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Presenting our 2021/22 Symphony Season

Excitement awaits! Classical, Pops & Family Series, plus Holiday Concerts and Special Presentations

Masterworks, Bravo & Ovation

Classical Series Concerts

View our vaccination requirements and masking recommendations for Fall/Winter 2021 Symphony concerts HERE.

Order New Subscriptions

To order new season subscription seats and parking online, CLICK HERE
Choose your Classical Series: Masterworks (10 concerts), Bravo or Ovation (5 concerts each),
Then choose your day to attend: Friday evening, Saturday evening or Sunday afternoon,
Finally, choose your seating section based on availability. 

Masterworks and Bravo Series
STRAUSS’ DEATH AND TRANSFIGURATION, PROKOFIEV’S SECOND VIOLIN CONCERTO
Friday and Saturday, January 28-29 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, January 30 at 2 p.m.
RICHARD STRAUSS  Tod und Verklärung (Death and Transfiguration)
JOEL THOMPSON  (Kansas City Symphony co-commission)
SERGEI PROKOFIEV  Violin Concerto No. 2
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN  Leonore Overture No. 3
Michael Stern, conductor
Vadim Gluzman, violin

Richard Strauss’s meditation on mortality, Death and Transfiguration lifts the curtain on this concert. Despite the title, this is not music of grief, but uplifting serenity. The dazzling virtuoso Vadim Gluzman returns to the KCS as soloist in Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2. The slow movement is shimmeringly beautiful; but there is also restlessness and lament in the concerto, reflecting the uncertainty of the 1930’s when it was written. But the call for justice is the heart of this program, in the works by Beethoven and Joel Thompson. Leonore Overture No. 3, originally composed for Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio, recounts Leonore’s loyalty and love as she works to free her unjustly imprisoned husband. Thompson is an eloquent new American voice in the conversation around social justice and equity. His new work was inspired by various texts by James Baldwin which form the narration for the work: “The future of this world … depends on to what extent and by what means we liberate ourselves from a vocabulary which now cannot bear the weight of reality.”

Masterworks and Ovation Series
PROKOFIEV’S FIFTH, WITH TCHAIKOVSKY’S ROCOCO VARIATIONS
Friday and Saturday, February 4-5, 2022 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, February 6, 2022 at 2 p.m.
ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK  Othello Overture
PIOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY  Variations on a Rococo Theme
SERGEI PROKOFIEV  Symphony No. 5
Eduardo Strausser, guest conductor
Zlatomir Fung, cello

Dvořák’s Othello Overture was originally conceived as the middle work of a trilogy; between the two other overtures, one celebrating nature and the other, the revelry at a carnival, this one is a musical depiction of all of the themes in Shakespeare’s drama: love, conflict, jealousy and heartbreak, the full spectrum from joy to tragedy. At 21 years of age, Zlatomir Fung is a rising star, with an already long list of awards and accomplishments to his credit. The youngest musician ever to win First Prize in the cello division at the International Tchaikovsky Competition, Fung makes his KCS debut playing Tchaikovsky’s elegant Variations on a Rococo Theme. Prokofiev’s reputation during his lifetime as a great melodist is confirmed throughout his monumental Symphony No. 5. The symphony is full of satire, tenderness, humor, and at the end, unleashed energy and relentless percussion which never fail to quicken the pulse. Eduardo Strausser takes the podium for this concert. Our Ovation Series is presented by Audible Hearing Centers.

Masterworks and Ovation Series
ELGAR’S FIRST, PLUS MOZART’S PIANO CONCERTO NO. 24
Friday and Saturday, March 4-5, 2022 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 6, 2022 at 2 p.m.
HENRY PURCELL/BENJAMIN BRITTEN  Chacony in G Minor
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART  Piano Concerto No. 24
EDWARD ELGAR  Symphony No. 1
Michael Francis, guest conductor
Martina Filjak, piano

Michael Francis is the guest conductor of this celebration of (mostly) English music. In the 17th century, Henry Purcell was a star of English Baroque music. Three centuries later, his imaginative Chacony in G minor inspired another major British composer, Benjamin Britten, to arrange it for string orchestra in a simple and touching setting. Pianist Martina Filjak has received international attention for her memorable performances with leading orchestras worldwide. In her KC Symphony debut, she plays Mozart’s brooding and profound c minor concerto, with a slow movement that is a miraculous example of stillness in motion. But then back to England. Elgar’s Symphony No. 1 charts many moods, but it never loses the simple nobility and sincerity of the opening. With a touching sentimentality and intimacy, especially in the heartfelt slow movement, this is music that touches your soul. Our Ovation Series is presented by Audible Hearing Centers.

Masterworks and Bravo Series
LA MER AND BRAHMS’ VIOLIN CONCERTO
Friday and Saturday, March 25-26, 2022 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, March 27, 2022 at 2 p.m.
ANNA CLYNE  This Midnight Hour
CLAUDE DEBUSSY  La mer
JOHANNES BRAHMS  Violin Concerto
Michael Stern, conductor
Midori, violin

This concert begins with hidden stories. While Anna Clyne based “This Midnight Hour” on two very different poems, by Juan Ramón Jiménez and Charles Baudelaire, she explicitly avoided depicting any specific narrative. She wrote, “my intention is that it will evoke a visual journey for the listener.” The visual imagery in Debussy’s La Mer is astonishing. Debussy portrays subtle shifts on the water, the play of the waves, the swells of the ocean so vividly it makes one taste the salt and feel the spray. This music was modern when it was written, and it remains modern today. Midori is a great artist, a supreme violinist, a tireless educator and activist for music, and a generous colleague. Welcoming her back to play the magnificent Brahms’s violin concerto, symphonic in its scope and soaring in its reach, is a reason to celebrate.

Masterworks and Ovation Series
PÉTROUCHKA, PLUS MOZART’S CLARINET CONCERTO
Friday and Saturday, April 1-2, 2022 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 3, 2022 at 2 p.m.
JOAN TOWER  Tambor
WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART  Clarinet Concerto
IGOR STRAVINSKY  Pétrouchka, 1947 revision
Christian Reif, guest conductor
Raymond Santos, principal clarinet, Bill and Peggy Lyons Chair

One of America’s most unique voices, Joan Tower has always followed her muse. Tambor, the Spanish word for drum, features the members of the KC Symphony percussion section – their rhythmic vitality will certainly get your heart pumping. Mozart’s final year was miraculously inspired, and among the many works he completed just months before he died was his only concerto for the clarinet. Our own Principal Clarinetist Raymond Santos brings his artistry to this achingly wistful and singing masterpiece as he makes his solo debut on the Classical Subscription series in Helzberg Hall. Igor Stravinsky’s ballet Pétrouchka draws on Russian folklore, spinning a fantastical tale of three puppets, Pétrouchka, the Ballerina, and the Moor, brought to life at a street festival. The love triangle ends tragically, with the irony that the lifeless puppet is animated and then destroyed by love. Guest Conductor Christian Reif leads this colorful program. Our Ovation Series is presented by Audible Hearing Centers.

Masterworks and Bravo Series
MIRACULOUS MANDARIN WITH RACHMANINOFF’S FOURTH PIANO CONCERTO
Friday and Saturday, April 22-23, 2022 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 24, 2022 at 2 p.m.
AARON COPLAND  El Salón México
SERGEI RACHMANINOFF  Piano Concerto No. 4
ZOLTÁN KODÁLY  Dances of Galánta
BÉLA BARTÓK  Suite from The Miraculous Mandarin
Paolo Bortolameolli, guest conductor
Conrad Tao, piano

Aaron Copland traveled to Mexico in 1932. A visit to a popular dance hall there inspired him to compose El Salón México, weaving bits of Mexican songs around his own music and the result was nothing less than a party – definitely a departure from old world European influences. Guest conductor Paolo Bortolameolli moves the scene from Mexico to Hungary for the rest of his program. Zoltán Kodály’s evocative Dances of Galánta is a lilting and affectionate celebration of his Hungarian homeland. Belá Bartók’s Suite from his ballet The Miraculous Mandarin reflects the mood in Europe after the horrors of World War I. The story is a grotesque surrealist nightmare, and while the music is terrifying and at times violent, it is also riveting; a visceral experience for the listener. Conrad Tao has garnered international acclaim as a pianist, composer, and recording artist and will be making his debut with the KCS to perform the often[1]overlooked Rachmaninoff Fourth Piano Concerto. Lighter in orchestration than the three that preceded it, there are nonetheless plenty of pianistic fireworks for an exhilarating experience.

Masterworks and Bravo Series
SAINT-SAËNS’ ORGAN SYMPHONY, WORLD PREMIERE OF ROGERSON’S VIOLIN CONCERTO
Friday and Saturday, June 3-4, 2022 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, June 5, 2022 at 2 p.m.
MAURICE RAVEL  Mother Goose Suite
CHRIS ROGERSON  Violin Concerto (world premiere, Kansas City Symphony co-commission)
CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS  Symphony No. 3, “Organ”
Gemma New, guest conductor
Benjamin Beilman, violin
Jan Kraybill, organ

Fairy Tales and Fables animate the first half of this program, led by New Zealand born Gemma New. To begin, the glowing five fairy tales that comprise Ravel’s Mother Goose entice the listener into a magical, brilliantly orchestrated world. Mother Goose is then followed by The Little Prince in a commission by Kansas City Symphony favorite, Chris Rogerson. This time, his new violin concerto, written for the brilliant young violinist Benjamin Beilman, promises another wonderfully imaginative musical adventure. Saint-Saëns’ Symphony No. 3, known as the “Organ” symphony, is a perennial favorite, especially in Helzberg Hall, where the Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant Organ fills the air with glorious music. Kansas City’s own organist extraordinaire Jan Kraybill joins the orchestra for this sonically spectacular program.

Masterworks and Bravo Series
SLEEPING BEAUTY WITH SIBELIUS’ VIOLIN CONCERTO
Friday and Saturday, June 17-18, 2022 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, June 19, 2022 at 2 p.m.
LILI BOULANGER  D’un matin de printemps
JEAN SIBELIUS  Violin Concerto
PIOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY  Suite from The Sleeping Beauty
Ryan Bancroft, guest conductor
Augustin Hadelich, violin

French composer Lili Boulanger’s D’un matin de printemps (Of a Spring Morning) is as delightful and delicate as its name suggests. From this soft Gallic spring salute to the Finnish fire and ice of Jean Sibelius’ Violin Concerto, it is a thrill to welcome back to our stage the sensational violin virtuoso Augustin Hadelich. He brings to everything he plays a musical intelligence and passion that distinguish very few, and his performances are always special events. This dynamic program, led by Guest Conductor Ryan Bancroft, closes with his own reworking of a suite from Tchaikovsky’s ballet score The Sleeping Beauty. Equally whimsical, elegant, and lilting, it’s the perfect end to this concert program, which will make you feel like dancing!

Masterworks and Ovation Series
Classical Series Season Finale!  ODE TO JOY: BEETHOVEN’S NINTH
Friday and Saturday, June 24-25, 2022 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, June 26, 2022 at 2 p.m.
GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL  “Zadok the Priest,” Coronation Anthem No. 1
JESSIE MONTGOMERY  Piano Concerto (Kansas City Symphony co-commission)
LUDVIG VAN BEETHOVEN  Symphony No. 9, “Choral”
Michael Stern, conductor
Awadagin Pratt, piano
Kansas City Symphony Chorus, Charles Bruffy, chorus director
Caitlin Lynch, soprano
Kelley O’Connor, mezzo-soprano
Derrek Stark, tenor
Peixin Chen, bass

Our end of season celebration begins with the return of the KC Symphony Chorus in George Frideric Handel’s festive “Zadok the Priest”, originally commissioned for the coronation of England’s King George II in 1727. You will think the Queen herself is about the enter the building when you hear the chorus sing their first bars in Helzberg Hall! And it is thrilling to close the season as we began – with a brilliant new piano concerto, written for the outstanding pianist Awadagin Pratt, by the incandescent young American composer Jessie Montgomery. Her new concerto is based on poetry by T.S. Eliot, inspired by the dance: “At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless; Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is…” Originally scheduled to close our 2019-2020 season and celebration of Beethoven’s 250th anniversary year, the Ninth Symphony is again our triumphant closing in an entirely different context. Beethoven’s Ninth is the single work most synonymous with a feeling of hope and brotherhood. It is the most glorious way to celebrate the fact that we are back, with our Kansas City Symphony Chorus, reconnecting with everyone throughout the community, with music that transforms us. Our Ovation Series is presented by Audible Hearing Centers.

Pops Series

SINATRA AND FRIENDS
Thursday, April 7, 2022 at 7 p.m.
Friday, April 8, 2022 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, April 9, 2022 at 7 p.m.
Jack Everly, guest conductor
Capathia Jenkins, vocalist
Tony DeSare, vocalist
As the undisputed stars of their era, they ignited the stage when they joined forces. Relive the magic of Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald with their classics “The Lady Is a Tramp,” “They Can’t Take That Away From Me,” “Body and Soul” and so many more. Amazing chanteuse Capathia Jenkins and crooner extraordinaire Tony DeSare join the orchestra to recreate the special friendship between Frank and Ella that led to so many exquisite performances together. Please note: Sunday subscribers will be seated on Thursday for this program. Thank you to Associated Audiologists for their support.

Windborne’s
THE MUSIC OF QUEEN
Friday, May 20, 2022 at 8 p.m.
Saturday, May 21, 2022 at 7 p.m.
Sunday, May 22, 2022 at 3 p.m.
Jason Seber, David T. Beals III Associate Conductor
Brody Dolyniuk, vocalist
Who isn’t familiar with the classic tunes of Queen? This electrifying tribute has garnered critical acclaim around the country for staying true to the original recordings with great vocals and stellar harmonies. The genius of Freddie Mercury comes alive with high-energy versions of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Will Rock You,” “We Are the Champions,” “Another One Bites the Dust” and many others.

Family Series (3 Concert Package)

BUCKETS N BOARDS
Sunday, March 13, 2022 at 2:30 p.m.
Jason Seber, David T. Beals III Associate Conductor
Matt Levingston, entertainer
Gareth Sever, entertainer
This hilarious and dynamic show handcrafted by Matt Levingston and Gareth Sever is chock-full of precise percussion, ridiculous songs, spectacular tap dancing, inventive instrumentation and unique musical talent. A Branson sensation, Buckets N Boards is an experience sure to entertain the entire family.

PETER & THE WOLF: TALES OF ADVENTURE
Saturday, April 9, 2022 at 2 p.m.
Gonzalo Farias, guest conductor
The timeless Prokofiev tale of Peter & The Wolf is just the beginning, as we also perform music from other classic stories and adventures near to far.

THE COMPOSER IS DEAD AND OTHER MUSICAL MYSTERIES
Saturday, May 7, 2022 at 2 p.m.
Jason Seber, David T. Beals III Associate Conductor
There’s dreadful news from the concert hall — the composer is dead! Where exactly were the violins on the day in question? Did anyone see the harp? Is the trumpet protesting a bit too boisterously? This perplexing Lemony Snicket mystery is but one of the musical stories on a well-orchestrated afternoon program that super sleuths of any age will enjoy

Special Presentations (Add-on to your Subscription Package)

Film + Live Orchestra
STAR WARS: RETURN OF THE JEDI™ IN CONCERT
Thursday, Friday and Saturday, February 10-12, 2022 at 7 p.m.
Sunday, February 13, 2022 at 1 p.m.
Jason Seber, David T. Beals III Associate Conductor
Luke Skywalker heads a mission to rescue Han Solo from the clutches of Jabba the Hutt and faces Darth Vader one last time. Experience “Return of the Jedi” in this remarkable concert event, featuring your Kansas City Symphony performing John Williams’ iconic score live as the complete film is shown on a giant screen in Helzberg Hall.

KANSAS CITY SYMPHONY CHORUS CONCERT
Thursday, March 3, 2022 at 8 p.m.
Charles Bruffy, Chorus Director
Your Kansas City Symphony Chorus returns with a very special evening of choral masterpieces.  Enjoy soaring voices performing an inspiring and interesting program.
Note: The Kansas City Symphony does not perform as part of this concert.

ABBA THE CONCERT: A TRIBUTE TO ABBA
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, April 12-14, 2022 at 8 p.m.
Jason Seber, David T. Beals III Associate Conductor
The world’s top ABBA tribute band joins your Kansas City Symphony to perform the iconic songs of a generation. “Dancing Queen,” “Mamma Mia,” “Waterloo,” “SOS,” “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!” and many more will have you dancing in the aisles and singing along.

Windborne’s
THE MUSIC OF THE ROLLING STONES: MICK JAGGER & KEITH RICHARDS 1969
Thursday and Friday, June 9-10, 2022 at 8 p.m.
Brent Havens, guest conductor
Tony Vincent, vocalist
A full rock band joins your Kansas City Symphony to celebrate the 50th anniversary of two iconic Rolling Stones albums, “Beggars Banquet” and “Let It Bleed.” Hear the Stones’ hits you know and love, like “Gimme Shelter,” “Midnight Rambler,” “Brown Sugar” and so many others. Sponsored by Veracity Consulting.