Conservatory and Kansas City Symphony Create New Partnership

About the Conservatory

KANSAS CITY, Mo—The Conservatory of Music and Dance and the Kansas City Symphony are pleased to announce a new partnership between the two organizations. Throughout the 2010–2011 season, symphony Music Director Michael Stern, Associate Conductor Steven Jarvi, selected guest artists, and orchestra musicians will share their expertise with Conservatory students and partner with Conservatory faculty. Michael Stern kicked off the collaboration on September 16 with a program of Mobberley: Grand Jeté, Strauss: Don Juan and Beethoven: Symphony No. 7.

Associate Conductor Steven Jarvi lead the Conservatory orchestra October 15, at White Recital Hall in a program featuring A. Schoenberg: Finding Rothko, Shostakovich: Symphony No. 5, and Beethoven: Overture to Egmont, Op. 84.

Conservatory students will be included in master classes with Kansas City Symphony guest conductors Larry Rachleff, Giancarlo Guerrero, and Roberto Minczuk this season.

Michael Stern and Steven Jarvi will conduct the Conservatory orchestra in concert, coach chamber ensembles, and coach Conservatory student conductors on rehearsal technique, interpretation, and career development. Conservatory composition students will also work with composers Adam Schoenberg and Jonathan Leshnoff, two rising stars that the Kansas City Symphony will bring to Kansas City when their compositions are performed this season.

The two organizations also envision a range of other activities for which funding opportunities exist. These include:

• Readings by the Kansas City Symphony of selected works by Conservatory composition students.

• Sectional coaching, mock auditions, and master classes by KCS musicians.

• “Side by side” readings of orchestral repertoire with the KCS and Conservatory Orchestra, and additional activities that are still under discussion.

• The Kansas City Symphony has also agreed to explore pre-professional internships for Conservatory students with the professional staff of the Symphony.

Additionally, the Kansas City Symphony will give the world premiere of a new work by UMKC’s Chen Yi on the opening weekend of the Symphony’s 2011–2012 season, its first in the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.

Of the partnership, Kansas City Symphony Executive Director Frank Byrne notes, "We are proud to announce this new partnership, one which is long overdue. It is entirely natural that this community’s resident orchestra should reach out to the talented aspiring young musicians at the UMKC Conservatory, and we believe that there is enormous potential for even more positive outcomes into the future. Having the great musicians of the Kansas City Symphony in our community makes possible this and many other important community relationships. This is at the heart of the Symphony’s mission and our commitment to Kansas City.”

Conservatory Dean Peter Witte said, “The Conservatory and the Symphony believe deeply in the power of partnerships. The Kansas City Symphony is essential to our region culturally and educationally and we are eager to work together on behalf of our students and community. Together we will help Conservatory students learn what to expect in their careers today and in the future. All this is at the dawn of the opening of the Symphony’s new home at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Our partnership comes at a thrilling time.”

The UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance is nationally recognized as a center for artistic excellence, innovation, and engagement with our community of about 2 million in more than 300 concerts, recitals, programs, and events throughout the year.

Led by Music Director Michael Stern, the Kansas City Symphony’s 80-member orchestra performs more than 50 concerts on three series (Classical, Family, Pops) during its 42-week season, September through June. In addition, the Symphony performs non-series concerts such as Bank of America Celebration At The Station and Symphony In the Flint Hills, educational programs, community outreach performances, and serves as the orchestra for the Lyric Opera and the Kansas City Ballet. Classical performances are broadcast weekly on KCUR 89.3 FM during the Kansas City Symphony Hour, Thursdays at 9 p.m. Visit the Kansas City Symphony online at

For more information, please contact:

Name: Dana Self
Phone: 816-235-2949