Arts & Culture
7:22 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Ensemble Ibérica Explores Spanish Connections To Irish Carols

Soprano Victoria Botero keeps an eye on the verses as she rehearses 'The Darkest Midnight,' one of the best known carols -- one that is sung on Christmas Day.
Julie Denesha KCUR

In the 1720s, after studying in Spain, a young priest returned home to Ireland. He started writing Christmas carols influenced by Spanish liturgical music. Now known as the Kilmore Carols, these carols are still performed during the holidays in the small Irish village of Kilmore —and this year, in Kansas City. 

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Arts & Culture
5:26 am
Sun December 7, 2014

Once Again, The Kansas City Symphony Lets Tubas Take Over Christmas

Just a few of the tubas and euphoniums at the Kansas City Symphony's 2014 Tuba Christmas.
Credit Eric Williams / Kansas City Symphony

It’s not often that tuba players get to be the ones on melody.

That changes once a year, though, when the Kansas City Symphony puts on Tuba Christmas, where hundreds of tuba players from all around the metro gather to play traditional holiday songs. Because of popular demand, there are now two Tuba Christmases.

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Up To Date
12:57 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

DiDonato Invites 40,000 Fans To Sing With Her At Kauffman Stadium

Mezzo soprano Joyce DiDonato, a Royals fan for decades, sings the National Anthem on Wednesday.
Credit courtesy: Joyce DiDonato

After a social media campaign with the twitter hashtag #LetJoyceSing, a petition, an invitation from Major League Baseball to sing in Game 7 of the World Series -- and the Royals victory that assured there would be a Game 7, Prairie Village, Kan. native Joyce DiDonato is ready to sing the National Anthem in the final game.

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Arts & Culture
5:14 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

World Series National Anthem Update: Game 6, Kansas City Symphony; Game 7, Joyce DiDonato

Joyce DiDonato is not available to sing the National Anthem before Game 6, but she plans to perform it if there's a game Game 7.
Credit courtesy: Carnegie Hall

Classical musicians will be taking center stage during the final games of the World Series at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo.

About 20, or as many as 60, members of the Kansas City Symphony, decked out in blue suits with blue accents, are scheduled to perform "The Star-Spangled Banner" in the pre-game ceremonies of Game 6 on Tuesday night. Music director Michael Stern is flying back Tuesday afternoon in time to conduct. 

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Arts & Culture
6:54 am
Fri September 26, 2014

WATCH: Pianist Behzod Abduraimov Takes On New Role At Park University

Behzod Abduraimov, the new artist-in-residence at ICM, rehearses in Graham Tyler Memorial Chapel at Park University.
Credit Julie Denesha / KCUR

When the International Center for Music (ICM) at Park University in Parkville, Mo., a boutique conservatory for top performers, decided to add an artist-in-residence, they didn’t have to look very far.

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Arts & Culture
1:37 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

How The Power Of A Pipe Organ Is Like Riding A Harley

The Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant Organ, Opus 3875, in Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
Credit courtesy: Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Jan Kraybill, principal organist for the Dome and Spire Organ Foundation and organ conservator at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, plays and maintains the three largest pipe organs in the Kansas City metro area. The Kauffman Center's Casavant organ ranks third with 5,448 pipes. 

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Arts & Culture
8:35 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Kansas City Symphony And The 'Bohemian' Life

Credit Photo courtesy of Chris Lee / Kansas City Symphony

The Kansas City Symphony’s Classics Uncorked series is a more informal concert experience — shorter and with a theme. This weekend’s program, called Bohemian Rhapsody, features works by Dvorák, Bizet ... and Queen.

Nick Hersh, assistant conductor at the Baltimore Symphony, and Aram Demirjian, associate conductor at the Kansas City Symphony, met a few years ago at the American Academy of Conducting in Aspen. They conducted and stood as partners for two summers in the cello section of the Conductors' Orchestra. 

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Arts & Culture
2:35 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

LISTEN: Ben Folds Bridges Pop And Classical Music

Ben Folds performed and answered questions at a matinee performance on Wednesday, conducted by the Symphony's associate conductor Aram Demirjian.
Credit Beth Buchanan / Kansas City Symphony

Singer-songwriter Ben Folds had a strongly worded message for an audience at a sold-out Kansas City Symphony concert at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts this week: "Cities without symphony orchestras are crap."

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Arts & Culture
5:19 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Violinist Angèle Dubeau Mines Cancer Experience In New CD

When Angèle Dubeau was diagnosed with cancer, her fans reached out and asked her to share her experience through music.
Credit Courtesy: Analekta

Canadian violinist Angèle Dubeau was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2013. Her latest CD, Blanc, traces the range of emotions during her illness - from anxiety to sadness to hope - with songs by composers such as Dave Brubeck, Mark O'Connor and Cat Stevens.

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Arts & Culture
9:07 am
Sat May 3, 2014

newEar Closes Season With Pulitzer Prize-Winning Composer

Evoking the sounds of nature, Lyra Pherigo plays the piccolo.
Julie Denesha KCUR

The contemporary chamber ensemble, newEar, brings its 21st season to a close with three pieces from the 1970s, 80s and 90s. This including songbirdsongs, written between 1974 and 1980, by Alaskan composer John Luther Adams. Adams recently won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Music.

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Arts & Culture
5:32 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Classical Music Superstar Joshua Bell Returns To KC

Joshua Bell at Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Kansas City, Mo.
Beth Buchanan Kansas City Symphony

Grammy Award-winning violinist Joshua Bell spends 250 days a year on the road, performing with orchestras around the world. This weekend, Bell returns to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts as a featured soloist for the Kansas City Symphony

A child prodigy who first started taking violin lessons at the age of 4, Bell debuted at Carnegie Hall at the age of 17. Since that time, he's performed with many of the world's major orchestras and conductors with his expressive and physical style.

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12:00 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

A New Contract For Kansas City Symphony Musicians

The Kansas City Symphony performs in Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
Credit Chris Lee / Kansas City Symphony

It’s been called a "tumultuous time" for orchestras across the United States with labor disputes leading to strikes and lockouts. But the Kansas City Symphony, the city’s largest performing arts organization, announced a new three-year contract Friday with musicians signed a year ahead of schedule.

The Symphony's executive director Frank Byrne says work started on the contract in January 2013, about 18 months before the expiration.

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10:26 am
Fri July 5, 2013

Aram Demirjian Promoted To Symphony's Associate Conductor

The Kansas City Symphony's Associate Conductor Aram Demirjian.
Credit Kansas City Symphony

After working as an assistant conductor with Kansas City Symphony for a year now, Aram Demirjian is taking on a new role: associate conductor for the 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 seasons.

This past season at the Symphony has been one of the greatest musical years of his life, Demirjian said.

"When you're a young conductor, what you desire more than anything else is just time in front of an orchestra," he said. "And it was an incredible blessing and privilege to be able to do so."

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Up to Date
3:39 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Tenor Nathan Granner on "Hymn: Songs of Great Faith" and "The Monocle"

Tenor Nathan Granner

Tenor Nathan Granner has done his share of traditional work with the likes of the Lyric Opera here in Kansas City and as a member of The American Tenors trio.  

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Up to Date
10:07 am
Wed November 14, 2012

Mezzo-Soprano Joyce DiDonato Becomes A 'Drama Queen'

Opera superstar Joyce DiDonato won a Grammy this year for Best Classical Vocal Solo.

The Prairie Village native and mezzo-soprano was the star of a TV special titled "Homecoming" produced by Kansas City's KCPT and PBS Arts. The concert with the Kansas City Symphony at the newly-opened Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts was broadcast nationally, and now, she has a new disc out titled "Drama Queens," which she recorded in Italy in July.

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