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CHORAL COMMITMENT: Festival Singers of KC marks 20 years of great music

In many ways it seemed inevitable that William Baker should become a choral director. Early in life two of the main strands of his existence, faith and music, began to merge through a series of unexpected events. When he was in his middle teens, a wise pastor coaxed the young Atlanta native back to the […]

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BOLD STEPS: Ballet celebrates 60 years by challenging itself to new heights

The Kansas City Ballet is about to embark on an artistic voyage as challenging as any it has navigated. As part of its 60th anniversary “Diamond Jubilee” season it will present six big, demanding works of contemporary ballet, all brand-new to the company and all to be performed within a two-weekend period at the Kauffman […]

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BOTH ART AND CRAFT: Lyric Opera to show off new Resident Artists in ‘American Voices’ program

People seldom become opera singers willy-nilly. It’s a step-by-step process not unlike the acquisition of any other professional skill. It’s also an art-form, and thus success can be more elusive. But these days there’s a fairly fixed course of action for a career on the opera stage, and at the center of this process is […]

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CLASSY COMEBACK: Storied soprano returns, in glorious voice, with powerful message

If you still think of Kathleen Battle as an opera singer, you haven’t been paying attention for the last 40 years. It’s true that the soprano, who possesses one of the most naturally beautiful voices of modern times, first made her mark on the world’s opera stages, in Handel, Mozart and bel canto roles for […]

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BLURRING THE LINES: Violin-piano duo brings cross-cultural program to JCCC series

Classical music has proven itself to be one of the last bastions of “high-brow” art, but even its stubborn notions of the superiority of cultivated European tradition are giving way. It’s about time, many will say. Violinist Lara St. John is one of a growing number of strictly trained musicians who have, in recent years, […]

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LENNY’S WORLD: Stern to take KC Symphony audiences through joyous, intimate centennial celebration

For Michael Stern the centenary celebration of musical icon Leonard Bernstein is a personal journey. The Kansas City Symphony Music Director not only grew up around the enormously gifted conductor-composer-pianist, who would have turned 100 this August 25th, but as a child he regularly attended the New York Philharmonic’s legendary Young People’s Concerts. As a […]

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STORMY, WITH A CHANCE OF RAINBOWS: QHP devotes program to American master with unique Kansas tie

Mention composer Harold Arlen’s name to music lovers and they’re likely to say, “Oh yeah, he was one of those old Broadway guys, right?” But then drop into the conversation such titles such as “Over the Rainbow,” “Stormy Weather” or “Get Happy” and watch faces light up. “Oh, that Harold Arlen.” To help showcase this […]

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ALL BY MYSELF: Unicorn brings pertinent one-person play to the stage

Some might say there are advantages to being the only actor in a play. You wield complete control over the pacing, you don’t have to worry about other players forgetting their lines, and in the case of most one-person shows, the action is finished in 90 minutes and you might even get to a restaurant before the […]

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NO STRANGERS TO THE GRAMMYS: KC goes large on 2018 nominations

Kansas City musicians scored extraordinarily well in the 2018 Grammy Award nominations announced on November 28th: seven nominations in all. Congratulations go to the Kansas City Symphony, KC’s mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, UMKC Conservatory Assistant Professor Zachary Shemon, and rap producer/songwriter (and KCK native) J. White. Topping the list is the Symphony’s disc of works by Adam […]

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