UMKC Conservatory Announces 2018–19 Conservatory Artist Series

The UMKC Conservatory is pleased to announce its 2018–19 Conservatory Artist Series

As is our tradition, our Conservatory students and faculty will perform in downtown Kansas City at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and at the Folly Theater. Our experiences there are transformational and are so important for our students.

We’re thrilled to welcome contemporary string quartet ETHEL with Pueblo musician and Native American flute player Robert Mirabal. Their collaboration is renowned. Our terrific jazz students will perform at the historic Folly Theater, our main-stage opera will perform in White Recital Hall, and remember, Sunday matinees are back for opera! We hope you’ll join us for all of our dynamic programming.

Here’s the entire season


Sept. 23, 7 p.m. Conservatory Wind Symphony, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Helzberg Hall
Directed by Steven D. Davis, this exciting program includes R. Strauss: Festmusik der Stadt Wien; Stravinsky: Concerto for Piano and Wind Instruments, featuring new piano faculty Thomas Rosenkranz, and Hindemith: Mathis der Maler.  

Nov. 2, 8 p.m., CRESCENDO: Rhythm of a City, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Helzberg Hall
Join us for the Conservatory’s annual fundraising event for scholarships, with music and dance performed in a fast-paced 60-minute prism concert by Conservatory students and faculty.

6:30 p.m. Patron Dinner
8–9 p.m. Concert. Dancing and cash bar in Brandmeyer Hall follow the performance.
Sponsored by the Friends of the Conservatory of Music and Dance.  Tickets for concert only, a Conservatory Artist Seriesperformance, $35 general, $15 for UMKC faculty, staff, and all students with ID.  Call 816-235-1247 for sponsorship information. 

Nov. 15–18, Fall Opera, La finta giardiniera, by W. A. Mozart, WRH
Feigned identities, illicit intrigues and spurned lovers frolic and mourn within a hothouse of love and insanity in Mozart’s La finta giardiniera (The pretend garden-girl). UMKC Conservatory Opera explores a brilliant bouquet of tender lovers and even more tender egos. This opera buffa with roots in commedia but overtones of the more dramatic style of the period is a tale of betrayal and redemption that plays out in tuneful arias and intricate ensembles. It’s a delightful romp mixed with opera seria to keep the warm and wild nights of summer rolling right into the chill of November. Sung in Italian. Nov. 15–17, 7:30 p.m., Nov. 18, 2:30 p.m.


Feb. 23, ETHEL and Robert Mirabal, 7:30 p.m. WRH
ETHEL was established in New York City in 1998, quickly earning a reputation as one of America’s most adventurous string quartets—heirs to the likes of the Kronos Quartet and Soldier String Quartet, and part of a generation of young artists blending uptown, conservatory musicianship with downtown genre-crossing—by playing with the intensity and accoutrements of a rock band. The New York Times has described them as “indefatigable and eclectic.” ETHEL is: Ralph Farris (viola), Kip Jones (violin), Dorothy Lawson (cello) and Corin Lee (violin). A collaborative ethos is the heart of ETHEL—a quest for a common creative expression forged in the celebration of community. Robert Mirabal joins them in collaboration. He is a Pueblo musician and world-renowned Native American flute player and maker from Taos PuebloNew Mexico. An award-winning musician and leading proponent of world music, Mirabal performs worldwide, sharing flute songs, tribal rock, dance, and storytelling. He was twice named the Native American Music Awards' Artist of the Year, and received the Songwriter of the Year award three times. He is also a father and a farmer, living in Taos Pueblo and participating in the traditional ways and rituals of his people.

This concert is supported in part by a grant from the James and Vera Olson Fund for the Arts.

April 18, UMKC Jazz Night at the Folly Theater, 7:30 p.m.
Join the Conservatory jazz bands in a rockin’ collage concert featuring a variety of ensembles that represent the entirety of jazz studies at the Conservatory. This is ALWAYS a must-see, great night of jazz with our talented students.

April 25–27, Spring Dance, 7:30 p.m., WRH, (2:30 p.m., Saturday, free and informal)
The dance faculty combine their creative choreography with our talented dance students and collaborate with Conservatory musicians to create innovative performances that you won’t want to miss. 

May 2, 7 p.m., Finale: Celebrating an Era, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Helzberg Hall
This concert celebrates Dr. Robert Olson’s distinguished 50-year career and his contributions to the UMKC Conservatory.  Don’t miss it! Join the Conservatory Orchestra and Conservatory choirs, directed by Robert Olson and Robert Bode, respectively. The performance includes Wagner’s The Ring Without Words; Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos’ Chôros No. 10, “Rasga o coração” for chorus and orchestra.  Villa-Lobos who has said, “I learned music from a bird in the jungles of Brazil, not from academies,” is one of South America’s most famous composers. The winner of the Chancellor’s Concerto Competition also performs with the orchestra.

Our series is still one of Kansas City’s best entertainment values. The season package offers all seven performances for $146. Purchase all 7 concerts and get a FREE bonus concert with your subscription purchase. It’s easy! Simply call the Central Ticket Office at 816-235-6222 to renew or change your seats.