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In Review

Adam Schoenberg’s American Symphony adopts an accessible style but does not stray so far into a Hollywood idiom that it grows cheesy. The agreeable new piece, a Kansas City Symphony commission, received its world premiere on March 4th at the Lyric Theatre, with the Symphony led by music director Michael Stern. If the finale felt prolix in proportion […]

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Tenor Stephen Costello possesses a natural, rich-auburn voice with a durable top, a pleasantly feathery lower register, a sweet head-voice that can shift into full voice with fetching ease, and a big capacity for warm pathos. The American artist, who made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 2007 and won the Richard Tucker Award in 2009, seems destined for a […]

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The dancers of the Kansas City Ballet are known for their proficiency in a wide variety of styles, and we sometimes forget that classical ballet remains at the core of their training and artistry. The company’s mastery of this centuries-old art form—which stands at the center of Western dance—was on glorious display at its production […]

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The Akademie für alte Musik Berlin performs Baroque music with a bright, solid sense of style, technique to spare and, where necessary, a sense of playfulness and mirth. Their performance on March 11th at the Folly Theater, part of the Friends of Chamber Music’s series, offered delights and, at times, frustrations but was ultimately a satisfying […]

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The Kansas City Ballet threw heart and soul into Lambarena, Val Caniparoli’s heady mixture of ballet, modern and ethnic dance set to Africanized arrangements of the music of Bach, and the result was if anything more beautiful than when the company performed the work in May 2004. The sheer look of the piece is irresistible: Sandra Woodall’s scenic and costume […]

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Once you got over the in-your-face shock of a full symphony orchestra on the Folly Theater’s tiny stage, the Russian National Orchestra’s concert on Friday had much to recommend. The all-Slavic program showed off a well-oiled string section and some fine principal players, though at times I found myself noticing disparities more than uniformity. Because […]

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