Conservatory Renames Presenting Series and Establishes Partnership With Friends of Chamber Music

KANSAS CITY, Mo—The Conservatory of Music and Dance is pleased to announce that it has renamed its popular Signature Series to underline its new collaborative nature.  Conservatory Artist Series (formerly known as Signature Series) will present six concerts in the 2010–11 season, three of which are part of our new series partnership with The Friends of Chamber Music called the Music Alliance.


The new Conservatory Artist Series will focus on the same commitment to excellence yet will present more performances in concert with other partners. Dean Peter Witte notes, "Partnerships are vital in the arts.  By reenergizing our series, the Conservatory sustains our commitment to great performances while celebrating our bonds with leading arts organizations in Kansas City and nationally.  As our concerts with Michael Stern, Wylliams/Henry, and the Friends of Chamber Music demonstrate, at its heart the Conservatory Artist Series is about collaboration." The 2010–11 season includes the Conservatory Orchestra, directed by Michael Stern, conductor of the Kansas City Symphony, Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company, and the Finale.


Within the Conservatory Artist Series, Music Alliance, our new partnership with the Friends of Chamber Music will present three concerts, which include the Sphinx Chamber Orchestra, with the Harlem Quartet, pianist Leon Fleisher, and the Parker Quartet.  



The entire season:

Thurs. Sept. 16, 7:30 p.m.   Conservatory Orchestra, with Michael Stern

Fri. Sept. 24, 8 p.m.         Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company

Sun. Oct. 24, 2:30 p.m.         Sphinx Chamber Orchestra w/ Harlem Quartet (Music Alliance)

Thurs. Dec. 2, 7:30 p.m.   Leon Fleisher, piano (Music Alliance)

Sat. Jan. 22, 7:30 p.m.   Parker Quartet (Music Alliance)

Sat. April 23, 7:30 p.m.   Finale, with Conservatory Choirs


Audiences will have the opportunity to subscribe to all six concerts for $90—only $15 per ticket.  Single tickets are $20 per ticket, $10 for students with ID.  Audiences also have the choice to just purchase three Conservatory Artist Series performances for $45 or just purchase three Music Alliance performances for $45. All performances are in White Recital Hall.

For ticket information contact the Central Ticket Office at (816) 235-6222 or  People with speech or hearing impairments may call Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice). 


2010–2011 Conservatory Artist Series

Thursday, Sept. 16, 2010, 7:30 p.m., Conservatory Orchestra, directed by Michael Stern, conductor of the Kansas City Symphony.  In addition to other repertoire, Michael Stern will direct the Conservatory Orchestra in James Mobberley's Grand Jeté, commissioned by Sarah and Landon Rowland at the 2008 Crescendo! gala in honor of Todd Bolender, late artistic director of the Kansas City Ballet.


Friday, Sept. 24, 2010, 8 p.m., Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company, The Cyprus Avenue Concert.  Wylliams/Henry, in collaboration with Bill Shapiro, creator and host of KCUR’S Cyprus Avenue will present an exciting evening of music and dance. Bill has picked his best of the best including Elvis, Hank Williams, Leonard Cohen, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Sam Cooke, the Beatles, Bob Marley, Aretha Franklin, the Rolling Stones, and Van Morrison.  He will be on stage talking, as he does on his weekly radio show, about the musical artists Wylliams/Henry will dance to. Choreographers for Wylliams/Henry include Mary Pat Henry, Paula Weber, William Whitener, Canada’s Josh Beamish, New York’s Sean Curran, Tiffany Sisemore, and DeeAnna Hiett.  Help celebrate Wylliams/Henry's 19th year together and enjoy an evening with KCUR’s Bill Shapiro and the extraordinary dancers of Wylliams/Henry.


Saturday, April 23, 7:30 p.m., Finale with Conservatory Orchestra, directed by Robert Olson. The program includes Francis Poulenc's beautiful Gloria, directed by Robert Bode, the Conservatory's new Raymond R. Neevel/Missouri Professor of Choral Music and Director of Choral Activities. Robert Bode is the recent recipient of Chorus America’s prestigious Margaret Hillis Award.


Music Alliance Series 

Sunday, October 24, 2010, 2:30 p.m., Sphinx Chamber Orchestra, with the Harlem Quartet.  The Sphinx Chamber Orchestra (SCO) is an ensemble comprising top alumni of the national Sphinx Competition for young Black and Latino string players. The group earned rave reviews from the New York Times in December 2004, during its highly acclaimed Carnegie Hall debut. Allan Kozinn of the New York Times described their performances as "first-rate in every way." The Harlem Quartet, praised for its "panache" by the New York Times, is an ensemble comprising First-Place Laureates of the Sphinx Competition for young Black and Latino string players. Its mission is to advance diversity in classical music while engaging young and new audiences through the discovery and presentation of varied repertoire, highlighting works by minority composers.  


Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010, 7:30 p.m., Leon Fleisher, piano recital

Leon Fleisher is the Andrew Mellon Foundation Chair in Piano at the Peabody Institute, recipient of the 2007 Kennedy Center Honors, and subject of the 2006 Oscar-nominated short documentary Two Hands: The Leon Fleisher Story. He made touchstone recordings with Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra and for a dozen years he appeared in all the world's major music centers to great acclaim until, in 1965, he was struck with a neurological affliction that rendered two fingers of his right hand immobile.  For almost four decades, Fleisher continued to share his special gifts through performances of the repertoire for left-hand, as a conductor and teacher, never giving up the hope that he would play again with both hands.  Through special treatments, he has been playing with both hands again in recent seasons and making critically acclaimed recordings.  


Saturday, January 22, 2011, 7:30 p.m., Parker Quartet

Hailed by the New York Times as “something extraordinary” and by the Boston Globe for their “fiercely committed performances,” the Parker Quartet has distinguished itself as one of the preeminent ensembles of its generation. The Parker Quartet began its professional touring career in 2002, and in 2005 sparked international acclaim by winning the Concert Artists Guild Competition as well as the Grand Prix and Mozart Prize at the 2005 Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition in France. The Quartet was awarded the prestigious 2009¬–2011 Cleveland Quartet Award. Given biennially by Chamber Music America, this award honors and promotes a rising young string quartet whose artistry demonstrates that it is in the process of establishing a major career. The Parker Quartet is in its second season as Quartet-in-Residence with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. They are the first-ever Artists-in-Residence with Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) and American Public Media (APM).   

This concert is underwritten by the James and Vera Olson Fund for the Arts.  


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.


For more information, please contact:

Name: Dana Self
Phone: 816-235-2949