KU News Release

Jan. 21, 2011
Contact: Marisa Bregman, Lied Center, (785) 864-2722

Kansas City Symphony to perform March 6 at Lied Center

More Information

LAWRENCE — The Lied Center of Kansas will present the Kansas City Symphony conducted by Music Director Michael Stern and joined by piano soloist Jonathan Biss at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, March 6.

Founded in 1982 by R. Crosby Kemper Jr., the Kansas City Symphony is a major force in the cultural life of Kansas City and beyond. With a mission to advance and advocate the art of classical music for the enrichment of the community, the Kansas City Symphony aims to connect the hearts and minds of its audience with powerful symphonic music.

“The orchestra was experiencing a period of flux when I got there five years ago, but since then, the orchestra has been on this absolutely meteoric rise,” said Stern in a webcam interview with the Lied Center, viewable at lied.ku.edu. “It’s an orchestra that works very, very hard and that serves the community in a way which is unusual when you compare it to other orchestras around the United States. I think we have accomplished more in five years than a lot of other groups would have.”

Stern is in his sixth season with the symphony and his third season as principal guest conductor of Orchestre National de Lille in France. Son of violin virtuoso and celebrated recording musician Isaac Stern, he studied conducting at the Curtis Institute of Music and has led orchestras throughout North America, Europe and Asia.

Joining the symphony is guest pianist Biss, who began playing the piano at age 6 and is the third generation of professional musicians in his family. Biss studied at Indiana University with Evelyne Brancart and at the Curtis Institute of Music under Leon Fleisher. He made his debut in New York City at the 92nd Street Y’s Center for the Arts in 2000 and has since gained an international reputation through his orchestral, recital and chamber music performances.

At the Lied Center the Kansas City Symphony will present a diverse program featuring Wagner’s “Overture to Rienzi” and “Brahms Piano Concerto No. 1 in D Minor, Op. 15,” featuring Biss.

The program will also include the Kansas premiere of “American Symphony” — a new, commissioned work for the Kansas City Symphony by accomplished young composer Adam Schoenberg.

“It’s a very interesting thing to consider such a major piece,” said Stern. “It’s going to be a good 25 to 30 minute symphony in five movements, from a young composer that is essentially synthesizing his own reaction and his own feelings about America and where we are today through the prism, or through the language of his own music and really giving us a very individual take on that.”

Tickets are on sale at the Lied Center ticket office, (785) 864-2787 or (785) 864-2777 TDD; Murphy Hall box office, (785) 864-3982; and online at lied.ku.edu. Tickets are $40 for the public and $10 for students and youth. All seats are reserved. Discounts may apply.

Note to editors: High-resolution images and digital media materials can be accessed at lied.ku.edu/press. This information is for news media only.

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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