Harriman-Jewell Series’ New Season to Offer More Variety

The Presenting Powerhouse Will Bring 22 Events to Kansas City for its 2020-2021 Season

From Joshua Bell to Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Harriman-Jewell Series’ 2020-2021 season is aglow with some of classical music’s biggest stars. For opera lovers, there are recitals by three of the world’s most famous singers — Renée Fleming, Juan Diego Flórez and Joyce DiDonato. There is also a wealth of dance, from tap to Indian, the Stuttgart Bach Akademie performs Bach’s St Matthew Passion, bassist Edgar Meyer plays a solo program from Bach to bluegrass, and three remarkable young artists will make their Kansas City debuts with free Discovery Concerts.

Clark Morris, executive and artistic director of the Harriman-Jewell Series, says the diverse, wide-ranging 2020-2021 season is part of an effort to expand the Series’ reach.

“We wanted to have a broader slate of offerings in order to reach more people in the community with this great art, so we are really excited to do that,” Morris said. “We’re going to do the things we traditionally do along with some new things. We are eager to build up these new offerings, and we think they’ll contribute to what makes Kansas City a great city.”

An example of those more expansive offerings is The Dhamaal Dancers and Musicians of India. Next season will be the first time the Harriman-Jewell Series has presented Indian song and dance. Morris says it’s long overdue.

“We’ve brought different folk and cultural groups from around the world but never anything from India,” Morris said. “This is such an important culture and something that deserves to be seen. There are many from our city’s population who have heritage and ties to India, so we hope to both nourish our traditional audience while reaching those with particular cultural interests.”

There are more delights for dance aficionados, as well. Next season will feature Parsons Dance, a favorite with Kansas City audiences, and Dorrance Dance, an ensemble dedicated to the uniquely American genre of tap dance. Also, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, longtime series regulars, perform at the Muriel Kauffman Theatre with additional performances on the same January weekend offered by Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey.

“We’re pleased to partner with the Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey in the presentation of the main company,” Morris said.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to present this amazing company again, one of the most successful dance companies in America, and to link arms with such a great Kansas City organization to celebrate this art.”

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra conducted by Riccardo Muti will return to the Series, this time with mezzo-soprano Alice Coote, who will sing the beautiful but rarely performed Sea Songs by Edward Elgar. Also on the program are the “Four Sea Interludes” from Benjamin Britten’s opera Peter Grimes, and Tchaikovsky’s powerful Symphony No. 5.

“We’re fortunate that Riccardo Muti loves Kansas City and loves the Kauffman Center and Helzberg Hall,” Morris said. “We’ve had a good relationship with Muti and the Chicago Symphony, and we’re very lucky to get this combination of artists on stage in Kansas City.”

Also returning next season, after her stunning debut on the Harriman-Jewell Series last year, is French-Georgian pianist Khatia Buniatishvili.

“People flew in from as far away as Mexico for that recital last year, and I think we’re going to have a similar reaction next season,” Morris said. “Her recital created quite a sensation. The next day I called her manager and said, ‘Okay, we want to bring Khatia back again as soon as we can,’ and spring 2021 was the next available time we were able to get her back to Kansas City. You want to get your tickets early because it’s going to be a thrill.”

For tickets and more information, call 816-415-5025 or visit www.hjseries.org. 

–Patrick Neas

About The Author: Contributing Writer

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