Harriman-Jewell Series to Present Three Great Orchestras and Great Stars
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Helzberg Hall has changed everything. When the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts opened in 2011, it didn’t take long for word to spread that Kansas City has one of the most acoustically superb performance venues in the United States.
The 2018–2019 season of the Harriman-Jewell Series reflects Kansas City’s rising profile as an arts center. Next season, the Series will present more great orchestras and conductors than ever before, as well as some of the biggest names in classical music, like Itzhak Perlman and hometown favorite Joyce DiDonato.
Three great orchestras and their music directors are coming next year: Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra, Valery Gergiev and the Mariinsky Orchestra and Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony.
“The very best music directors in the world want to have their orchestras perform here,” Clark Morris, executive and artistic director of the Harriman-Jewell Series said. “In the past, we might have been offered an orchestra, but not with its primary conductor or primary music director. It’s still special, but not quite as special as having the music director of the ensemble too.”
Nézet-Séguin is one of the most exciting figures in classical music right now. In addition to leading The Philadelphia Orchestra, in 2020 he will become music director of the Metropolitan Opera. The 42-year-old Montréal native is appearing twice next season on the Series.
“We’ll get to see this new superstar of the conducting world not just on the podium with baton in hand, but also at the piano accompanying our local star, Joyce DiDonato,” Morris said.MARCH/APRIL 2018
It was also recently announced that in 2020, Tilson Thomas, who has appeared twice on the Harriman-Jewell Series, will step down as music director of the San Francisco Symphony, so this will be his last national tour with the orchestra. He is currently in his 23rd season leading the San Francisco Symphony, making him the longest-tenured music director of any major American orchestra.
Other returning favorites include pianist Emanuel Ax, the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields with pianist Jeremy Denk, and violinist Itzhak Perlman. In past recitals, Perlman’s encores have been a huge hit with the audience, in part because the violinist displays a puckish wit and reveals his warm, personal side. Morris says that audiences will get to know Perlman even better on next season’s recital.
“It’s called ‘An Evening with Itzhak Perlman,’ and that’s intentional because it is more of a curated evening and not a typical recital performance,” Morris said.
Morris says the recital will consist of shorter works interspersed with narration and theatrics, with Perlman talking to the audience throughout the concert.
“People will get to know more about the man behind the artistry,” Morris said.
The season’s dance offerings will explore two different worlds: Ballet Folklórico de México will present traditional dance with colorful costumes and music, and the Russian National Ballet will perform Swan Lake in the Russian Imperial style.
Artists new to the Series and to Kansas City include the Georgian pianist Khatia Buniatishvili and tenThing brass ensemble, an all-female ensemble founded by Norwegian trumpeter Tine Thing Helseth.
“I’m personally very excited about this season,” Morris said. “It’s a great time to be living in Kansas City.”
For tickets and more information, call 816-415-5025 or visit hjseries.org.