BEETHOVEN WALKS INTO A BAR
Welcome to SEASON SIX of Beethoven Walks into a Bar! This week, we meet the Kansas City Symphony’s new Associate Conductor Gonzalo Farias. Learn about Gonzalo’s journey from Chile to KC, the audition process of a conductor, and his love of vintage wine. We also chat about the Symphony’s upcoming season, opening weekend with Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and pay special tribute to a friend mentor we sadly lost this summer. This week on Beethoven Walks into a Bar.
Welcome to Season Five of Beethoven Walks into a Bar! We kick off the season and 2022 with Maestro Joshua Weilerstein. A podcaster in his own right, Joshua explains how his own show, Sticky Notes, came to be. He also chats about his upcoming visit to KC conducting Shostakovich Symphony No. 5, Gershwin’s Piano Concerto in F and William Grant Still’s Poem. We also take on another Top 5 challenge exploring the Top 5 Most Influential Classical Music Families (excluding the Sterns and the Weilersteins, of course). All that and more this week on Beethoven Walks into a Bar.
This week on Beethoven Walks into a Bar, we chat with rising American composer Joel Thompson. Joel is currently best known for his piece for men’s voices, piano and strings Seven Last words of the Unarmed, and is quickly making a name for himself across the country. We chat about the role the arts play in healing, music serving as a vehicle for social change, and Joel’s upcoming visit to Kansas City as the orchestra performs his newest work To Awaken the Sleeper. Next time on Beethoven Walks into a Bar.
This week on Beethoven Walks into a Bar we chat off the podium with Maestro Eduardo Strausser who joins us from Berlin in advance of his week here with the orchestra. And who knows, maybe we change things up and do the interview in one or more of the 8 languages he’s fluent in (Spoiler alert – we stick with English). This week’s Top 5 features the Top 5 Fifth Symphonies. Who makes the cut? Tchaikovsky? Mahler? Haydn? Mozart? Prokofiev? Tune in this week to find out!
This week we chat off the podium with German-born conductor Christian Reif. Christian joins the Kansas City Symphony April 1-3, 2022 conducting works by Joan Tower, W.A. Mozart and Stravinsky. We chat about his upcoming trip to KC, the illustrious world of summer music festivals, and an unfortunate slip-of-the-tongue incident in Miami BEACH. Plus, our Top 5 ballet scores. All that and more, this week on Beethoven Walks into a Bar.
In addition to conducting around the world, maestro Paolo Bortolameolli has somehow found the time to create an insightful video series, author a book and join us for a chat on Beethoven Walks into a Bar. We have a great time discussing growing up in Chile, exploring new music, reaching new audiences, and of course, Chilean wine. Paolo joins the Kansas City Symphony for a weekend of music in Helzberg Hall April 21-23, 2022.
This week on Beethoven Walks into a Bar, New Zealander Gemma New reflects on her week with the Kansas City Symphony conducting Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite, a new violin concerto by Chris Rogerson and Saint-Saëns’ epic “Organ” Symphony. We chat about her journey from playing violin to conducting orchestras all over the world, including a stint here in Missouri as the resident conductor of the St. Louis Symphony. She also shares her passion for experimenting with concert formats and experiences. Enjoy that and more this week on Beethoven Walks into a Bar.
Welcome to Season Four of Beethoven Walks into a Bar! This week, we visit with pianist Jeffrey Kahane and his son, composer Gabriel Kahane as we gear up to give the world premiere of Heirloom: Concerto for Piano and Chamber Orchestra. Jeffrey and Gabriel team up against Mike and Jason for a game of “Which pair knows each other better?” Spoiler alert: the father/son duo has a definite advantage. Keep tuning in throughout the season for exciting interviews with guest conductors, composers, artists and our amazing Kansas City Symphony musicians, this season on Beethoven Walks into a Bar!
This week’s episode marks a FIRST for this podcast – The first time a podcast guest returns for a second visit! Who better to start with very own head honcho, music director Michael Stern. We talk about the exciting season ahead, how the creative process of programming has been shaped by events of the past year and a half, AND we’ll have a special edition of Bar Talk that brings together two fundamental elements of the human experience; music and…bread. This week on Beethoven Walks into a Bar.
This week on the podcast, we present the first of several interviews with incoming guest conductors on this season’s Classical Series. Maestro Peter Oundjian joins the Kansas City Symphony for an exciting performance featuring works by Florence Price, Richard Strauss and Rimsky-Korsakov. Hear all about his career both as a world class violinist and conductor, how a thoughtful encounter with a conducting icon shaped his future, and find out what he’s been up to since his last visit to KC in early 2020. This week on Beethoven Walks into a Bar.
This week on Beethoven Walks into a Bar, we sit down with another friend of the Symphony, conductor Johannes Debus. We learn all about his dual life and career as an opera and symphonic conductor, and hear about some of the innovative ways in which the Canadian Opera Company is reaching new audiences. We also dispel the myth that Schumann was not a great orchestrator. That and more, this week on Beethoven Walks into a Bar.
Beethoven Walks into a Bar celebrates another Holiday season with music from around the world! Experience sounds of the season from Africa, Europe, Australia and the Americas. Plus, our new favorite segment is back with a brand new jingle…Top 5 where Jason, Mike and Stephanie discuss their top 5 holiday movies. Be ready for holiday favorites, some surprise entries, and some public shaming. This week on Beethoven Walks into a Bar.
Season Three of Beethoven Walks into a Bar is here! This week, we chat with Symphony Executive Director Danny Beckley about the state of the Symphony, our new streaming platform MySymphonySeat.org, and plans for the future. Also, what the heck is a Horsefeather? Learn all this and more, this week on Beethoven Walks into a Bar.
This week we meet the boss of the brass, the Kansas City Symphony’s principal trumpet Julian Kaplan. Hear about his recent solo appearance with the Symphony, his huge trumpet collection and his dreams of becoming a NASCAR driver, this week on Beethoven Walks into a Bar.
In order to be highly successful, a professional symphony orchestra needs excellent leadership in many areas, artistically and administratively. One of those key leadership positions you might not have thought about is the head of the Musicians Committee. We sit down this week with the current head of the MC of the KC Symphony, Acting Associate Principal 2nd Kristi Velicer. Kristi tells all about this vital committee and what happens behind the scenes to ensure that our musicians are set up for success. This week on Beethoven Walks into a Bar.
We chat this week with one of Stephanie and Mike’s most influential teachers at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, Maestro Larry Rachleff. Larry has conducted all over the world including right here with the Kansas City Symphony, but many musicians know him best as the conductor of the student orchestras at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. He has touched the lives of an untold number of aspiring young musicians. We chat with Larry and learn more about how he has truly shaped the culture of music, this week on Beethoven Walks into a Bar.
Debussy La Mer – Recommended by Michael Gordon
J.S. Bach B Minor Mass – “Dona Nobis Pacem” – Recommended by Jason Seber
Beethoven Symphony No. 5 – Recommended by Larry Rachleff
Prokofiev Suite from Romeo and Juliet – Recommended by Stephanie Brimhall
You may remember way back in Episode Two we talked about American composer Adam Schoenberg, but hadn’t yet figured out how to incorporate guests into the podcast. This week we finally get the opportunity to chat with Adam in person about his current orchestral, film and tv projects, recording with the Kansas City Symphony and aged tequila, this week on Beethoven Walks into a Bar.
The year 2020 was challenging for the entire world. We were not only facing the largest pandemic in a century, but here in America we were also continuing the fight toward true equality. And this is certainly true in the musical world as it is in so many fields. For too long, many incredibly gifted composers have not had their powerful voices heard and represented enough in the vast canon of orchestral literature. In this week’s episode Mike, Stephanie, and Jason share with you our list of 10 composers of color whose music you should know. We hope that you will find their work as compelling, beautiful, and rich as we do. This week on Beethoven Walks into a Bar.
We meet yet another fabulous Kansas City Symphony colleague this week, Associate Principal cellist Susie Yang. We chat about her work both on and off the stage, her time in the New World Symphony and the dreaded audition scene. We also lighten things up with another exciting game of Bar Talk – will Jason or Stephanie EVER win this game? Find out this week on Beethoven Walks into a Bar.
Can you believe it? Beethoven Walks into a Bar is one year old and still going strong 41 episodes later. As we celebrate the birth and growth of the Kansas City Symphony’s podcast, we also celebrate the arrival of Spring. Join us this week as we chat about our favorite Spring-inspired music, memorable performances, Spring-themed drinks and Jason’s impeccable French. All that and more in this episode of Beethoven Walks into a Bar.
Have you ever wondered why the KC Symphony is the envy of the orchestra world? What makes us tick? Well, in addition to world class musicians, an incredible staff, and an extremely supportive community, we are blessed to have a dynamic Board of Directors. We have the honor of sitting down this week with one of our incredible board members, Gena Williams. We learn how she fell in love with music, what she and her colleagues on the board are doing behind the scenes to keep this orchestra at the top of its game, and why a night at the Symphony makes the perfect date night. This week on Beethoven Walks into a Bar.
In our first Beethoven Walks into a Bar “Spring Short,” Jason sits down with his old boss and good friend Teddy Abrams, Music Director of the Louisville Orchestra. We hear all about Teddy’s creative and adaptive programming at the LO this year (with not only the pandemic, but in the aftermath of Breonna Taylor’s death in Louisville,” where they see orchestras heading in the future, and they catch up on all things whiskey related in the bourbon capital of the world. This week on Beethoven Walks into a Bar.
This week’s episode features a chat between Stephanie and fellow local arts educator Alex Espy. Alex is a great friend of the Symphony having joined the orchestra on stage for a number of educational performances over the past decade. He and Stephanie reminisce about giant toy boxes, cardboard cities, and the insane antics of local KC mascots playing it up in Helzberg Hall. Plus, they discuss the many ways art can become a child’s voice, safe place, and so much more, this week on Beethoven Walks into a Bar.
This week, Mike talks with friend of the symphony, Father Paul Turner. They explore the connections between music, service, and faith. You’ll also learn that you don’t necessarily have to be an elite athlete to letter in high school sports. All this and more, this week on Beethoven Walks into a Bar.
On this week’s episode of Beethoven Walks into a Bar, we welcome the captain of the clarinets, Raymond Santos. In addition to talking reeds, auditions, and Beethoven, we explore the equally important topics of cooking lessons, unhealthy sodium intake, and strawberry margaritas. Plus, one of our hosts has finally broken their losing streak on Bar Talk! Find out who is no longer a loser, this week on Beethoven Walks into a Bar.
This week is all about hobbies…whether its knitting, gardening, barbecuing or golfing, our hobbies are what have kept us sane throughout the past year. In this episode of Beethoven Walks into a Bar, we meet the ultimate hobbyist Larry Figg. When he’s not playing cello in the Kansas City Symphony, you can find Larry flying radio controlled airplanes, making videos, stargazing, and…juggling! We talk with Larry about all of these hobbies and more, this week on Beethoven Walks into a Bar!
We’re back!! Season Two of Beethoven Walks into a Bar is here! In this episode, we sit down with one of our favorite Symphony pairs, clarinetist John Klinghammer and cellist Maria Crosby. John and Maria tell us about the porch concerts they’ve presented in their neighborhood throughout the summer, how the orchestra has grown in their time here in KC, and we have a great time playing our own version of the Newlywed Game!
This week, we’re talking with one of the hardest working music educators in the business, Selene Hernandez. When she’s not busy running an orchestra program in Independence, MO, she fills her time teaching even more students for Harmony Project KC, a program which brings the gift of music to underprivileged children in Northeast Kansas City.
This week on Beethoven Walks into a Bar we sit down with one of KC’s most treasured musicians, organist Jan Kraybill. Jan tells us all about the Kauffman Center’s beautiful Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant organ, including what it’s like to play and maintain such a mammoth instrument. Plus, Stephanie gets her first shot at hosting a rousing game of Bar Talk!
Music doesn’t have to be your primary gig for it to be a huge part of your life. Kansas City’s favorite meteorologist Bryan Busby also happens to be a tremendously talented percussionist and plays timpani with groups throughout the metro area. We have a great chat about music, weather and play a surprise game of “Song Title or Storm Name,” this week on Beethoven Walks into a Bar!
This year we have been celebrating what would’ve been the 100th birthday of legendary violinist Isaac Stern. Back in January we were fortunate to have an extraordinary violinist perform with the Kansas City Symphony, Nancy Zhou. Nancy was the first prize winner in the 2018 Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition, and she performed the Mendelssohn Concerto with guest conductor Peter Oundjian and the Symphony. In this episode, we talk with Nancy about her career, how she’s spending her time during Covid-19, mojitos, Tex-Mex and much more — this week on Beethoven Walks into a Bar.
This week, we’re joined by the special woman who sent Mike and Jason to prison. Leigh Lynch runs a program at Lansing Correctional Facility called “Arts in prison”, and she is committed to the idea that the arts are an essential part of helping inmates cope with the stress of prison, and preparing them to reenter society as more peaceful, and constructive citizens. We’ll also find out if anyone really wears orange and how Beethoven made his way into Lansing Correctional Facility — this week on Beethoven Walks into a Bar.
Grizz Lee Bear
This week we are visiting with one of the most versatile young composers in America, Nico Muhly. Inspired particularly by minimalism, as well as music of the Renaissance, he has written operas, film scores, chamber music, and even ringtones! Most recently, Nico worked as a collaborative partner on Throughline, a San Francisco Symphony commission written specifically for a digital medium and filmed in locations around the world. We learn about this piece and much more, this week on Beethoven Walks into a Bar.
This holiday season, KCS elves David Sullivan and Fabrice Curtis have been hard at work creating a virtual musical advent calendar filled with your favorite holiday carols. In this episode, we learn how they selected the featured carols, created arrangements for various instrumentations and even edited the audio and video content. Plus, hear who wins an incredibly competitive game of “Name that Christmas Carol,” this week on Beethoven Walks into a Bar.
It’s here — the end of 2020! While this may have been a year of challenges, it has also been a year of reinvention for the Kansas City Symphony. And as luck may have it, part of that includes this very podcast! In this week’s season finale, we revisit some of our favorite moments of 2020. The podcast returns in January 2021 for season three!
Take some time for pure joy when you listen to David T. Beals III Associate Conductor Jason Seber, Principal Flute Michael Gordon and Education Manager Stephanie Brimhall sit down and talk Beethoven, music, musicians, friends and more. An inside glimpse on what drives the passion of your Symphony, plus laughter, love and music.
In our debut episode of Beethoven Walks Into A Bar, our hosts ask a critical question that has stumped musicologists for years: We know Beethoven spend oodles of time with a drink in his hand… what was it?
Hear that question answered from Associate Conductor of the Kansas City Symphony Jason Seber, along with Principal Flute Mike Gordon and Education Goddess Stephanie Brimhall, along with a discussion of the orchestra, what its like to be stuck at home due to the pandemic, and much more.
A look into composer Adam Schoenberg; then a hilarious exploration into some one-hit wonders
Jason, Stephanie, and Mike quiz each other on one-hit wonders of classical music, (and rather embarrassingly for Mike, some pop wonders too). The gang also looks at the music of young composer Adam Schoenberg, and continues the ever important discussion of cocktails and music.
Stephanie, Mike, and Jason chat about what its like to be a famous classical music soloist. Joining them this week is Sean Chen, one of Kansas City’s premiere classical music soloists.
The gang recommends the following listening to accompany this episode:
Beethoven Symphony No. 4 – Chamber Orchestra of Europe, Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Sabine Meyer plays Mozart, Debussy and Takemitsu with the Berlin Philharmonic and Claudio Abbado
Breaking down the myths of “going to the symphony”
Jason, Mike and Stephanie expose the what its really like to go to a classical music concert, which really isn’t all that different than going to a rock concert… just more comfortable seating, life-changing sound, and better drinks.
A look at what makes some tunes so memorable
The gang takes a look at different “earworms” in both pop and classical music, and talks about what makes a tune stick in the memory of the listener.
The spotify playlist is HERE.
They’ve also recommending the Bernstein Beethoven Symphony recordings which may be accessed HERE.
The gang is joined by Kansas City Symphony bassist Evan Halloin in an episode that provides a backstage look into how conductors and artistic staff put together the musical selections that make up a concert program.
Listen to the Spotify playlist here.
The gang also recommends the following Videos:
Kids and Music
This week it’s all about the young people. We take a deep dive on how to bring classical music to students of a variety of ages, and talk with local music teacher Kim Jackson about engaging kids in music all the way from infancy through college! Then you’ll learn how we make it rain inside Helzberg Hall without even getting the seats wet.
Listen to the Spotify playlist here.
What would our favorite movies be like without music? We shudder to think. This week on Beethoven Walks Into a Bar, we take a look at how the Kansas City Symphony’s Film + Live Orchestra concerts come together, and Jason will tell you what all those flashes and lines and weird symbols mean on his screen to help coordinate a live orchestra with a movie.
Other recommended links:
“The Kings Speech” featuring Beethoven Symphony No. 7, II. Allegretto
Auditions are how we musicians get jobs. Ever competed for a job and had five minutes to make your case without ever sharing anything about yourself? Not even your name? We’ll break down the whole process for you, and then we’ll be joined by Justin White, personnel manager of the Kansas City Symphony. He’ll tell you all about why he thinks auditions are fun. Can’t wait to hear that. This week on Beethoven Walks into a Bar…
This week’s guest lost both his legs in an IED explosion while serving in Afghanistan. Music helped him get his life back. USMC Corporal Tim Donley talks about the role music played in his rehabilitation and how he and his bandmates came together through MusiCorps Wounded Warrior Band and The Resilient.
Service through music is at the heart of everything we do. It’s a big topic, and a big topic deserves a big guest, the maestro himself, our music director Michael Stern. As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of Issac Stern’s birth, we talk about his legacy of advocacy for the arts, and how Michael continues the family tradition here in Kansas City, and all over the world.
This week, we’re talking to our good friend and Principal Horn of the Kansas City Symphony, Albert Suarez. Albert will tell us why the horn is not only the greatest We also have some fun playing our own version of “Around the Horn” with Albert, this week on Beethoven Walks into a Bar.
Kansas City has a lot to be proud of – the KC Symphony, the Super-Bowl winning Chiefs, burnt ends… but something that is all too often overlooked if you’re not from here is the city’s incredible jazz scene. This week we talk with our good friend and a powerful force in the jazz trumpet universe, Hermon Mehari. We look into the crossover between the jazz and classical worlds, hear all about Hermon’s brand new album “A Change for the Dreamlike”, and talk about the natural wine, fine cuisine, and the jazz scene in Paris.
This week, we sit down with one of our favorite American composers and Mike’s fellow Rice classmate, Caroline Shaw. Caroline is without a doubt one of the most versatile and creative musicians in the Classical world right now and is also the youngest composer to ever win the Pulitzer Prize in Music at age 30. Hear about her unique works for a variety of ensembles as well as her love of the Beethoven Harp Quartet and otters.
The podcast is called “Beethoven Walks into a Bar,” which means we have to talk about the big man, LVB, every so often. This week, we discuss Beethoven’s epic ninth symphony, chat with our good friend and president of the Kansas City Symphony Chorus, Kim Gear, and learn a not-so-secret family cocktail recipe that you’ll be sippin’ all summer long.
Each season our musicians need thousands of individual pieces of printed music prepared, delivered to them for preparation, and placed on-stage for concerts. Thankfully I’m not the one responsible for it all. I’d probably lose half of it. We’ll be talking with one of our true unsung heroes here at the Kansas City Symphony, our principal librarian, Elena Lence Talley. We learn all about what it takes to make this massive task happen smoothly for every performance week in, and week out. We’ll also learn about the vast knowledge and skill set required to be a librarian. When you see Elena walk across the stage with an armload of scores, those are only the final steps of a long journey!
Meet the biggest and baddest brass instrument of all, the Tuba! Principal Tuba Joe LeFevre joins us for another riveting round of Bar Talk and we get the low down on the lowest brass instrument in the band.
This week on Beethoven Walks into a Bar, it’s all about flutes and food. We go for another round of Bar Talk with associate principal flute, Shannon Finney. She’s gathered up quite a following for her weekly porch concerts in front of her home in Waldo. We also learn about her passion for cooking, and what it’s like to sit next to Mike for 13 long years.
More resources for your enjoyment!
This week in our Season One Finale, we will be answering YOUR questions. Many of you have submitted excellent questions over the past month or so, inquiring about careers at the Symphony, audition tips, the rehearsal process, performance practice, and much more. We dive in and answer as many of them as possible this week in our Ask Us Anything episode. Look for all new episodes of Beethoven Walks into a Bar as we kick off Season Two in early September! Enjoy your August and thanks for listening!