Conservatory Partners with The Friends of Chamber Music For New Series Called the Music Alliance

 KANSAS CITY, Mo—The Conservatory of Music and Dance is pleased to announce that it has partnered with the popular and prestigious organization The Friends of Chamber Music to present a new series called the Music Alliance.  In the 2010–2011 season, the Music Alliance will present three concerts in UMKC's White Recital Hall.  Those concerts include the Sphinx Chamber Orchestra, with the Harlem Quartet, Sunday, October 24, 2:30 p.m.; pianist Leon Fleisher, Thursday, Dec. 2, 2010, 7:30 p.m.; and the Parker Quartet, Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011, 7:30 p.m. 


                  Peter Witte, Dean of the Conservatory notes, "For 35 years, The Friends of Chamber Music has presented the world’s finest chamber musicians to Kansas City.  The partnership between the Conservatory and the Friends of Chamber Music has been rich.  The Friends of Chamber Music have made artists available to Conservatory students for master classes, and Conservatory faculty are frequently invited to give pre-concert lectures to Friends of Chamber Music audiences.  Because we share a common commitment to excellence, Kansas City audiences, and to building bridges between emerging and established artists, the Conservatory is thrilled to be partners in this new series, the Music Alliance."


                  Cynthia Siebert, artistic director of The Friends of Chamber Music said “We are delighted to partner with the conservatory in order to allow students to experience beautiful music and connect with artists from around the world. For several years, the Friends of Chamber Music and the Conservatory of Music and Dance have had a wonderful relationship together.  Creating Music Alliance seemed like a logical next step in an already fruitful relationship.  Both organizations share values that this series exemplifies; making fine artists available to the students and teachers, creating access for a broad community of Kansas Citians, and providing inspiration and delight for all."


                  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" and the ensemble to have "produced a more beautiful, precise and carefully shaped sound than some fully professional orchestras that come through Carnegie Hall in the course of the year". 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.


                  Pianist 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. At age nine Fleisher began studies with the great German pianist Artur Schnabel, made his New York Philharmonic debut at sixteen and was the first American to win the prestigious Queen Elisabeth of Belgium Competition in 1952.  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. At the Kennedy Center Honors he was recognized as "a consummate musician whose career is a testament to the life-affirming power of art." 


The Parker Quartet is hailed by the New York Times as “something extraordinary” and by the Boston Globe for their “fiercely committed performances.” 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. Most recently, 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. Currently, The Parker Quartet is in its second season as Quartet-in-Residence with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. In addition, 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.  


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).


The UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance is nationally recognized as a center for artistic excellence, innovation, and engagement with our community of about two 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