2019-2020: the 55th Season of Harriman-Jewell Series

An Anniversary Celebration of Classical, Broadway, Jazz and More

The Harriman-Jewell Series has announced its 2019–2020 season and it’s a star-studded extravaganza of classical music’s biggest names.

“We scheduled a high concentration of large orchestras for our current season,” said Clark Morris, executive and artistic director of the Harriman-Jewell Series, “so next season, we intentionally weighted ourselves a little heavier in individual stars, particularly in voice.”

One of those vocal stars is the Tony Award-winning and Emmy-nominated Kelli O’Hara. Another is up-and-comer soprano Nadine Sierra. Winner of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2018 Beverly Sills Artist Award, Sierra’s career is starting to explode. She’s becoming known even with non-classical audiences, being featured in magazines like Vogue, Nylon and Bon Appétit.

“I was introduced to Nadine through the Tucker Gala, because she was the Richard Tucker award winner,” Morris said. “She is really phenomenal, quite something.”

The big news for next season is the first-ever Harriman-Jewell Series appearance by one of the world’s greatest divas, the Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu.

“Angela Gheorghiu is at the height of her career, but has never been to Kansas City,” said Morris. “It’s fun to bring someone who’s never been to Kansas City, someone who’s a giga star.”

And Kansas City’s own “giga star,” Joyce DiDonato, returns next season in a program she calls My Favorite Things. Joyce is bringing the early music band, Il Pomo d’Oro, for a vibrant concert of baroque and classical arias.

Next season is a big one for pianists, too. Mitsuko Uchida, who has a reputation for not giving many recitals, will make her second appearance on the Series within just three years. She and the Mahler Chamber Orchestra will perform two Mozart piano concertos.

“For her to want to come back so soon, she must have had a good experience here,” Morris said. “It speaks to the great cultural destination Kansas City has become that we are able to attract artists like Mitsuko Uchida. They come and they want to come back. It’s fantastic.”

Russian pianist Daniil Trifonov, first-prize winner of the Tchaikovsky International Piano Competition, will be making his Harriman-Jewell Series debut, an appearance that’s been a long time in the making.

“We had an arrangement for Trifonov to give a recital right after he won the 2011 Tchaikovsky Competition, but our date was the same date Valery Gergiev wanted Trifonov to perform with him in Carnegie Hall,” Morris said. “Since Gergiev is the co-chair of the Tchaikovsky Competition, we really couldn’t say no.”

The Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and Mark Morris Dance Group will both return to the Series with exciting programs. Mark Morris will present Pepperland, a colorful tribute to the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ classic “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” Aspen Santa Fe Ballet will perform Where We Left Off, choreographed by Nicolo Fonte, with pianist Han Chen on stage playing the Philip Glass score.

As always, the Harriman-Jewell Series is bringing some big guns to town. Next season it’s the Siberian State Symphony Orchestra in a program of Prokofiev and Rachmaninoff, and Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops performing the beloved film music of John Williams. And star violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter returns to the Series with a recital of Beethoven violin sonatas to celebrate the composer’s 250th birthday.

To get Kansas City into the holiday swing, it’s Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.

“Wynton always delivers an incredible evening,” Morris said. “To have them come back with a holiday program will be a lot of fun.”

See complete details for season performances, including free Discovery Concerts, at www.hjseries.org.

–Patrick Neas

About The Author: Contributing Writer

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