Dr. William Everett Pens New Book on the History of the Kansas City Philharmonic


The Conservatory is pleased to note that Dr. William A. Everett, Curators' Professor of Musicology, has written Music for the People:  A History of the Kansas City Philharmonic Orchestra, 1933–82

Dr. Everett notes, "When I was asked to write a history of the Kansas City Philharmonic Orchestra, which was the professional orchestra in Kansas City from 1933 to 1982, I thought it would be a fairly straightforward task.  I was genuinely surprised at the wealth of musical treasures that existed in Kansas City thanks to the Philharmonic.  Writing the book became a series of discoveries and 'wow' moments that happened nearly every day.  I am particularly grateful to the Norman B. Kahn family for entrusting me with telling the Philharmonic’s story, to Michael Stern for writing a generous foreword to the book, and to everyone who shared their memories of the orchestra and its legacy."

The Kansas City Philharmonic Orchestra brought orchestral music to millions of people in Kansas City, the region, and indeed the nation.  From its founding in 1933 during the Great Depression, the orchestra dazzled, challenged, and surprised audiences, but rarely bored them. 

Decade after decade, the Philharmonic delivered on its mission—to bring music to the people. The Philharmonic demonstrated a remarkable range for time and place and audience. It played for its loyal fan base in the downtown Music Hall, for stay-at-home moms in the suburban Plaza Theatre, for students in classrooms across Kansas City—even for appreciative inmates at Leavenworth Prison. It played live on television and drew thousands every year to its free “Katz Concerts,” sponsored by Kansas City’s own Katz Drug Company.

For nearly fifty years, it brought a sense of cultural clout to the region, a role that the Kansas City Symphony, founded after the closure of the Philharmonic, proudly occupies today. 

The book is available through the Kansas City Store, here.

For more information, please contact:

Name: Dana Self
Phone: 816-235-2949