Kansas City Symphony Music Director Michael Stern to Receive Honorary Doctorate

The UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance is pleased to announce that Kansas City Symphony Music Director Michael Stern will receive an honorary Doctor of Musical Arts from the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance, May 7, 2011 at Spring Commencement, where he will also give the commencement address.

Stern is in his sixth exciting season with the Kansas City Symphony. The Symphony and Stern concluded their first year together by making a recording for the Naxos label, which was released in 2007. Two additional CDs, Britten's Orchestra and The Tempest, have recently been released to critical acclaim on the Grammy Award-winning Reference Recordings label. Stern has led orchestras throughout Europe and Asia, including the London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, Orchestre de Paris, Helsinki Philharmonic, Budapest Radio Symphony Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, Moscow Philharmonic, National Symphony of Taiwan, Tokyo's NHK Symphony and the Vienna Radio Symphony, among many others.

Stern has been instrumental in partnering with the UMKC Conservatory, conducting the Conservatory Orchestra in Fall 2010, and facilitating invaluable cooperative experiences between Conservatory students and Symphony musicians.

Beginning 2011-2012, Mr. Stern and the Kansas City Symphony will celebrate their first season in the new Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Among the first works the Symphony will perform is a new composition by UMKC's Chen Yi, Lorena Searcy Cravens/ Millsap/ Missouri Distinguished Professor of Composition.

Conservatory Dean Peter Witte notes, "Michael Stern is a brilliant communicator and a gracious partner with UMKC's Conservatory. Clearly, his tenure with the Kansas City Symphony has been transformational. As the KCS enters its new world-class home at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, the future is even brighter. Mr. Stern has given much to the Conservatory this year, leading a superb concert with our Conservatory Orchestra, availing KCS guest artists and guest conductors to our students in master classes, and programming a new work by UMKC's Chen Yi in the orchestra's first subscription concert in their new home in 2011–2012. At its best, music is a collaborative art—in Michael Stern, we have a truly collaborative artist. As the university bestows its highest honor to our city's music director, we look forward to an even deeper partnership in the years ahead."

For more information, please contact:

Name: Dana Self
Phone: 816-235-2949