Make Holiday Memories with the Kansas City Symphony

Choirs? Check. Bells? Check. Brass? Check. Watch out, Santa, the Kansas City Symphony has made its list and checked it twice as the ensemble prepares for five separate concerts this December, including KC’s grandest holiday concert tradition, Kansas City Symphony’s Christmas Festival.

Canadian BrassKansas City Symphony Presents
CANADIAN BRASS: CHRISTMASTIME IS HERE!

December 1, 2017
Helzberg Hall | Kauffman Center

Douglas Droste, guest conductor

Hark! The herald trumpets sing — along with French horn, trombone and tuba in this most wonderful holiday concert together with your Kansas City Symphony. These five brass masters always amaze audiences with their exquisite ensemble playing, wide-ranging repertoire and the sheer joy of their music-making. Hear classic carols, sacred music along with fun Christmas tunes, such as the treasured A Charlie Brown Christmas. Tickets from $35. Learn more.

 

TubaChristmasKansas City Symphony Presents
TUBACHRISTMAS
December 4 & 8, 2017
Helzberg Hall | Kauffman Center

 

Celebrate TubaChristmas in Helzberg Hall on Monday, December 4 AND Friday, December 8! All area tuba and euphonium players are invited to join in the festivities. All are welcome at the FREE lunch-hour concert to listen to the sounds of the season, tuba-style! Advance registration and a fee are required to perform. Call (816) 218-2639 for more information.

Janet M. Stallmeyer and Donald L. Flora generously underwrite TubaChristmas.

Handel's Messiah

Kansas City Symphony’s
HANDEL’S MESSIAH
December 8-10, 2017
Helzberg Hall
 | Kauffman Center

 

Matthew Halls, guest conductor
Kansas City Symphony Chorus | Charles Bruffy, chorus director
Kiera Duffy, soprano
Dann Coakwell, Tenor
Allyson McHardy, mezzo-soprano
Morgan Smith, baritone

This mosaic of the scriptures remains Handel’s most famous work, and it is one of the most triumphant choral pieces ever written. The impeccable acoustics of Helzberg Hall together with your Kansas City Symphony and Chorus make this THE Messiah performance of the season! With nearly 200 musicians and inspired special guest vocalists on stage, Messiah is sure to impress and delight you. Sponsored by Thrivent Financial. Adult tickets from $25 and youth tickets from $13. Learn more.

 

Christmas Festival

Kansas City Symphony’s
CHRISTMAS FESTIVAL
December 15-19, 2017
Helzberg Hall | Kauffman Center

 

Jason Seber, David T. Beals III Associate Conductor
Kansas City Symphony Chorus | Charles Bruffy, Chorus Director
Christiane Noll, guest vocalist
Allegro Choirs of Kansas City
Rezound! Handbell Ensemble

We’re sending a musical Christmas card to you! Join the Kansas City Symphony and Chorus for this spectacular holiday celebration filled with lush symphonic arrangements of Christmas classics, fresh versions of your favorite carols, and many melodic surprises. Share the spirit of the season with your entire family as you enjoy enchanting performances by the Symphony, Symphony Chorus, Allegro Children’s Choir, the Rezound! Handbell Ensemble and a special early visit from Santa Claus! At each performance, we’ll give away a dazzling piece of diamond jewelry from Helzberg Diamonds, no purchase necessary. Sponsored by Helzberg Diamonds. Adult tickets from $30 and youth tickets from $15. Learn more.

 

Nightmare Before ChristmasKansas City Symphony Presents
DISNEY IN CONCERT: TIM BURTON’S
THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS
December 22-23, 2017
Helzberg Hall | Kauffman Center

 

Jason Seber, David T. Beals III Associate Conductor

What’s this, what’s this?! It’s the wildly inventive world of Tim Burton’s macabre classic shown in its entirety on a huge screen in Helzberg Hall for this Screenland at the Symphony presentation. Danny Elfman’s rambunctious, colorful score will roar to life in the hands of the Kansas City Symphony as you follow Jack the Pumpkin King’s quest to seize Christmas. Sponsored by Hallmark. The movie will be presented with out intermission. Adult tickets from $40 and youth tickets from $25. Learn morePresentation licensed by Disney Concerts © All Rights Reserved

For more information and to purchase tickets, contact the Symphony Box Office at (816) 471-0400 or visit kcsymphony.org. The Symphony offers a range of ticket prices and packages. Group and senior student discounts are available.

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Kansas City Symphony Increases Endowment by $55 Million with Historic 5-Year Campaign

Kansas City Symphoyn - 2017 - Todd RosenbergMore than 1,000 donors collectively committed $55 million to the Masterpiece Campaign, raising $3 million in the final 6 months.

Thanks to many generous donors the Kansas City Symphony has completed the Masterpiece Endowment Campaign, its largest fundraising effort to date, raising just over $55 million in new endowment funds to strengthen and secure the future of the Symphony.

“Completing the Masterpiece Campaign is a landmark accomplishment for the Symphony and our community,” said Kansas City Symphony Executive Director Frank Byrne. “As the region’s largest performing arts organization, reaching hundreds of thousands of people each year, we are deeply invested in the Kansas City community. It is wonderful to see the community respond so generously to invest in the Symphony, thereby enabling us to build on all the important work we have done. We are very grateful to all who donated to the campaign, and to our Chair, Bill Lyons, whose leadership and tireless efforts were essential to our success.”

The Kansas City community responded enthusiastically to the campaign, contributing $52 million quietly over 4 1/2 years and $3 million during the concluding six-month public phase. Together, more than 1,000 donors pledged gifts ranging from $10 to $10 million during the five-year period. When all campaign pledges are fulfilled, the Kansas City Symphony’s endowment will total more than $100 million, bringing it to a level comparable with peer organizations. With an annual operating budget of nearly $17 million, the Symphony plans to draw an average of 4 percent annually from endowment. In time, this will translate to roughly $4 million or just less than a quarter of the annual operating budget.

The Masterpiece Campaign grew out of the Symphony board’s goal to continue the artistic and financial success that has distinguished the Kansas City Symphony. Through a comprehensive financial analysis and study of industry best practices, the Symphony observed that the most successful American orchestras required a robust endowment to supplement ongoing and growing annual fundraising. While the completion of the Masterpiece Campaign will provide a much more stable base of funding, Symphony leaders understand that operating expenses will continue to grow and that a growing annual fundraising effort will be required to sustain the Symphony’s impressive momentum.

“The success of the Masterpiece Campaign provides powerful evidence of our community’s belief that the arts are essential,” said Campaign and Board Chair Bill Lyons. “As a result of the extraordinary generosity of our donors and the passionate work of our campaign staff and volunteers, we have dramatically increased the likelihood that top tier, live orchestral music will be part of Kansas City for this generation and many to come. We are so fortunate to have the strong, longstanding artistic and administrative leadership of Michael Stern and Frank Byrne, the strong Symphony Boards, past and present, led by civic leaders like Crosby Kemper and Shirley Helzberg, a magnificent performance venue in the Kauffman Center, and a community that believes in philanthropy like no other. All of these came together to achieve this unprecedented result.”

While it is common to cover endowment campaign expenses out of donations, the Kansas City Symphony broke this mold. Instead, the Symphony funded all endowment campaign expenses from its annual operating budget.

“What the Kansas City Symphony was able to achieve with this campaign is remarkable in many regards,” said Peter Hoskow, Principal and Managing Director of CCS Fundraising, the international fundraising consulting firm that partnered with the Symphony at various stages of the campaign’s activity. “Symphonies across the U.S. and around the world are struggling due to rising costs, decreasing demand and difficulties raising money. Despite the challenges faced by so many of these organizations, the Kansas City Symphony was able to execute a powerful campaign that will ensure this cultural icon will have a positive impact on the community for years to come. Even more, they were able to conduct this campaign in a truly efficient manner. No donations were spent on campaign expenses; all expenses were resourced from the organization’s operations budget. In our experience working with dozens of orchestras, this is an incredible accomplishment. We feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to partner with such an amazing organization in the design, early management, and ongoing evaluation of this extraordinary campaign.”

The Kansas City Symphony has played a key role in shaping the artistic landscape of Kansas City. As a driver of the city’s cultural renaissance, the Symphony is setting the standard for how a professional symphony orchestra can thrive and be connected to its community.

  • The Symphony provides nearly 70 percent of the live music at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, presenting more than 100 performances each season of 45 different programs. The Kansas City Symphony also plays 60 performances with the Kansas City Ballet and Lyric Opera of Kansas City.
  • Each season, nearly 75,000 people attend a free Kansas City Symphony performance, and more than 50,000 adults and children participate in Symphony education programs.
  • After six seasons at the Kauffman Center, the Symphony continues to increase audiences with an innovative and smart mix of programming.
  • Advancing its destination reputation, the Symphony has attracted attendees from nearly all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Guam and Puerto Rico plus more than a dozen foreign countries each season since 2011.
  • The Symphony helps make our city a vital and thriving community, creating a $22-million annual impact on the economy, generating $1.7 million in state and local taxes.

The completion of the Masterpiece Campaign is the latest in a series of successes defining the organization’s evolution in recent years.

  • In June 2016 and one year before its expiration, Symphony management and musicians harmoniously extended their collective bargaining agreement through June 2021.
  • The Symphony has successfully extended contracts with Music Director Michael Stern (through 2019-20), Symphony Chorus Director Charles Bruffy (through 2019-20) and David T. Beals III Associate Conductor Jason Seber (through 2018-19).
  • The organization has set all-time records in attendance and revenue in recent seasons.
  • For many years, the Symphony has balanced its budget (or better) and devoted more than 70 percent of its annual budget toward programming.

Music Director Michael Stern said the combination of these elements makes it thrilling and rewarding to be part of the Kansas City Symphony family.

“Successfully completing the $55 million Masterpiece Endowment Campaign is significant for all of us at the Kansas City Symphony,” Stern said. “It’s a wonderful testament to the deep connection we have with our family of donors and advocates throughout our community. This watershed moment gives us the artistic and organizational stability that will allow us to continue the artistic evolution for which we have worked so diligently over the last 12 years. With this new chapter, we can and will continue to advocate for great music, and to be a model for how music and the arts can and must inform a great American city in the 21st century.”

To celebrate and acknowledge this milestone, the Symphony plans to hold an event in the spring for those who contributed $1,000 or more to the Masterpiece Campaign. Those who wish to contribute to the Symphony’s endowment or annual fund may call (816) 471-1100 or visit kcsymphony.org.

New Concerts Added for 2017/18 Season

OUT OF THIS WORLD!

A sensory-friendly family concert

Thursday, October 19 at 6:30 p.m.
Helzberg Hall | Kauffman Center

Jason SeberDavid T. Beals III Associate Conductor

The Kansas City Symphony welcomes patrons and families with sensory-sensitivities to a symphonic performance on Thursday, October 19 at 6:30 p.m. The program will feature repertoire from the Young People’s Concert: Out of this World, combining symphonic music with visual elements. This fun and diverse performance will be specially adapted so families and friends of all abilities may enjoy symphonic music in a safe and welcoming environment. Tickets are $10.

Visit this page to learn more or call the Symphony Box Office at (816) 471-0400 between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.


SOUNDS RELAXING

A soothing evening of meditation and music

Tuesday, October 24 at 6 p.m.
Helzberg Hall | Kauffman Center

Prepare to unwind as our certified Relax and Renew® trainer Anita Bailey coaches you through various breathing and meditation techniques. Symphony musicians will perform selections to assist in your relaxation. Tickets are $10. To learn more visit this page or call the Symphony Box Office at (816) 471-0400.


MOZART’S GRAN PARTITA

A side-by-side performance with students of the UMKC Conservatory of Music

Wednesday, October 25 at 6 p.m.
Helzberg Hall | Kauffman Center

This early evening performance of Mozart’s tuneful Serenade in B-flat major, “Gran Partita,” written for 13 wind instruments and bass will be a true “side-by-side” between Kansas City Symphony musicians and UMKC students. This is event is free and open to the public.

Reserve free seats here or call the Symphony Box Office at (816) 471-0400.

Sept. 12: Concertmaster Noah Geller to Play National Anthem at Royals Game

Matt Slocum | AP
Kansas City Symphony performing at 2014 World Series Game 6 | Photo credit: Matt Slocum

Kansas City Symphony Concertmaster Noah Geller will perform the national anthem on Tuesday, Sept. 12 before the 12:15 p.m. Royals game for “Symphony Day at the K” against the White Sox.

Geller joined the Symphony as concertmaster in 2012 at the invitation of Music Director Michael Stern. Previously, Geller has performed the national anthem with the full Symphony on several occasions at Kauffman Stadium, but this will be his first time performing the “Star-Spangled Banner” as soloist.

Many Symphony musicians and staff will attend to cheer him on! Let’s go, Royals!

For tickets to the game, visit mlb.com/royals.

For a list of upcoming Symphony performances, visit this page.

Kansas City Symphony welcomes 5 new musicians for 2017/18 season

For the 2017/18 season, the Kansas City Symphony is pleased to introduce five new musicians. This includes two new full-time members, Nash Tomey (bass), and Alison Chung (oboe). Musicians Bohyun Kim (viola), Rebecca Tobin (clarinet and e-flat clarinet), and Daniel Morris (percussion) join for one-year appointments in the 2017/18 season.

Meet the Musicians

Alison Chung, associate principal oboe

Alison Chung, oboe

Originally from the northwest suburbs of Chicago, Alison Chung joins the Kansas City Symphony beginning with the 2017/18 season. Previously she held positions with the Houston Grand Opera and Houston Ballet orchestras as well as the Grant Park Festival Orchestra. She has served as acting principal oboe of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Florida Orchestra, where she also was a featured soloist. In addition, she has performed as guest principal oboe with the Fort Worth and New Zealand symphonies. Chung studied with Robert Morgan in Chicago and received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Eastman School of Music, studying with Richard Killmer. She continued her orchestral training as a fellow with the New World Symphony for three years and has attended numerous summer festivals including Spoleto, Sarasota, Music Academy of the West, Banff Centre for the Arts and National Repertory Orchestra. In her free time, Chung enjoys running, baking and writing a food blog.

Bohyun Kim, viola

Bohyun Kim, viola

Bohyun Kim joins the Kansas City Symphony for the 2017/18 season. She hails from South Korea, where she has won prizes in multiple competitions and served as assistant principal viola with the Korean Symphony Orchestra. She has performed in solo and chamber recitals around the world, and with the Tongyeong International Music Foundation Ensemble, USC Thornton Symphony Orchestra and Hong Kong Sinfonietta. Bohyun holds degrees from the University of Music and Performing Arts (Vienna), Seoul National University and the University of Southern California.

Daniel Morris, acting associate principal percussion

Daniel Morris, percussion

A recent New World Symphony alum, Daniel Morris is currently acting associate principal percussion with the Kansas City Symphony. In addition to working closely with Michael Tilson Thomas at New World, Morris also has performed with the Seattle and Hawaii symphonies. In recent summer seasons, he has appeared at Spoleto Festival USA and Music Academy of the West. Committed to contemporary and chamber music, Morris has performed works by Steven Mackey, Paul Lansky, John Luther Adams, Alejandro Viñao, Charles Wuorinen and Iannis Xenakis. Always interested in the intersection of music and technology, he has composed, adapted and performed works for percussion and electronics. Morris holds a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music and a master’s degree from Manhattan School of Music where his teachers were Erik Charlston, Chris Lamb, Duncan Patton and She-e Wu.

Nash Tomey, bass

Nash Tomey, bass

Philadelphia native Nash Tomey joins the Kansas City Symphony beginning with the 2017/18 season. An experienced orchestral bassist and chamber musician, he attended the New England Conservatory where he studied with Boston Symphony Assistant Principal Bass Lawrence Wolfe and Donald Palma of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. Under the tutelage of Boston Symphony Principal Bass Edwin Barker, he received his master’s degree from Boston University in 2017. During summers at the Tanglewood Music Center, Tomey has worked with several noted conductors including Andris Nelsons, Christoph von Dohnányi, Michael Tilson Thomas and Charles Dutoit. He also has attended the Pacific Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival and Wabass Institute.

 

Rebecca Tobin, acting associate principal clarinet and E-flat clarinet

Rebecca Tobin, clarinet and E-flat clarinet

Rebecca Tobin joins the Kansas City Symphony for the 2017/18 season. Previously she was acting second clarinet with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. Originally from Glen Ellyn, Illinois, she completed her master’s degree at Rice University in 2016. Tobin has participated in Spoleto Festival USA, Music Academy of the West, National Repertory Orchestra, Texas Music Festival, and she was a Young Artist Fellow with Houston-based chamber music organization Da Camera. As a member of the quintet Midic Winds, she was a 2013 Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition medalist. Tobin earned her bachelor’s degree in 2014 at the Eastman School of Music where she also was awarded a Performer’s Certificate. Her primary teachers include Richie Hawley, Kenneth Grant, Jon Manasse and Gregory Smith. 


To read biographies of all Symphony musicians, visit here. To view upcoming 2017/18 Classical, Pops and Family Series concerts as well as many Special concerts, please view the schedule here.

Kansas City Symphony 2017-18 Star-Studded Season features Yo-Yo Ma, Joyce DiDonato, many more

Kansas City Symphony 2017-18 SeasonFrom iconic stars to timeless music, there’s never been a better time to be a season subscriber to the Kansas City Symphony. Subscribe today for access to the best seats at the best prices. The season begins in September and runs through June 2018.

Kansas City Symphony Classical Series2017-18 CLASSICAL SERIES
Fourteen concert weekends: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; or 2 p.m. Sundays. Purchase Bravo Series (7 concerts), Ovation Series (7 concerts) or Masterwork Series (all 14 concerts). Led by Music Director Michael Stern or guest conductors. 

2017-18 SYMPHONY POP SERIES
Four concert weekends: 8 p.m. Fridays or Saturdays. Led by David T. Beals III Associate Conductor Jason Seber. 

2017-18 SYMPHONY FAMILY SERIES
Four concert weekends: 2 p.m. Sundays. Perfect for children ages 4-13. Includes full-length version of the Symphony’s Christmas Festival. Each child subscription is only $10 with the purchase of an adult subscription. 

SPECIAL CONCERTS
Subscribers have the option to add on these holiday and specials concerts when purchasing a 2017-18 subscriptions. *Single tickets to some concerts on sale now. 

  • Screenland at the Symphony: Star Trek Into Darkness Live (Sept. 8 and 10)*
  • Brian Stokes Mitchell with the Kansas City Symphony (Oct. 7)*
  • 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)

*Indicates single tickets on sale now. 

HOLIDAY CONCERTS

  • 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 other 2017-18 concerts and events, such as Classics Uncorked Series and the FREE Happy Hour Series concerts in July. 

Single tickets on sale Monday, July 24 at 10 a.m. 

To learn more about becoming a Kansas City Symphony subscriber or to purchase single tickets to select concerts now, visit kcsymphony.org or call the Symphony Box Office at (816) 471-0400.

Why Subscribe? 5 Great Reasons to Subscribe to the Kansas City Symphony

Becoming a Kansas City Symphony season subscriber has lots of perks.

VIEW THE 2017-18 season brochure HERE.

No. 1 – Amazing music and special moments.
In today’s hectic world, treat yourself to top-notch music that not only will relax and renew you, but truly inspire you. You will look forward to having time blocked off in your busy schedule where you can unplug for a bit and be in the moment. The Kansas City Symphony is consistently artistically excellent, so you know you’re always in for a memorable experience. Make it a fun outing with friends or impress your significant other with several dates already planned for the next year!

No. 2 – Greats Seats at Great Prices.
Becoming a Kansas City Symphony season subscriber is the surest way to secure the best seats available at the lowest prices the Symphony offers all season. It’s a terrific value too. Each season subscription includes the equivalent of at least 1 free concert. For example, those who choose the 7-concert Bravo or Ovation Series get 7 Classical Series concerts for the price of 6. And for the ardent classical music fan, the 14-concert Masterworks option is an amazing deal as concertgoers can secure seats to all 14 Classical Series concerts for the price of 11. Pops and Family Series subscribers experience similar benefits — four concerts for the price of three. Said another way, season subscribers save up to $20 off each seat for each concert. Becoming a season subscriber is the only way to guarantee such hot deals.

No. 3 – Free and Flexible Exchanges.
Conflict with a concert? Out-of-town wedding to attend? Trip planned? No worries, the Kansas City Symphony has got you covered with one of the most liberal and flexible exchange policies in town. All Symphony subscribers have the option of free exchanges, which means subscribers are able to exchange into virtually any Symphony concert – even into concerts not in their series. So, if you can’t attend, say opening weekend, you could switch into a Pops Series concert or a Screenland at the Symphony concert. Pretty sweet.

No. 4 – Additional Discounts.
Want to bring more friends with you? Want to add on a special concert? All season subscribers receive $5 off each ticket purchased outside of their subscription. Told you there were perks!

No. 5 – Exclusive Opportunities.
The Kansas City Symphony offers its season subscribers the chance to buy single tickets and special concerts before they go on-sale to the public. You’ll also have a chance to receive all of the latest news and announcements from the Symphony when you become a subscriber.

To learn more about all of the Classical, Pops and Family Series offerings, visit the Symphony season subscription page or call the Symphony Box Office at (816) 471-0400 or browse online at kcsymphony.org.