Kansas City Symphony

The Kansas City Symphony (KCS) was founded by R. Crosby Kemper, Jr., in 1982, just months after the dissolution of the Kansas City Philharmonic. Under Kemper’s leadership, the founding trustees of the Symphony created a sound structure for the Board and established the initial endowment. Today, the KCS is a major force in the cultural life of Kansas City and the region.

Now under the dynamic leadership of acclaimed Music Director Michael Stern, the Kansas City Symphony has experienced impressive artistic growth through its history and under the batons of Russell Patterson (1982-1986), William McGlaughlin (1986-1997), and Anne Manson (1998-2003). Aram Demirjian, Associate Conductor, conducts the Family and Pops Series. Charles Bruffy is the Director of the Kansas City Symphony Chorus.

The Kansas City Symphony serves a metropolitan population of 1.8 million people. The orchestra’s 80 full-time musicians are area residents and vital contributors to the artistic life of Kansas City. During its 42-week season, the Symphony performs a wide variety of subscription, educational, touring and outreach concerts. In addition, the KCS performs with the Lyric Opera of Kansas City and the Kansas City Ballet.

Kansas City Symphony Reviews:

“The KC Symphony, with superb direction from Michael Stern, sounds absolutely world-class. The orchestra has the full, rich, romantic sound that is so essential for 19th-century French music. And there is visceral excitement, too. The musicians are on fire, and they blaze with self-confidence…One gets the feeling that the Kansas City Symphony’s burgeoning discography will stand the test of time and that its CDs will take their place among the classics.” —Patrick Neas, Kansas City Star

“Performances that can stand with the best of them and sonics that sound fabulous even on my computer speakers combine for another Reference Recordings/Kansas City Symphony “hit”. One also has to give the Kansas City Symphony, Reference Recordings and all involved great credit for daring to record major standard repertoire pieces that often have some very heady competition.” —Don Clark (His Best Recordings of 2014 List), Pictures on Silence

“A recent CD on Reference Recordings featuring the Kansas City Symphony (KCS) conducted by Music Director Michael Stern shows they may be vying for a place among the best American orchestras. …” —Henry Schlinger, Culture Spot LA

“Mouth-watering and terrific music in good performances…The Kansas City Symphony plays with excellence and dedication, and Michael Stern solicits well-judged pacing and detailing…Worth considering” —ClassicalEar

“Stern and his players put the music across with dash and no little brilliance.”—John Quinn, MusicWeb International

“The Kansas City Symphony have been on a roll with Michael Stern…[Miraculous Metamorphoses] are works that provide conductor and musicians with a spectrum of atmospheres and colours into which they can sink their respective teeth. Stern and his orchestra do so to captivating effect, without resorting to sonic exaggeration. ….” —Donald Rosenberg, Gramophone

“Michael Stern’s Kansas City Symphony performance shows what can be achieved when a band on inspired form makes the effort to play what’s actually written. …It sparkles, abounding in oft-hidden detail.…” —Graham Rickson, The Arts Desk