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Presenting our KC Symphony 2022/23 Season: Classical, Pops and Family Series

Filled with good times, great music and exciting performances. Secure your season tickets today!


Classical Series Concerts

View the Classical Series concert grid HERE
Page through the flipbook version of our Season Brochure HERE

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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. 
Or…Create Your Own season ticket package by selecting 4 or more concerts from our entire schedule. Click or call (816) 471-0400 to order.


Masterworks and Bravo Series
Friday and Saturday, January 13-14, 2023 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, January 15, 2023 at 2 p.m.
Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center
Francesco Lecce-Chong, guest conductor
Geneva Lewis, violin
MASON BATES  Garages of the Valley
OTTORINO RESPIGHI  Fountains of Rome

Mason Bates has carved out a reputation as an innovator and he delivers on that promise with Garages of the Valley, a trek through the imagined music of Silicon Valley’s tech geniuses in their garage development days. Bates conjures a quicksilver world out of exotic textures and tunings, taking the music from low-tech garage to hyperkinetic virtual reality. Written when he was a teenager, Mozart’s Third Violin Concerto is a wonderful gem filled with some of his most irrepressibly joyous music. New Zealand-born violinist Geneva Lewis shares her youthful exuberance — and serious artistry — in performances sure to bring a smile to your face. Guest conductor Francesco Lecce-Chong will be your tour guide for a visit to Rome, via Respighi’s colossal Fountains of Rome and Pines of Rome. Respighi depicts nature and cascades of water in that “other” City of Fountains before turning his attention to the centuries-old trees which so characteristically dominate the Roman landscape. Join Maestro Lecce-Chong and your Kansas City Symphony for this stupendous adventure.

Masterworks and Ovation Series
Friday and Saturday, January 20-21, 2023 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, January 22, 2023 at 2 p.m.
Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center
Kevin John Edusei, guest conductor
Maria Ioudenitch, violin
RICHARD WAGNER  Overture to Der fliegende Holländer
SAMUEL BARBER  Violin Concerto

Born in Russia but raised in Kansas City, violinist Maria Ioudenitch returns home for another superlative appearance with KCS, this time performing Samuel Barber’s lyric Violin Concerto. Fresh from wins in three different international violin competitions, Ioudenitch will touch your heart with one gorgeous melody after another and thrill you with the concluding movement’s explosive perpetual motion. Exceptionally busy in Europe, guest conductor Kevin John Edusei makes his way to this side of the Atlantic for his debut with the Kansas City Symphony. Drawing on his operatic expertise, Edusei leads the orchestra in the overture to Richard Wagner’s early masterpiece The Flying Dutchman, a story of redemption through love. Tender song is juxtaposed with fierce waves of sound in a gripping drama. Once more, the sea and love form a backdrop for this program in Zemlinsky’s musical setting of Hans Christian Andersen’s folktale “The Little Mermaid.” Composed in the wake of a failed love affair, The Mermaid was Zemlinsky’s effort at therapy to move on with his life. You’ll find the lush orchestration and seeming endless supply of exquisite sounds in this fantasy totally enchanting.

Masterworks and Bravo Series
Friday and Saturday, February 10-11, 2023 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, February 12, 2023 at 2 p.m.
Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center
Ruth Reinhardt, guest conductor
Steven Banks, saxophone
BILLY CHILDS  Saxophone Concerto (Kansas City Symphony co-commission)
JEAN SIBELIUS  Symphony No. 5

We welcome German guest conductor Ruth Reinhardt for her Kansas City Symphony debut in a wide-ranging program. Grażyna Bacewicz’s spirited Overture opens the concert with a fabulous flourish that belies its origin in war-torn Poland during World War II. Her stylish writing for strings — no doubt shaped by her great skill as a violinist — carries the orchestra along in this delightful treasure. The saxophone’s distinctive tone color will be on lavish display in Billy Childs’ new Saxophone Concerto, a work co-commissioned by the Kansas City Symphony. A four-time Grammy® Award winner, Childs blends classical, jazz and pop styles into a delectable fusion that transcends genres. Impressive young saxophonist Steven Banks will wow you with his artistry and prodigious talent. Few composers are as closely identified with their homeland as Finnish composer Jean Sibelius. Written with a strong sense of nationalist fervor, Sibelius’ music conveys his deep love of Finland and its spacious Nordic landscape. The broad expanse of his Fifth Symphony has complex layered textures that never obscure the warm lyricism at the heart of his music. The concluding six chords will have you on the edge of your seat with rapt anticipation.

Masterworks and Ovation Series
Friday and Saturday, March 3-4, 2023 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, March 5, 2023 at 2 p.m.
Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center
Matthias Pintscher, guest conductor
George Li, piano
GYORGY LIGETI  San Francisco Polyphony
MAURICE RAVEL  Piano Concerto in G Major
MAURICE RAVEL  Rapsodie espagnole
ALEXANDER SCRIABIN  Poème d’extase (Poem of Ecstasy)

Guest conductor Matthias Pintscher is a prolific composer as well as music director of the Ensemble Intercontemporain, a leading contemporary music ensemble. He brings his unique insight to György Ligeti’s San Francisco Polyphony. Composed while Ligeti was living near San Francisco, the work’s melodic patterns rise out of the fog but fall back into a miasma of sound. Two marvelous works by Maurice Ravel form the heart of this program. A master orchestrator, Ravel created an abundance of orchestral tone colors in his music and the Piano Concerto in G Major provides ample evidence of his expertise. Aiming for lighthearted brilliance, Ravel’s concerto delights the mind and senses alike with its wit, charm and effervescence. Pianist extraordinaire George Li returns to Kansas City for another star turn in this delightful work. Drawing on his mother’s Basque heritage, Ravel captured the flavor of Spain with bejeweled timbres in his Rapsodie espagnole. You’ll be enthralled by its sensuously lithe lines and rhythmic vitality. Concluding this program of magnificent tone colors is a work by Russian composer and pianist Alexander Scriabin. In his obsessive quest for transcendence, Scriabin wrote music using a complex harmonic language. His metaphysical musings reached an apotheosis in The Poem of Ecstasy. Its voluptuous sound will envelop you in a wonderfully mystical experience, and the truly ecstatic ending will raise the roof! Sponsored by AdventHealth.

Masterworks and Ovation Series
Featuring the Women of the KC Symphony Chorus
Friday and Saturday, March 24-25, 2023 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, March 26, 2023 at 2 p.m.
Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center
Teddy Abrams, guest conductor
Jennifer Koh, violin
Women of the Kansas City Symphony Chorus, Charles Bruffy, chorus director
CAROLINE SHAW  The Observatory
MISSY MAZZOLI  Violin Concerto

Join your Kansas City Symphony for a concert that’s out of this world! Stargazers can revel in Caroline Shaw’s expansive piece, The Observatory.  Inspired by a visit to Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, Shaw juxtaposes chaos and clarity in this work, using as she describes it, “very large chords and some very large spaces.” Violinist Jennifer Koh keeps adding to her broad and eclectic repertoire by commissioning works as part of her New American Concerto project. Missy Mazzoli’s Violin Concerto is the sixth in the series, premiering in 2022. Mazzoli’s sound world is anchored in tradition but freely roams about, sometimes meditative and occasionally subversive but always compelling. Conducting phenom Teddy Abrams is known for his unquenchable enthusiasm and imaginative approach to classical music. He’ll bring that zest to Gustav Holst’s The Planets, an orchestral tour de force. Holst’s awe-inspiring musical depictions of the celestial heavens are as richly varied as their planetary namesakes. From the powerful music for Mars and fleet notes representing Mercury to the grandeur of Saturn and the mystical sounds of Neptune, head for symphonic space this weekend. After hearing the concert, be sure to check out the Kansas City Symphony’s recording of The Planets!

Masterworks and Bravo Series
Friday and Saturday, March 31-April 1, 2023 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, April 2, 2023 at 2 p.m.
Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center
Thomas Wilkins, guest conductor
Ray Ushikubo, piano (Underwritten by the Almy Legacy Fund)
GEORGE GERSHWIN  Rhapsody in Blue
CARL NIELSEN  Symphony No. 4, “Inextinguishable”

You’ll delight in this marvelous springtime program led by guest conductor Thomas Wilkins, principal conductor of the Hollywood Bowl orchestra. English composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor was a sensation before his untimely death in 1912. The suite from Coleridge-Taylor’s ballet Hiawatha draws on his musical setting of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s epic ode, seeking to portray what he called the poem’s “simplicity, unaffected expression and unforced realism.” The music is radiant, rhythmically animated and utterly captivating. Gershwin’s ever-popular Rhapsody in Blue features rising talent Ray Ushikubo. Bridging the worlds of classical and popular music, Rhapsody in Blue is beloved for its cheeky tunefulness, jaunty rhythms and unabashed sentimentality. Confronted with the ravages of World War I, Danish composer Carl Nielsen wanted to express the spirit of life in his Symphony No. 4.  Filled with drama (and a symbolic battle between two sets of timpani), the symphony is a veritable maelstrom of sound that affirms what Nielsen called “the elemental will to live.” Inextinguishable, indeed.

Masterworks and Ovation Series
With your KC Symphony Chorus
Friday and Saturday, April 21-22, 2023 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, April 23, 2023 at 2 p.m.
Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center
Michael Stern, conductor
Kansas City Symphony Chorus, Charles Bruffy, chorus director
Sasha Cooke, mezzo-soprano
Scott Hendricks, baritone
GUSTAV HOLST  Walt Whitman Overture
FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN  Symphony No. 96, “The Miracle”
PAUL HINDEMITH  When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d

Gustav Holst had composed numerous vocal works when he set out to write an orchestral overture at the age of 25 in 1899. Already displaying a sure command of orchestration, the resultant Walt Whitman Overture evokes Mendelssohn with its shimmering strings and exuberant brass. Haydn’s “Miracle” Symphony received the moniker when, at its 1795 premiere in London, audience members left their seats to get close to the great composer and thus escaped catastrophe when a huge chandelier crashed down on their empty seats. Even though we now know the subtitle was erroneously attributed to Symphony No. 96 — it was Symphony No. 102 performed that fateful evening — the music is gracious, joyous, and inventive.  It will be a miracle if you don’t love this symphony! Paul Hindemith’s moving oratorio When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d was written to commemorate the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and is based on the poem of the same name by Walt Whitman. Mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke and baritone Scott Hendricks join the Symphony and Chorus in this eloquent music which gives powerful shape to feelings of loss and grief.

Masterworks and Bravo Series
Friday and Saturday, June 2-3, 2023 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, June 4, 2023 at 2 p.m.
Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center
Michael Stern, conductor
Julia Bullock, soprano
FREDERICK DELIUS  The Walk to the Paradise Garden
JESSIE MONTGOMERY  Five Freedom Songs (Kansas City Symphony co-commission)
GUSTAV MAHLER  Symphony No. 4

English composer Frederick Delius is known for atmospheric compositions using his own particular blend of Romanticism and Impressionism. The Walk to the Paradise Garden was a 1907 addition to his earlier opera, A Village Romeo and Juliet. Rich orchestrations contrast delicate sonorities and portray the timeless gaze between young lovers. We are thrilled to showcase one of America’s leading young composers, Jessie Montgomery, with a new work co-commissioned by the Kansas City Symphony. A talented violinist, Montgomery has a unique ability to use symphonic sounds to convey complex thoughts and emotions. Giving voice to Montgomery’s Five Freedom Songs is Julia Bullock, a soprano superstar hailing from St. Louis, Missouri. A versatile artist with a keen intellect and deep sense of social consciousness, Bullock is the perfect fit to bring Montgomery’s songs to life. Each of Gustav Mahler’s monumental symphonies is a deeply moving journey for the listener, exploring the soul through music of raw power, exquisite refinement and sheer glorious sound. His Fourth Symphony delves into themes of childhood, innocence and spirituality, with Bullock’s angelic soprano expressing the child’s vision of heaven that is at the heart of this compelling work. Voice and symphony orchestra meld together in serene beauty.

Masterworks and Bravo Series
Friday and Saturday, June 16-17, 2023 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, June 18, 2023 at 2 p.m.
Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center
Michael Stern, conductor
Emanuel Ax, piano
LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN  Piano Concerto No. 3
IGOR STRAVINSKY  Le sacre du printemps (The Rite of Spring)

Emanuel Ax is one of the world’s great pianists and a perennial Kansas City favorite. He returns to play Beethoven’s exciting Piano Concerto No. 3. This brilliant work opened the door for Beethoven’s revolutionary music that would astound the world.  At turns energetic, driving, ingenious, and thunderous — this concerto is completely irresistible. You’ll be shouting “Amen!” after hearing Carlos Simon’s homage to his family’s multi-generational experience in the African American Pentecostal church. Overflowing with vibrant sounds and jazzy rhythms, AMEN! is a loving evocation of an energetic and emotion-packed church service, a time for communal meditation, joy and transcendence. More than a century after its epic premiere, The Rite of Spring is still powerful, challenging us with its complex rhythms and iconic tone colors. Stravinsky’s masterpiece is stunning in the sheer range of its expression. From amorphous swirls to jagged edges, subtle shadings to primal screams, The Rite of Spring truly is one of the greatest and most influential works of all time.

Masterworks and Ovation Series
Season Finale
Friday and Saturday, June 23-24, 2023 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, June 25, 2023 at 2 p.m.
Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center
Valentina Peleggi, guest conductor
Kenny Broberg, piano
GIACOMO PUCCINI  Preludio sinfonico

A blockbuster conclusion to a brilliant season! Award winner at the Van Cliburn and Tchaikovsky international competitions, 2021 American Pianist Award winner Kenny Broberg brings his breathtaking virtuosity to Rachmaninoff’s tuneful and utterly mesmerizing Piano Concerto No. 2. Rachmaninoff composed the piece following a course of hypnosis needed after the disastrous premiere of his first symphony. The result is pure genius, filled with thundering chords, dazzling displays and luscious melodies you’ll be humming on the way home. Puccini’s early Preludio sinfonico offers glimpses of the spellbinding opera scores yet to come. Exhibiting more than a touch of Wagner’s influence, Preludio sinfonico’s melodies are still pure Puccini, richly elegant and enthralling. Italian guest conductor and music director of the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Valentina Peleggi, is winning acclaim on three continents for her insightful interpretations of orchestral and operatic repertoire. She leads your Kansas City Symphony in Tchaikovsky’s brooding, heroic Symphony No. 4. Sometimes tagged “Fate” for its bold opening theme, the symphony runs the entire gamut of emotions. From deep melancholy to unbridled exuberance, this work is over the top — bravissimo!

Pops Series (4 concert package)

Friday & Saturday, January 6-7, 2023 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, January 8, 2023 at 2 p.m.
Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center
Byron Stripling, guest conductor
Carmen Bradford, vocalist
Leo Manzari, tap dancer

Byron Stripling is heralded as a “powerhouse trumpeter gifted with a soulful voice and a charismatic onstage swagger.” He’ll explore a magical world of song and dance popularized in the clubs of the ’40s and ’50s. Inspired by Harlem’s famed musical hot spots like The Cotton Club and The Savoy, this swingin’ night of musical sensations focuses on Harlem’s heyday — a time when Duke Ellington’s orchestra was the house band, and Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, and Ethel Waters showcased the classics. Sponsored by FORVIS.

Friday & Saturday, February 3-4, 2023 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, February 5, 2023 at 2 p.m.
Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center
Gonzalo Farias, David T. Beals III Associate Conductor

She fought for civil rights. She fought for women’s rights. She won eighteen Grammy® Awards. She appeared on the Billboard® charts 112 times making her the most charted female artist in history. She was the first female performer to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She was named the greatest singer of all time by Rolling Stone. She was the Queen of Soul. The story of Aretha Franklin is the story of America in the second half of the twentieth century. Her music, her activism, her faith and her strength are woven into the fabric of our history. “Respect: A Tribute to Aretha Franklin” celebrates the singer, the icon, the leader, the woman. Sponsored by Helzberg Diamonds.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, March 13-15 at 7 p.m.
Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center
Gonzalo Farias, David T. Beal III Associate Conductor

Grammy Award®-winning saxophonist Kenny G is the top selling instrumental musician of our time. His easy style and smooth sounds will transport you to Havana and beyond. Hear “Songbird,” “Forever in Love,” “Heart and Soul,” “Silhouette” and “My Heart Will Go On.” Kenny G will captivate and carry you away. Sponsored by Country Club Bank.

Friday & Saturday, April 14-15, 2023 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, April 16, 2023 at 2 p.m.
Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center
Jack Everly, guest conductor
Ashley Brown, vocalist

Before Rodgers and Hammerstein, there was Rodgers and Hart. They took Broadway (and Hollywood) by storm with one hit show after another: “The Boys From Syracuse,” “Jumbo!,” “By Jupiter,” “Pal Joey,” “Babes In Arms,” and “One Hour With You.” Fall in love all over again with Richard Rodgers’ hit songs, whether he was paired with writers Hart, Hammerstein, Charnin, Narnick or Sondheim. You’ll hear “Lover,” “Falling In Love With Love,” “This Can’t Be Love,” “Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered,” “My Romance,” “Little Girl Blue Where Or When,” “Blue Moon” and many others. Broadway’s original Mary Poppins, Ashley Brown, sings the music of Richard Rodgers for you as only she can. A singular talent brings to life the music of one of America’s greatest popular composers. Sponsored by Associated Audiologists.

Family Series 

Sunday, January 29, 2023 at 2 p.m.
Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center
Gonzalo Farias, David T. Beals III Associate Conductor

Philharmonia Fantastique: The Making of the Orchestra is an animated film that flies through the instruments of the orchestra to explore the age-old connection of creativity and technology. This collaboration between composer and DJ Mason Bates, director and sound designer Gary Rydstrom, and animator Jim Capobianco is guided by a magical sprite who makes violin strings vibrate, brass valves slice air, and drumheads resonate.  Imaginatively blending traditional and modern animation styles, it is a kinetic and cutting-edge guide to the orchestra.  By the film’s end, the orchestra overcomes its differences to demonstrate “unity from diversity” in a spectacular finale.

In partnership with the Kansas City Zoo
Sunday, March 12, 2023 at 2 p.m.
Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center
Gonzalo Farias, David T. Beals III Associate Conductor

Lions and tigers and … horns? … oh my! Join in on the fun as we explore different animal families through music. From cute and cuddly to wild and woolly, we’ll show a menagerie of images and video of our favorite furry and feathered friends from the Kansas City Zoo while the orchestra takes us on a wildlife adventure.


Special Presentations (Add-on to your Subscription Package)

Film + Live Orchestra
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday & Saturday, January 25-28, 2023 at 7 p.m.
Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center
Jason Seber, guest conductor

In 2018, Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther” quickly became a global sensation and cultural phenomenon, showing a new dimension of what superhero films could be. Rolling Stone raved, “The film lights up the screen with a full-throttle blast of action and fun. That’s to be expected. But what sneaks up and floors you is the film’s racial conscience and profound, astonishing beauty.” Now you can relive the excitement of T’Challa becoming king and battling Killmonger, all while your Kansas City Symphony performs Ludwig Göransson’s Oscar® and Grammy®-winning score live to picture.

Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, March 13-15 at 7 p.m.
Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center
Gonzalo Farias, David T. Beal III Associate Conductor

Grammy Award®-winning saxophonist Kenny G is the top selling instrumental musician of our time. His easy style and smooth sounds will transport you to Havana and beyond. Hear “Songbird,” “Forever in Love,” “Heart and Soul,” “Silhouette” and “My Heart Will Go On.” Kenny G will captivate and carry you away. Sponsored by Country Club Bank.

Special Concert Event
Saturday, March 18, 2023 at 8 p.m.
Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center
Gonzalo Farias, David T. Beals II Associate Conductor

Known for their folk-rock music, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers, the two halves of the dynamic duo, bring their energetic and captivating music to Helzberg Hall, performing with your KC Symphony. Celebrating their successful four-decade-long career, the program features Indigo Girls’ popular hits like “Galileo,” “Kid Fears,” “Closer to Fine,” and “Making Promises.” Don’t miss this incredible concert that blurs the lines between folk, rock, pop, and classical genres. Sponsored by Veracity Consulting.

Special Concert Event
Friday, May 5, 2023 at 8 p.m.
Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center
Gonzalo FariasDavid T. Beals III Associate Conductor

Everybody Dance! Disco is the sound of the 70’s and it still has the power to get us “movin’ and groovin’.” Travel back to the days when “Saturday Night Fever” was a box-office smash, Donna Summer was the queen of the air waves and Beethoven had his first top-40 hit. Your KC Symphony musicians invite you to celebrate those disco days and boogie nights with a cast of New York’s top performers celebrating super-hits of the decade by Abba, the Bee Gees, Gloria Gaynor, Barbra Streisand, Barry Manilow, Donna Summer and more! Sponsored by McCownGordon Construction, US Engineering, and Mark One Electric Co.

Special Concert Event
Saturday, May 13, 2023 at 8 p.m.
Helzberg Hall, Kaufman Center
Gonzalo Farias, David T. Beals III Associate Conductor
Michael Feinstein, vocalist and piano

Join Michael Feinstein and your Kansas City Symphony as we travel through the life and songs of Judy Garland, celebrating her 100th birthday. This brand-new multimedia concert event features big screen film clips, never-before-seen photos, rare audio recordings, good humor and of course, great music.

Film + Live Orchestra
Thursday, Friday & Saturday, May 18-20, 2023 at 8 p.m.
Sunday, May 21 at 3 p.m.
Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center
Gonzalo Farias, David T. Beals II Associate Conductor

Fencing, fighting, giants, monsters, true love, miracles. Experience one of the most beloved films of all time as never before, with the power of your KC Symphony performing the entire musical score live-to-picture! Directed by Rob Reiner, “The Princess Bride” features an all-star cast including Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, Billy Crystal, Carol Kane, Christopher Guest and André the Giant. Mark Knopfler’s unforgettable score has been specially arranged for symphony orchestra. Missing The Princess Bride™ in Concert would be inconceivable. In the words of Miracle Max… “Have fun stormin’ the castle!”