The Harriman-Jewell series features Martin James Bartlett on February 26 at a free discovery concert at Gano Hall at William Jewell College. (photo by Paul Marc Mitchell)
The vibrant season includes orchestral and chamber music, opera, choral concerts and dancing
The spring concert schedule is packed with intriguing performances, in part because many concerts and tours have been postponed or postponed due to the pandemic. While some organizations are impatient, others are finally getting to showcase work delayed by pandemic closures, including Beethoven’s 250th birthday celebrations.
Before going to a show, check the organization or venue’s health and safety policies, as recommendations and requirements may change.
From resident companies to touring shows, we’ll see an array of creative movements on local stages.
The Kansas City Ballet is bringing back two popular works, the Gothic “Dracula” (February 18-20, 25-26) and the fantastic “Wizard of Oz” (March 13-15, 20-22), at the Muriel Kauffman Theater, as well than to support the emerging choreographic vision in “New Moves” (March 24-27), at the Michael and Ginger Frost Studio Theater at the Bolender Center.
Harriman-Jewell Series presents Parsons Dance (January 21), “Lucy Negro Redux”, a new work by the Nashville Ballet with musicians Rhiannon Giddons and Francesco Turrisi (April 9) and the Dorrance Dance tap troupe (May 27), at Muriel Kauffman Theater.
Wylliams / Henry Contemporary Dance Company continues its 30th anniversary season with a collaboration with Bach Aria Soloists (February 26) at the MTH Theater at Crown Center and a season finale of Favorite Works (May 20) at the White Recital Hall of the UMKC. Owen / Cox Dance Group is collaborating with cellist and composer Helen Gillet for a new work, “Skin” (April 1-3) at the City Stage Theater in Union Station.
City in Motion Dance Theater presents its 18th annual “Modern Night” showcase at Gem Theater this year (February 5th). The Midwest Trust Center features the nature-inspired movement of Pilobos (April 2) and the incredibly fun Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo (April 14). The Störling Dance Theater, which turns 25 this season, presents its 14th annual ‘Underground’ (Muriel Kauffman Theater, 3-4) and the long-delayed world premiere of ‘Book of Kells’ (May 13-14) at the Folly Theater .
Opera and choir concerts
The Lyric Opera of Kansas City returns to the Muriel Kauffman Theater with an epic and far-reaching work: “The (R) evolution of Steve Jobs” (March 11, 12, 13) and “Tosca”, with Marina Costa-Jackson (April 30, May 6, 8).
Landlocked Opera presents “For the love of song: ‘La Traviata’” in concert (February 12-13) and “Tartuffe” (June 10, 12, locations to be determined). Heartland Men’s Chorus presents the iconic “WHITNEY” (March 26-27) and the new pandemic-delayed co-commissioned musical “Unbreakable” (June 11-12) at the Folly Theater. The Kansas City Women’s Chorus performs “Hello, Goodbye” in honor of the retirement of artistic director / conductor Cindy Sheppard, at the Lyric Opera of the Michael and Ginger Frost Production Arts Building in Kansas City (May 20-21) .
Harriman-Jewell Series co-commissioned ‘Eden’, a newly conceived program by mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato and baroque ensemble Il Pomo d’Oro, with new work by composer Rachel Portman (April 12). The series also features The King’s Singers (February 19). Both are at the Folly Theater.
The Kansas City Chorale records its popular program “The Travels of Marco Polo” live at Helzberg Hall (February 18). They perform their annual Spring Song at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (April 16) and the new “God Save the King” program (May 14, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church; May 20, Village Presbyterian Church).
Te Deum presents religiously inspired programs with “Music of the Sistine Chapel” for their Antiqua series (January 22, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception; January 23, Grace Episcopal Cathedral, Topeka), “Vespers” at the Episcopal Church St. Mary (March 13) and “Divine” (June 11, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church; June 12, Village Presbyterian Church). The William Baker Festival Singers perform “St. John’s Passion” at Grace & Holy Trinity Cathedral (April 3) and have their “Home” concert at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church (May 1). The Kansas City Symphony Chorus presents its performance with voice only at Helzberg Hall (March 3). KC VITAs presents “Voices of VITAs” (February 6, location to be determined).
Spire Chamber Ensemble collaborates with the Kansas City Youth Chorus and Grammy-nominated organist Jan Kraybill for “Awakening New Sounds,” with the Ben A. Spalding World Premiere (April 2, Lawrence; April 3, Village Presbyterian) and presents bass-baritone Jonathan Woody for “There’s a Balm in Gilead” (June 4) at the Presbyterian Church in Westport.
The Kansas City Symphony continues its season and its search for musical directors with a group of guest conductors. They will also continue to showcase traditional works with pieces from the new BIPOC canon and by composers including William Grant Still, Anna Clyne, Joan Tower, Lili Boulanger, Joel Thompson and Jessie Montgomery.
Additionally, Kansas City audiences will hear premieres of new works by Thompson (Jan. 28-30, co-commission), Chris Rogerson (June 3-5, commission) and Montgomery (June 24-26, co-commission).
For the season finale, Stern conducts the symphony and symphony choir from Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No.9, “Choral,” (originally scheduled for the celebration of Beethoven’s 250th birthday 2019/2020), with “Zadok the priest ”by George Frideric Handel and Montgomery piano concert, performed by Awadagin Pratt (June 24-26; Thursday June 23, is only Symphony 9).
Kinnor Philharmonic returns this season with its traditional New Years concert (January 2) and summer concert (June 12) at the White Theater at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City. The Heritage Philharmonic Orchestra celebrates its 75th anniversary in the Helzberg Hall (May 8). The Kansas City Civic Orchestra performs with guest conductor Boris Vayner (March 5) at Atonement Lutheran Church and presents “An Epic Finale” at Helzberg Hall (May 15). The Harriman-Jewell series co-hosts violinist SooBeen Lee as a soloist with the Kansas City Metropolitan Youth Orchestra at Gano Hall at William Jewell College (March 26). The Midwest Chamber Ensemble concludes its 10th season at the Folly Theater with works by Benjamin Boyle and Beethoven’s Triple Concerto (May 1).
Friends of Chamber Music presents Garrick Ohlsson (January 28), Vladimir Feltsman (February 11), Sergie Babayan (March 18) and Rafał Blechacz (April 10) at the Folly Theater. 1900 Building and Park University International Center for Music presents Park alun Behzod Abduraimov (April 16).
At the Folly Theater, the Harriman-Jewell series features Khatia Buniatishvili (January 29), Daniil Trifonov (April 24) and Samantha Ege (May 15, in a free discovery concert). Dr. Ege is a performer and scholar, focusing on the music of black female composers, including Nora Holt of Kansas City. They will also host Martin James Barlett (February 26, in a free discovery concert) at Gano Hall at William Jewell College and the Brandon Goldberg Trio (March 12) at the White Theater at J.
Kansas City Symphony hosts soloists Jon Kimura Parker (January 14-16), Martina Filjak (March 4-6) and Conrad Tao (April 22-24), Jan Kraybill (organ, June 3-5) and Awadagin Pratt (June 24-26), at Helzberg Hall.
Friends of Chamber Music presents two pandemic-delayed programs with the Morgenstern Trio Beethoven Festival at 1900 Building (March 5-6) and Runge & Ammon’s “Revolutionary Icons” at Yardley Hall (May 6), as well as the Brentano Quartet (Jan . 14) and Goldmund Quartet (February 20) at the Folly Theater, Anne Azéma, vocals, and Nigel North, lute (April 23), at Grace & Holy Trinity Cathedral, and the Kansas City premiere of the renowned Correspondences Ensemble international, performer 17th century French repertoire on period instruments (May 15) at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
The Opus 76 String Quartet, in-residence ensemble for the Midwest Trust Center, begins the year with an in-person performance of Beethoven’s Op.131 quartet, coupled with a screening of the film “Immortal Beloved” (January 9), as well. as well as recitals (February 20; March 20 with pianist Julie Coucheron) and another part of their virtual series “Eat, Drink & Play” (April 27). The Midwest Trust Center also presents the Afro-Mexican violin-based ensemble Villalobos Brothers and Las Cafeteras (January 30) and the Austrian schticky and virtuoso ensemble Mnozil Brass (March 27).
The Harriman-Jewell series features the Scottish Ensemble with bassist Edgar Meyer (April 3) and sibling duo Sheku (cello) and Isata (piano) Kanneh-Mason, from the impressive British Kannah-Mason family, in recital (April 29) and Free Discovery Concert (April 30), all at the Folly Theater.
The JACK Quartet goes to the UMKC Conservatory White Recital Hall (April 25), while Park ICM presents violinist Elmar Oliveira (January 29) and Ben Sayevich and Lolita Lisovskaya-Sayevich (March 2) at the 1900 Building. Violinist and composer Mark O’Connor will perform with the Folly + The Bridge Americana series with his wife, Maggie (February 18).
The soloists of Bach’s aria will finally have the chance to perform with trumpeter Rodney Marsalis for their twice delayed concert (April 30) at the Presbyterian Church in the Village. NAVO hosts the Manhattan Trio (February 12), “Cellissimo” (March 26) and “The Gift of Seasons for Mother’s Day” (May 7), all at Atonement Lutheran Church.
The Midwest Chamber Ensemble presents a work for soprano and chamber ensemble (January 23), Maurice Ravel’s string quartet and Amy Beach’s theme and variations for flute (April 10) at the Lutheran Church of the Resurrection. newEar Contemporary Music Ensemble performs eclectic modern works at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (February 5-6, April 4-5).
The Kansas City Symphony has relaunched its popular chamber music series Free Symphony Happy Hour Concert at Helzberg Hall (January 12, February 23, April 6) and, when the weather warms, will once again roll out its mobile music box, in places around town.