prices, but many other perks such as free exchanges for most concerts and discounts on additional ticket purchases. To renew or subscribe, visit kcsymphony.org or call the Symphony Box Office at (816) 471-0400. Single tickets for all 2017-18 concerts will go on sale to the public in July. 

Fourteen concert weekends: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; or 2 p.m. Sundays. 

  • Opening Weekend: Rachmaninoff and Capriccio espagnol (Sept. 15-17)
  • Dvořák’s Eighth with Shostakovich (Oct. 27-29)
  • Brahms’ Requiem and the French Impressionists (Nov. 3-5)
  • Romantic Royalty: Tchaikovsky and Chopin (Nov. 24-26)
  • Geller and Grossman Play Mozart plus Sibelius’ Fifth (Jan. 12-14, 2018)
  • Mahler’s Seventh (Jan. 26-28, 2018)
  • Beethoven’s “Eroica” with Bernstein’s Serenade (Feb. 2-4, 2018)
  • Bernstein, Prokofiev and Schumann (Feb. 23-25, 2018)
  • Joyce DiDonato Sings Bernstein and Berlioz (March 16-18, 2018)
  • Yo-Yo Ma, Pines of Rome and Bernstein (March 23-25, 2018)
  • Beethoven, Tchaikovsky and Bernstein (April 13-15, 2018)
  • Beethoven’s “Emperor” and Wagner’s Ring (June 1-3, 2018)
  • Mendelssohn’s “Italian” and Haydn (June 15-17, 2018)
  • Season Finale Fantastique with Bernstein (June 22-24, 2018) 

The 2017-18 Symphony Pops Series promises big names and lots of fun, with most concerts led by David T. Beals III Assistant Conductor Jason Seber.

Four concert weekends: 8 p.m. Fridays or Saturdays 

  • Melissa Etheridge with the Kansas City Symphony (Sept. 22-23)
  • The Best of Rodgers & Hammerstein: Some Enchanted Evening (Jan. 19-20, 2018)
  • A Tribute to Kansas City Jazz: From Basie to Bebop with Bobby Watson (Feb. 9-10, 2018)
  • Screenland at the Symphony: Back to the Future (April 20-21, 2018)

The Symphony Family Series is perfect for introducing children ages 4-13 to symphonic music, including the full-length version of the Symphony’s Christmas Festival. Each child subscription is only $10 with the purchase of an adult subscription.

Four concert weekends: 2 p.m. Sundays 

  • Superheroes at the Symphony (Oct. 1)
  • The Firebird (Nov. 12)
  • Christmas Festival (Dec. 17)
  • The Science of Sound with Science City’s STEAM Team (March 4, 2018)

The Symphony offers special and holiday concerts in addition to the core series. From full-length movies with the Screenland at the Symphony presentations to treasured holiday concert traditions, there is something for everyone. Subscribers have the option to add on these holiday and specials concerts when purchasing a 2017-18 subscriptions. Single tickets go on sale in July.


  • Screenland at the Symphony: Star Trek Into Darkness Live (Sept. 8 and 10)
  • Screenland at the Symphony: Nosferatu (Oct. 31)
  • Queen’s Greatest Hits with the Kansas City Symphony (Nov. 18)
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets™ in Concert (Feb. 15-18, 2018)
  • The Music of Prince with the Kansas City Symphony (March 10, 2018)
  • Audra McDonald with the Kansas City Symphony (May 5, 2018)


  • Canadian Brass: Christmastime is Here! (Dec. 1)
  • Handel’s Messiah (Dec. 8-10)
  • Christmas Festival (Dec. 15-19)
  • Disney in Concert: Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas (Dec. 22-23) 

The Symphony will announce any remaining 2017-18 concerts and events, such as Classics Uncorked Series and the FREE Happy Hour Series concerts in July when single tickets become available to the public.

To renew or learn more about becoming a Kansas City Symphony subscriber, visit kcsymphony.org or call the Symphony Box Office at (816) 471-0400.