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Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts 2018-2019 Season Guide

Photo: Laurie Hernandez

Kauffman Center Presents Kansas City Ballet Kansas City Symphony Lyric Opera of Kansas City Harriman-Jewell Series Kansas City Jazz Orchestra

Welcome Welcome to the 2018-2019 season at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts As a major center for music, opera, theater and dance, and the performance home of some of the region’s leading performing arts organizations, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts hosts a wide spectrum of entertainers from around the world. Performances at the Kauffman Center happen in two venues: Muriel Kauffman Theatre and Helzberg Hall. The 1,800-seat Muriel Kauffman Theatre boasts a red color scheme and shimmering seating boxes, a design reminiscent of 18th- and 19th-century opera houses. Home to performances by the Kansas City Ballet and Lyric Opera of Kansas City, the Muriel Kauffman Theatre stage also welcomes acclaimed popular artists. Helzberg Hall’s 1,600 seats are arranged in an oval. The Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant Organ, Opus 3875, provides a stunning backdrop to the stage and features more than 5,500 pipes. Helzberg Hall is the performance home of the Kansas City Symphony and Kansas City Jazz Orchestra, as well as select concerts presented by the Harriman-Jewell Series.

Amaya Rodriguez and Joshua Bodden Photo by Kenny Johnson

Kauffman Center Presents Kansas City Symphony Featuring concerts by world-class performers and presentations by globe-trekking adventurers, the 2018-2019 Kauffman Center Presents series showcases extraordinary and diverse performing arts experiences. Audiences will enjoy dynamic vocal performances from Chanticleer and The Manhattan Transfer with Take 6; explore genre fusion with Black Violin and Anoushka Shankar; and be transported by classic rock ‘n’ roll from Beach Boys co-founder Brian Wilson. Additional performances are announced throughout the season.

Anoushka Shankar | Kauffman Center Presents Photo by Anushka Menon

The Kansas City Symphony is a major force in the cultural life of the Kansas City region, entertaining and inspiring more than 250,000 people each season. Eighty full-time musicians enjoy a national reputation under the artistic leadership of

Music Director Michael Stern. Presenting more than 100 concerts annually in a 42-week season, the Symphony presents Classical, Pops and Family Series programs in addition to holiday and movie concerts. For more information or tickets, visit or call (816) 471-0400.

The Kansas City Symphony performs more than 100 concerts each season. | TODD ROSENBERG

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Tickets are available through the Kauffman Center Box Office at or (816) 994-7222

Kansas City Ballet

Kansas City Ballet Artistic Director, Devon Carney, presents the 20182019 season which opens with the highly anticipated world premiere of Septime Webre’s The Wizard of Oz, continues with Val Caniparoli’s Lady of the Camellias, and closes with the contemporary mixed repertoire of three celebrated American choreographers Tharp / Parsons / Forsythe. Founded in 1957, Kansas City Ballet is a 30-member professional ballet company under the direction of Artistic Director Devon Carney and Executive Director Jeffrey J. Bentley. Through its professional company, its second company, and its many community programs, the Ballet seeks to nurture and develop our artists, audiences and students in the values inherent in the creativity, diversity and joy of dance. The Ballet’s home, the Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity on the campus of Union Station, in conjunction with our Resident Company status at the world-class Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts has truly positioned Kansas City as a destination for dance.

Kansas City Ballet. Liang Fu, James Kirby Rogers, Amanda DeVenuta and Lamin Pereira dos Santos | Photo by Kenny Johnson

Kansas City Jazz ­Orchestra Lyric Opera of ­Kansas City Join Kansas City Jazz Orchestra for a season filled with familiar favorites and artful arrangements. The 2018-19 KCJO Trombones | concert season Photo by Bre DeNure features four performances by an outstanding 18-piece big band along with local guest artists including vocalists, strings and an organist. You won’t want to miss these swinging evenings!

Lyric Opera of Kansas City begins its 20182019 season at the Kauffman Center with a blockbuster production of Bernstein’s West Side Story (September 22-30), featuring the original choreography and the original symphonic score; it’s followed by a dazzling traditional production of the beautifully tragic Madama Butterfly (November 3-11) by Puccini. Early Spring brings a sunny production of Mozart’s wry comedy Così fan tutte, set in Monte Carlo (March 16-24) and the season concludes with a wildly colorful production of Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers (April 27-May 5).

West Side Story | Lyric Opera of Kansas City Photo by Lynn Lane for Houston Grand Opera

Harriman-Jewell Series

Now in its 54th season, the Harriman-Jewell Series continues its long-held tradition of creating a world stage for performing arts for Kansas City audiences. The 2018–2019 schedule is a wealth of the world’s top performing artists and ensembles including violinist Itzhak Perlman, The Philadelphia Orchestra, Russian National Ballet dancing Swan Lake, San Francisco Symphony, Ballet Folklórico de México, mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, Mariinsky Orchestra, pianist Emanuel Ax, brass ensemble tenThing, Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, and more. Of the season’s 14 events, eight will be held in the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. | (816) 994-7222

San Francisco Symphony to be led by Michael Tilson Thomas on March 21 | Harriman-Jewell Series. Photo by Kristen Loken


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Autumn Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban™ in Concert Kansas City Symphony

September 5, 6, 7 and 9 Relive the magic of your favorite wizard as you watch the complete thrilling film accompanied by the Kansas City Symphony. Tickets from $40. (816) 471-0400

Punch Brothers Kauffman Center Presents

Sunday, September 9 Punch Brothers – the acoustic quintet of mando­ linist Chris Thile, guitarist Chris Eldridge, bassist Paul Kowert, banjoist Noam Pikelny and violinist Gabe Witcher – meld bluegrass with classi­ cal influences in this Kauffman Center Presents performance.

Free Symphony Happy Hour Concert: Piano Pizzazz Kansas City Symphony

Tuesday, September 11 Kansas City Symphony musicians join local award-winning pianist Sean Chen for three exciting chamber works in this casual, FREE one-hour concert. (816) 471-0400

Beethoven’s Triple Concerto and Symphonic Dances Kansas City Symphony

September 14-16 Beethoven’s playful Triple Concerto reveals the great composer’s happy-go-lucky side. Rachmaninoff’s orchestral masterpiece showcases his lush and captivating Romantic-era style. Tickets from $25. (816) 471-0400

West Side Story Lyric Opera of Kansas City

September 22, 23, 26, 28 and 30 From the first meeting to the final “te adoro,” it’s sweet sorrow to watch Tony and Maria try

to reconcile their worlds. With the original symphonic score and Jerome Robbins’s original choreography adding a kick of kinetic eye candy, tonight truly won’t be just any night.

Leslie Odom, Jr. Kansas City Symphony

Saturday, September 22 Broadway’s Hamilton star comes to Kansas City for an evening of music that will lift you up and fill you with hope. This concert is a benefit for Turn the Page KC. Tickets from $49. (816) 471-0400

Ben Folds Kansas City Symphony

September 24-25 Rock sensation Ben Folds returns to perform with your Symphony in a one-of-a-kind ­concert packed with fan favorites like “Brick” plus Folds’ latest orchestral arrangements. Tickets from $50. (816) 471-0400

The Philadelphia Orchestra; Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor; Lisa Batiashvili, violinist Harriman-Jewell Series

Wednesday, September 26 Yannick Nézet-Séguin’s career has been meteoric; the 42-year-old has been selected as music director of both the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and The Philadelphia Orchestra. Lisa Batiashvili will perform for Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto.

Andrew Bird Kansas City Symphony

Saturday, September 29 Fresh off his tour opening for The Lumineers, indie rocker Andrew Bird blends swing, gypsy, calypso and folk with whistling! Tickets from $35. (816) 471-0400

Black Violin Kauffman Center Presents

Wednesday, October 3 Black Violin mixes classical training and hip-hop influences to create a multi-genre sound for music lovers of all ages.

Sounds Relaxing: Recharge Kansas City Symphony

Wednesday, October 3 Prepare to unwind as a guide coaches you through various breathing and meditation techniques. Symphony musicians will perform soft, mellow music to further your relaxation. All tickets $15. (816) 471-0400

Beethoven’s Seventh and Grieg’s Piano Concerto Kansas City Symphony Lynn Lane for Houston Grand Opera

October 5-7 Grieg’s Piano Concerto abounds with soaring beauty and virtuoso fireworks, played expertly by George Li. Beethoven’s legendary Seventh

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Kansas City Jazz Orchestra | Friday, Oct. 12

Symphony continues to thrill audiences today. Tickets from $25. (816) 471-0400

iLuminate Kauffman Center Presents

Sunday, October 7 iLuminate fuses technology and dance in a family-friendly visual experience for the Kauffman Center Presents series that features dancers in glow-in-the-dark suits performing dynamic routines.

The Wizard of Oz Kansas City Ballet

October 12-21 This anticipated world premiere will take audiences on a fantastical journey to the Emerald City. Filled with all the familiarity of the classic story, yet realized with a bold, new spectacle of music, costumes, sets, projections and special effects.

Autumn In New York Kansas City Jazz Orchestra

Friday, October 12 Classic big band arrangements representing the Great American Songbook! Featuring works recorded by Stan Kenton, Woody ­Herman, Buddy Rich and more!

Free Symphony Hour Concert: Stars of the Strings Kansas City Symphony

Tuesday, October 16 Join your friends in the Kauffman Center lobby for a drink after work, followed by an inspiring FREE performance by Kansas City Symphony members. Bach, Beethoven and much more! (816) 471-0400

Chanticleer Kauffman Center Presents

Wednesday, October 24 Chanticleer is known for its seamless blend of 12 male voices and its interpretations of vocal literature, from Renaissance to popular genres. Chanticleer celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2018. | (816) 994-7222

Autumn Glorious Gershwin featuring Patti Austin Kansas City Symphony

Wynonna Kansas City Symphony

Family Concert: Halloween Spooktacular Kansas City Symphony

Brian Wilson Kauffman Center Presents

Saturday, November 10 There is only one Wynonna Judd. Her range, style and voice are simply unmatched. Wynonna performs her country hits, rock classics & much more! Tickets from $45. (816) 471-0400

October 25-27 George Gershwin is one of America’s most beloved composers. Hear all of your favorites, from “An American in Paris” to “Rhapsody in Blue.” Tickets from $40. (816) 471-0400

Tuesday, November 13 Beach Boys co-founder Brian Wilson joins Kauffman Center Presents with his Greatest Hits Live. Wilson was the creative force behind some of the most cherished recordings in rock history.

Sunday, October 28 Your little ghosts and goblins will love our frightfully fun Halloween concert filled with creepy-crawly surprises! Dress up in costume and trick-or-treat afterward in the lobby. Child tickets from $10. (816) 471-0400

Mariinsky Orchestra; Valery Gergiev, conductor; ­Denis Matsuev, pianist Harriman-Jewell Series

Monday, October 29 Praised for his “full-blooded and ­engrossing” musicianship, Valery Gergiev will conduct his titanic Mariinsky Orchestra. Russian pianist Denis Matsuev will join the orchestra for Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of ­Paganini.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Silent Film + Live Organ Kansas City Symphony

Wednesday, October 31 Organist Dorothy Papadakos revives the 1923 classic Lon Chaney silent horror film with a completely improvised score played on the Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant Organ, Opus 3875. Tickets from $25. (816) 471-0400

Mozart, Bach and Schubert’s Ninth Kansas City Symphony & ­Chorus

Karen Almond for Dallas Opera

Madama Butterfly Lyric Opera of Kansas City

November 3, 7, 9, and 11 Wrapped in rapturous musical beauty that will bring you to tears is a heartbreaking ending that will bring you to your knees. We can only watch as Butterfly floats toward her fate...’til death do them part.

Ballet Folklórico de México Harriman-Jewell Series

Saturday, November 3 Ballet Folklórico de México has been bringing vibrant music and dance to the world since 1952. Colorful costumes, thrilling music, and spectacular movement will showcase Mexico’s rich cultural heritage.

November 16-18 Mozart’s sublime Ave verum corpus and Bach’s “O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht,” begin this beautiful program featuring Schubert’s Ninth Symphony. Tickets from $25. (816) 471-0400

Mozart’s “Jupiter” with Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto Kansas City Symphony

November 23-25 Maestro Bernard Labadie returns to conduct Haydn’s catchy Trumpet Concerto with Mozart’s stunning final symphony, “Jupiter.” Tickets from $25. (816) 471-0400

Classics Uncorked: Bach, ­Bluegrass & Bourbon Kansas City Symphony

Thursday, November 8 Come hear some bluegrass pickin’ and pluckin’ plus Bach’s Brandenburg Concer­ to No. 3. After the concert, enjoy a free wine reception with Symphony musicians. Most ­ tickets $25. (816) 471-0400

Bella Hristova, violinist in a free collaborative concert Harriman-Jewell Series

Black Violin | Photo by Colin Brennan | (816) 994-7222

Friday, November 9 Violinist Bella Hristova will bring her ­passionate playing for a free concert that combines the young violinist’s mastery with the ­Symphony Orchestra of the Youth Symphony of Kansas City, celebrating its 60th ­anniversary.


Wynonna Judd | Photo courtesy of Kansas City Symphony

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Winter The Texas Tenors: Deep in the Heart of Christmas Kansas City Symphony

Friday, November 30 The Texas Tenors sleigh ride into town with their heartwarming and touching holiday concert, filled with thrilling harmonies and award-winning arrangements. Tickets from $40. (816) 471-0400

The Nutcracker Kansas City Ballet

November 30-December 23 The classic, Victorian-era story by E.T.A. Hoffman featuring Clara, the Nutcracker ­ Prince, Dr. Drosselmeier and the Sugar Plum Fairy is a magical theatrical experience wrapped with exquisite costumes, grand sets and captivating choreography.

Winter Wonderland Kansas City Jazz Orchestra

Tuesday, December 4 Get your Jingle Bell groove on with some extra hip renditions of holiday tunes featuring Hammond B3 organist, Chris Hazelton.

Christmas Festival Kansas City Symphony & ­Chorus

December 14-18 KC’s favorite Christmas concert tradition is filled with cherished Christmas carols and Yuletide songs, plus Santa! Tickets start at $30 for adults and $15 for children. (816) 471-0400

It’s a Wonderful Life in Concert Kansas City Symphony & Chorus

December 21-22 Frank Capra’s Oscar®-winning holiday classic comes to life with your Symphony playing the score to the entire beloved film. Tickets from $35. (816) 471-0400

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire™ in Concert Kansas City Symphony

January 3-6 Grab your broom and relive the magic of Harry Potter™ soaring across the big screen in h ­ igh-def with your Symphony performing the entire soundtrack live! Tickets from $40. (816) 471-0400

Handel’s Messiah Kansas City Symphony & Chorus

January 8-9 In “Social By Nature,” biologist-turned-photog­ rapher Ronan Donovan talks about the incred­ ible similarities humans share with other social mammals in the animal kingdom. Part of the Kauffman Center Presents: National Geographic Live series.

Sounds Relaxing: Rejuvenate Kansas City Symphony

Wednesday, January 9 Prepare to unwind as a guide coaches you through various breathing and meditation techniques. Symphony musicians will perform soft, mellow music to further your relaxation. All tickets $15. (816) 471-0400

Russian Romantics: ­Tchaikovsky & Glazunov Kansas City Symphony

January 11-13 Experience three Russian greats! Stravinsky’s “Chant funèbre,” Glazunov’s passionate Violin Concerto and Tchaikovsky’s triumphant Third Suite. Tickets from $25. (816) 471-0400

Classics Uncorked: Grammy® Greats Kansas City Symphony

December 7-9 The Messiah performance of the year! Nearly 200 amazing musicians and powerful voices bring this choral masterpiece to life. Featuring conductor Aram Demirjian. Tickets from $25. (816) 471-0400

Thursday, January 17 Hear excerpts from the film “Up” by Michael Giacchino, an arrangement of Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” and music by Aaron Copland, Joan Tower and Jennifer Higdon. Most tickets $25. (816) 471-0400

George Winston Kauffman Center Presents

Wednesday, December 12 George Winston’s concerts feature a variety of styles including melodic folk piano, New Orleans R&B piano, and stride piano. Kauffman Center Presents with NiteLite Promotions.

National Geographic Live: Ronan Donovan Kauffman Center Presents

Lyle Lovett Kansas City Symphony Kansas City Jazz Orchestra | Tuesday, Dec. 4

Ronan Donovan

January 8 - 9, 2019

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January 18-20 Storytelling musician Lyle Lovett fuses swing, jazz, folk, gospel and blues with his Small Band. Tickets from $40. (816) 471-0400

Swan Lake danced by Russian National Ballet Harriman-Jewell Series

Thursday, January 24 Not many ballet companies can handle the challenges of Swan Lake, but the Russian National Ballet has the masterpiece in its blood. The company specializes in authentic performances of Russian ballet repertoire.

Firebird, Aladdin and ­Rachmaninoff Kansas City Symphony

January 25-27 Stravinsky’s Firebird is an enchanting, dramatic fairytale. Rachmaninoff’s First Piano Concerto soars with piano pyrotechnics. Nielsen’s Aladdin Suite is an adventurous romp! Tickets from $25. (816) 471-0400 | (816) 994-7222


Winter Star Wars Episode IV — A New Hope in Concert Kansas City Symphony

January 31-February 3 Journey back to 1977 and a galaxy far, far away for the classic first film of the original “Star Wars” trilogy as your Symphony performs the entire thrilling John Williams score live. Tickets start at $40. (816) 471-0400

Dvořák’s “New World,” Gershwin and Pat Metheny Kansas City Symphony

February 8-10 Hear Gershwin’s rowdy Cuban Overture, songs of KC jazz icon Pat Metheny, and Dvořák’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World.” ­Tickets from $25. (816) 471-0400

Free Symphony Happy Hour Concert: I Love You Verdi Much Kansas City Symphony

Tuesday, February 12 Begin your date night with a Romantic-era chamber music concert. Selections from Verdi’s String Quartet, Puccini’s Crisantemi ­ (Chrysanthemums) and Korngold’s String ­Sextet. (816) 471-0400

Casablanca in Concert Kansas City Symphony

Kevin Wilson | Photo by Kenny Johnson

National Geographic Live: Mark Synnott Kauffman Center Presents

February 14-16 This landmark romantic film fills Helzberg Hall with drama and romance as your Symphony performs the soundtrack live! Tickets from $40. (816) 471-0400

Tuesday, February 19 Rock climber Mark Synnott has made legendary first ascents of some of the world’s tallest, most forbidding walls. Synnott shares his spirit of ad­venture in “Life On The Vertical,” part of the Kauffman Center Presents: National Geographic Live series.

Lady of the Camellias Kansas City Ballet

The Music of Michael Jackson Kansas City Symphony

February 15-24 Armand, a young countryman meets the ravishing courtesan Marguerite in a chance meeting that leads to a passionate, but doomed love. Set to the romantic score by Frédéric Chopin, and deftly depicting the moving story of beauty, extravagance, jealousy, deception and heartbreak.

February 22-23 All of Michael’s hits are here, from the Jackson 5 to his mega-smash album “Thriller” and ­beyond. Tickets from $40. (816) 471-0400

Peter & the Wolf Live! | Kansas City Symphony

Family Concert: Peter & the Wolf Live! Kansas City Symphony

Sunday, February 17 Prokofiev’s timeless musical tale of boy vs. wolf comes to life with mascots from local professional sports teams and universities. Wear your favorite team gear! Child tickets from $10. (816) 471-0400

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Sounds Relaxing: Refresh Kansas City Symphony

Tuesday, February 19 Prepare to unwind as a guide coaches you through various breathing and meditation techniques. Symphony musicians will perform soft, mellow music to further your relaxation. All tickets $15. (816) 471-0400

Harriman-Jewell Series presents Swan Lake danced by Russian National Ballet on January 24. Photo credit: CAMI | (816) 994-7222

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Spring Free Symphony Happy Hour Concert: Soak Up the Baroque Kansas City Symphony

Tuesday, March 5 Bring friends and co-workers to the Symphony for a FREE chamber music performance, and we’ll bring on the Bach! (816) 471-0400

Mendelssohn’s “Scottish” with Barber’s Piano Concerto Kansas City Symphony

March 8-10 Rossini’s William Tell Overture leads to pianist Alessio Bax playing Barber’s technically demanding Piano Concerto. Mendelssohn’s boyhood trip to Scotland inspired his Symphony No. 3, “Scottish.” Tickets from $25. (816) 471-0400

Anoushka Shankar Kauffman Center Presents

Wednesday, March 13 Sitar player Anoushka Shankar is a singular figure in the Indian classical and progressive world music scenes. She began studying sitar at age 9 with her father, the late Ravi Shankar.

ancient Egypt during a time when wom­ en ruled supreme. Part of the Kauffman Center Presents: National Geographic Live series.

San Francisco Symphony; Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor; Christian Tetzlaff, violinist Harriman-Jewell Series

Thursday, March 21 Michael Tilson Thomas will play his final U.S. tour as the symphony’s revered music director. The concert will feature music of Ravel and Sibelius, and Christian Tetzlaff will play Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 3.

Spring Fever Kansas City Jazz Orchestra

Friday, March 22 Embracing the “Lush Life.” The Jazz Orchestra expands with a beautiful string section for an evening of classic love songs in the style of Billy Strayhorn, John Coltrane and Nat King Cole that  will both warm your heart and make your toes tap.

Così fan tutte Lyric Opera of Kansas City

March 16, 20, 22 and 24 Unknown to their brides-to-be, two friends are goaded into a not-so-friendly wager that starts a battle of the sexes. The men set out to test the faithfulness of their fiancées, but end up tempting Fate.

Whitney Houston’s Greatest Hits Kansas City Symphony

Saturday, March 23 Celebrate the most-awarded female act of all time. Hear your favorites like “How Will I Know,” “Where Do Broken Hearts Go” and “I Will Always Love You.” Tickets from $40. (816) 471-0400

Carmina Burana Kansas City Symphony & Chorus

March 28-31 In the wonderfully indulgent “Carmina burana,” you’ll hear an irresistible, nonstop and thunderous celebration of life, love and the philosophy of carpe diem. Tickets from $30. (816) 471-0400

National Geographic Live: Dr. Kara Cooney Kauffman Center Presents

Tuesday, March 19 In “When Women Ruled The World,” Dr. Kara Cooney, a professor of Egyptology, ex­plores

Kansas City Jazz Orchestra | Friday, March 22

Kansas City Symphony Chorus | Tal Wilson

Saturday, March 30 The Manhattan Transfer and Take 6 meet in The Summit, a thrilling collaboration between two dynamic vocal groups, performing songs from their own catalogs and joining forces on more than a dozen numbers.

The Manhattan Transfer and Take 6 | Photo by John Abbott

Così fan tutte | Photo by Cory Weaver for San Francisco Opera.

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The Manhattan Transfer and Take 6 Kauffman Center Presents

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Spring Free Symphony Happy Hour Concert: Radiant Ravel Kansas City Symphony

Tuesday, April 2 Kansas City Symphony musicians shine in this free concert featuring Steve Reich’s hypnotic Mallet Quartet and Ravel’s gorgeous String Quartet. (816) 471-0400

PINK MARTINI Kansas City Symphony

April 5-7 Brimming with “fizzy spirit and breezy sophistication” (Chicago Sun-Times), world music sensation Pink Martini joins your Kansas City Symphony for an evening of glitz and glamour. TIckets from $40. (816) 471-0400

tenThing, brass ensemble Harriman-Jewell Series

Sunday, April 7 tenThing has been delighting audiences since the all-female, ten-member ensemble was formed by Norwegian trumpeter Tine Thing Helseth in 2007; the concert will span from Mozart to Bernstein.

into one image, illuminating our journey with time and light in “Day To Night,” part of the Kauffman Center Presents: National Geographic Live series.

Free Symphony ­Happy Hour Concert: I Could’ve Danced All Night Kansas City Symphony

Tuesday, April 30 Enjoy a drink in the Kauffman Center lobby and then experience a variety of dance-inspired pieces like Piazzolla’s lively Libertango and a concert waltz for cello quartet. (816) 471-0400

Summer In The City Kansas City Jazz Orchestra

Friday, May 3 I heard it through the grapevine that Kansas City Jazz Orchestra is closing the season with a stone cold stunner; great Motown hits pouring out of our sizzling big band. It’s going to be a Heat Wave!

May 10-19 Twyla Tharp’s In the Upper Room, William Forsythe’s contemporary masterpiece, In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated, and a world ­ ­premiere by Kansas City native, David Parsons.

An Evening with Itzhak ­Perlman, violinist; Rohan de Silva, pianist Harriman-Jewell Series

Saturday, May 11 Itzhak Perlman’s exquisite playing and warm personality have made him a favorite ­worldwide. Pianist Rohan de Silva will join Perlman for an evening of stories and music not to be missed.

Stern Conducts Mahler’s Third Kansas City Symphony

May 17-19 Experience “a gigantic musical poem [with] all the phases of evolution.” Scored for numerous vocalists and a huge orchestra, this is a can’tmiss concert this season! Tickets from $25. (816) 471-0400

Free Symphony Happy Hour Concert: Jan Kraybill’s Organ Extravaganza Kansas City Symphony

La Valse with Copland’s ­Appalachian Spring Kansas City Symphony

April 12-14 From the delicious amuse-bouche of Milhaud’s jazzy Brazilian tango and Lalo’s Cello Concerto to Copland’s Appalachian Spring and Ravel’s La valse, you’ll relish the musical journey. Tickets from $25. (816) 471-0400

Tuesday, May 28 Join your friends in the Kauffman Center lobby for a drink after work and then settle in for an impressive FREE performance by organist Jan Kraybill on the Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant Organ, Opus 3875. (816) 471-0400

The Pearl Fishers Lyric Opera of Kansas City

April 27; May 1, 3, and 5 Two old friends are unexpectedly reunited with the woman whose beauty nearly destroyed their friendship, but they fan the flames of forbidden love in this sensual staging of Bizet’s pre-Carmen classic.


Mozart’s Fifth Violin Concerto with Brahms Kansas City Symphony

Elise Bakketun for Seattle Opera

May 31-June 2 Energetic and uninhibited! Brahms’ Piano Quartet in G minor, Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5, “Turkish” and other touching works. Tickets from $25. (816) 471-0400

Family Concert: Cloudy with a Chance of Music Kansas City Symphony

Sunday, April 28 Experience the elements in Helzberg Hall with a fun and fascinating concert about all things weather, featuring KMBC-TV Channel 9 Chief Meteorologist Bryan Busby. Child tickets from $10. (816) 471-0400

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National Geographic Live: Stephen Wilkes Kauffman Center Presents

Tuesday, April 30 Photographer Stephen Wilkes seamlessly compresses the moments of a single day | (816) 994-7222

Dancers: Kevin Wilson, Lilliana Hagerman, Taryn Mejia and Liang Fu | Photo by Kenny Johnson


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Summer National Geographic Live: Cheryl Knott & Tim Laman Kauffman Center Presents

Tuesday, June 4 In “Adventures Among Orangutans,” learn how biologist Cheryl Knott and photographer Tim Laman are using innovative techniques to gain a closer look at orangutans. Part of the Kauffman Center Presents: National Geographic Live series.

Sounds Relaxing: Renew Kansas City Symphony

Wednesday, June 5 Prepare to unwind as a guide coaches you through various breathing and meditation techniques. Symphony musicians will perform soft, mellow music to further your relaxation. All tickets $15. (816) 471-0400 Kansas City Symphony led by Michael Stern | TODD ROSENBERG

Symphonic Metamorphosis plus Bach and Brahms Kansas City Symphony

Classics Uncorked: Secrets Revealed Kansas City Symphony

June 7-9 Bach’s famous Toccata and Fugue in D M ­ inor, Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis, plus Yefim Bronfman plays Liszt’s dazzling Second Piano Concerto. Tickets from $25. ­ (816) 471-0400

FREE 6th annual Future Stages Festival

Thursday, June 13 We pull back the curtain on Elgar’s Enigma Variations and Masquerade by Anna Clyne. Wine reception included. Most tickets $25. (816) 471-0400

June 2019 Kauffman Center celebrates the future of the performing arts in Kansas City at this free, family-friendly event, featuring local youth performance groups and kid-friendly arts activities. Visit futurestages to learn more.

Season Finale: Pictures at an Exhibition Kansas City Symphony

June 21-23 Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, orchestrated by Ravel, is colorful and triumphant. Audiences love every minute of Brahms’ First Piano Concerto performed by special guest Benjamin Grosvenor. Tickets from $25. (816) 471-0400

Sounds Relaxing: Renew | Kansas City Symphony


Tuesday, June 4, 2019 C H E R Y L



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AMONG ORANGUTANS Tim Laman Future Stages Festival | Jillian Shoptaw

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Events & Dining The Dining Experience at the Kauffman Center Featuring a seasonal three-course menu, The Dining Experience at the Kauffman Center offers modern American cuisine just steps away from the Center’s two theaters. The Dining Experience’s rotating menus also include small plates for lighter fare, a selection of craft cocktails, and a curated wine list. The Dining Experience is available prior to most performances at the Kauffman Center. Tickets to a performance aren’t needed to dine. For reservations, menus and more, visit or call (816) 994-7222.

Brandmeyer Great Hall | Mary Beth Russell with epagaFOTO

Dining Experience Menu | Anna Petrow

Arts District Terrace | Chris Hurtt

The Founders’ Lounge | Jillian Shoptaw

Kauffman Center Special Event Rentals Let one of the world’s most iconic backdrops set the stage for your special event. The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts features a glass atrium lobby with a panoramic view of Kansas City, two separate performance halls and seven other unique spaces perfect to host anything from large meetings and seminars to weddings and private dinners. The Kauffman Center events team has the creative expertise to transform these spaces for any group from 2 to 2,000 in a way that will amaze your guests and work within your budget. Whether you’re hosting a wedding celebration, corporate event or meeting, fundraiser, gala or pre-performance reception, the events team will help you achieve your vision and design an original event your guests will never forget. Dining Experience Craft Cocktail | Anna Petrow

For more information, visit To inquire about pricing and availability, email or call (816) 994-7213. | (816) 994-7222

2018-2019 | Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts | 11 Advertisement

General Information

The Hunchback of Notre Dame | Kansas City Symphony

The Pearl Fishers | Lyric Opera of Kansas City Photo by Elise Bakketun for Seattle Opera

Kansas City Symphony | Todd Rosenberg

Chanticleer | Kauffman Center Presents

The Nutcracker | Kansas City Ballet

Box Office Tickets for performances can be purchased through the Kauffman Center Box Office at (816) 994-7222 or Parking The adjacent, city-owned Arts District Parking Garage has 1,000 spaces. Pre-purchase garage or valet parking for events by calling (816) 994-7222. Accessibility The Kauffman Center is committed to providing an accessible and enjoyable  experience to all patrons. Available accommodations include wide pathways and elevators, seating for patrons using wheelchairs, and assisted listening devices. For more information, visit Safety & Security The Kauffman Center places the highest priority on the comfort and safety of its patrons, providing 24-hour security and video surveillance services, plus EMT medical services at most events. Questions regarding emergency procedures during events can be directed to the House Manager. Tours Public and private tours are available with advance reservations. For details and pricing, visit Brandmeyer Great Hall is open to the public most Fridays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Open Doors Through the Open Doors program, the Kauffman Center provides access to student matinee performances, youth performance opportunities, internships, and educational experiences. Learn more at Ticket Discounts & EncoreTix Several events at the Kauffman Center offer discounted tickets for students and other groups. Learn more at For audience members age 18-39, EncoreTix offers ticket discounts, giveaways and more. Sign up for free at Get Involved Volunteers provide essential support to the Kauffman Center through ushering, greeting visitors and more. Find volunteer opportunities at Show Your Support Become a Spotlight member to receive exclusive benefits such as priority access to performance tickets, free members-only concerts, meet-and-greets with artists, backstage tours and more. Learn more at


2018-2019 Season Guide - Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts