KANSAS CITY, Mo. | December 17, 2020 — The Kansas City Symphony plans to return to the Helzberg Hall stage at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts beginning January 17, 2021. Classical and Pops series concerts will be performed for limited in-person audiences, and subscribers also will have the option to watch concerts on the Symphony’s new streaming platform, MySymphonySeat.org.
Symphony Executive Director Danny Beckley echoes the excitement of the organization, its musicians and the community. “We are energized and elated to resume orchestral performances in person and online. While we have been able to perform for audiences throughout the fall in chamber ensembles, the sound and repertoire of an orchestra — even a smaller orchestra — is something special that we all have missed over these last many months.” The Symphony plans to be able to accommodate in-person audiences of up to 300 per performance.
Music Director Michael Stern is excited about the Symphony’s return to the Helzberg Hall stage. “Since March, our Kansas City Symphony concert schedule has been canceled, postponed, interrupted and delayed — but the music has not stopped. Our KC Symphony musicians have blanketed digital streaming and social media for months, and our Mobile Music Box concerts brought ensembles of live music all over the KC Metro. Nevertheless, we have ached to be back in Helzberg Hall with all of you, sharing together the music we so love. And while the strict necessities of the continuing global health crisis prevent us from resuming business as usual, I am thrilled to tell you this: we are coming back.”
Stern continues. “Beginning next month, we have curated an ongoing series of programs comprising more performance offerings than even our regular subscription series. From mid-January through mid-April, we have planned at least 12 performances, with all appropriate social distancing onstage and off, for a limited capacity live audience at Helzberg Hall. All of these concerts, 10 in our Classical Series and 2 in our Pops Series, led by Jack Everly, will be captured to allow all of our audience to access them safely at home. We will offer a new online program each week, and with each of them you will have a unique opportunity to be with us on stage, and hearing and seeing our performances in a new way. The choice of music mines the richness of some of the greatest music ever written for string orchestra, from Bach, Mozart and Beethoven, through Verdi, Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich, through the diversity of some of the most compelling voices of our time. The spotlight will be on soloists from our KCS family, in concertos featuring winds, brass, harp, percussion, as well as organ. And as health regulations permit, our woodwinds and brass will join us onstage and online to bring you masterpieces by Copland, Dvořák, Stravinsky and more. Then, beginning in April and going ever forward, we will bring you even more — stay tuned for that.”
Most orchestral content will be available exclusively for our concert subscribers, and we invite people to become subscribers if they are not already. Some streaming content also will be available to the general public.
Attending concerts at the Kauffman Center, safely
We have engaged experts from The University of Kansas Health System to make recommendations based on pandemic conditions and provide ongoing assessments. Following this guidance for in-person concerts January through March, we are taking the following precautions:
• Helzberg Hall will be limited to approximately 20 percent capacity, to provide appropriate physical distancing of our patrons. As a result, your regular season seats may not be available for these concerts; however, we will do our best to seat you as close as possible to your subscribed section.
• Everyone entering the building will be required to wear a mask at all times during the performance and while inside the Kauffman Center. No exceptions will be made.
• Performances will be approximately one hour and presented without intermission.
• Food and beverage service, valet service, gift shops, drinking fountains and coat check will not be available.
• Further protections include temperature checks upon entry, capacity limits on elevators, and extensive cleaning before, during and after concerts of all common areas and the concert hall.
Additional measures may be taken in accordance with public safety standards.
Seating in Helzberg Hall
Due to physical distancing requirements, the seats subscribers currently have will not be available for Symphony concerts taking place in January through March 2021. The Symphony Box Office will help subscribers select seats for this timeframe. Concerts will be held on different days and times than normal.
To view specific concert programs, days and dates, please visit kcsymphony.org/ticketing.
Details on how to attend performances in-person and access them online have been mailed to current subscribers, and are posted on the Symphony’s website, kcsymphony.org. Our Symphony Box Office has been reaching out to subscribers to determine their preference of attending in person or enjoying our concerts online.
The Symphony is launching a special subscriber-only website, MySymphonySeat.org. This site will feature Kansas City Symphony performances in Helzberg Hall, streamed live and on demand. Additionally, the Symphony will present interviews, concert talks, special looks behind the scenes and more with Music Director Michael Stern, our musicians and guest artists. Subscribers will also be able to watch KC Symphony concerts on their Smart TVs by simply logging in to their account. MySymphonySeat.org is a benefit for subscribers to one or more Symphony concert series — Masterworks, Bravo, Ovation or Pops. Family Series programming will be announced soon.
New concert subscriptions for our 2020/21 Classical Series start at only $171 for the season. Persons wishing to purchase a new season subscription may do so by calling the Symphony Box Office at (816) 471-0400 or visiting kcsymphony.org.
“We are doing everything possible to deliver the very best musical experiences to our 2020/21 subscribers,” Beckley says. “Your concert subscription helps sustain your Symphony during this time, and makes possible the innovative ways that we will bring music to you online and in person over the coming months. We do see the light at the end of the tunnel — this spring holds great promise with the recent vaccine news — and in the meantime we will deliver a range of orchestral and ensemble offerings to our subscribers.”
April, May and June 2021 programming will be announced in late February. The Symphony’s 2021/22 season will be announced in May.
“We bring you this music because we love it so, every note, and we know you will too,” Stern adds. “We bring you these concerts because while we must be ever vigilant and safe in order to mitigate the ongoing threat, we continue to believe that music, and our connection to one another and to all of you, will help all of us get to the other side of this challenging period. And we bring you the best of ourselves because, together, we believe in our community and the engagement and uplift that music gives to all of us. Here’s hoping you and your families remain safe throughout this holiday season, and we cannot wait to be with you in the New Year.”
About the Kansas City Symphony
Founded in 1982, the Kansas City Symphony has established itself as a major force in the cultural life of the community. Praised for performances of uncompromising standard, the orchestra is the largest in the region and enjoys a national reputation under the artistic leadership of Music Director Michael Stern. The Symphony performs more than 130 concerts each year, welcomes guests of international acclaim as part of its Classical and Pops series, and serves as the orchestra for the Kansas City Ballet and Lyric Opera of Kansas City.
Complementing its full schedule of concerts, the Symphony enriches the lives of Kansas City residents by providing music education opportunities for children and adults, such as KinderKonzerts, Young People’s Concerts, an instrument petting zoo and concert comments. Highlights each season include a range of free master classes, events and concerts reaching more than 250,000 community members.
The Symphony has released eight highly praised CDs to date with Reference Recordings. The latest release introduces two world-premiere recordings; Jonathan Leshnoff’s Piano Concerto, featuring pianist Joyce Yang, and his Symphony No. 3 with baritone Stephen Powell. The Symphony and Michael Stern also have recorded for the Naxos label. Kansas City’s new classical music radio station, ClassicalKC 91.9 FM, broadcasts Kansas City Symphony performances each week. For more information on the Symphony, please visit kcsymphony.org.