Fall Classical Music & Dance: A Piquant Mix of Old and New

Kansas City Ballet dancers Amaya Rodriguez, Liang Fu and Kevin Wilson performing “Amor Brujo,” with choreography by Irene Rodriguez, at the 2021 New Dance Partners; this year the ballet is working with choreographer Gina Patterson.(photo by Mike Strong)

From common joys to psychological breaking points, Kansas City’s classical music and dance scene presents eclectic, exceptional programming that looks back at the traditions we love while leaping in unexpected directions.

Opus 76 Quartet featuring (left to right) Zsolt Eder, violin; Ashley Stanfield, viola; Keith Stanfield, violin; and Daniel Ketter, cello, will perform at Midwest Trust Center Sept. 9. (photo by Gary Rohman)

The Opus 76 Quartet, which often curates multi-sensory experiences for their patrons, brings music of the Regency to life at the Midwest Trust Center with a performance of era-appropriate string quartets from the likes of Franz Schubert and Ludwig van Beethoven, paired with a traditional English high tea.
Midwest Trust Center, Johnson County Community College, Sept. 9, www.jccc.edu/midwest-trust-center

New Dance Partners, at Johnson County Community College’s Midwest Trust Center, continues its mission of pairing nationally recognized choreographers with our Kansas City favorite dance companies. Be on the lookout this season for new work with the Kansas City Ballet, Owen/Cox Dance Group, Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company and Störling Dance Theatre.
Midwest Trust Center, Johnson County Community College, Sept. 15 and 16, www.jccc.edu/midwest-trust-center

Te Deum has become one of the leading choirs in Kansas City. They’ll open their season with “Truer Words,” featuring a selection of liturgical and non-liturgical works inspired by centuries of poets such as John Donne, Christina Rossetti, Christopher Smart, Michael Dennis Brown and Langston Hughes. The program also features the world premiere by composer-in-residence Anthony Maglione. Then, they’ll take the program on tour to Nebraska and Iowa.
St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Sept. 16; Village Presbyterian, Sept. 17, www.te-deum.org

Set design rendering for Lyric Opera of Kansas City’s production of “Cavalleria Rusticana |Pagliacci,” Sept. 23 and 29 and Oct. 1 at the Kauffman Center (Steven C. Kemp Design)

Lyric Opera of Kansas City presents “Cavalleria Rusticana” and “Pagliacci.” The double bill is the essence of Italian opera with misguided passions and soaring melodies, beguiling opera lovers old and new.
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Sept. 23 and 29, Oct. 1, kcopera.org

Charles Bruffy conducts the Kansas City Chorale performing “Songs of the Heavens” Oct. 1 and 5. (Recording Academy)

Kansas City’s Grammy Award-winning choir, Kansas City Chorale, opens their season with celestially inspired selections, including György Ligeti’s other-wordly “Lux Aeterna,” for “Songs of the Heavens,” conducted by Charles Bruffy.  
Our Lady of Sorrows, Oct. 1; The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Rozzelle Court, Oct. 5, www.kcchorale.org

In a season of celebration and farewell, the Kansas City Symphony begins music director Michael Stern’s final season with an exciting opening weekend: Béla Bartók’s barn-burning Concerto for Orchestra, audience favorite Yefim Bronfman performing Johannes Brahms’ Piano Concerto no. 2 in B flat Major, and a modern take on Indigenous traditions with Gabriela Ortiz’s “Kauyumari.”
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Oct. 6-8, www.kansascitysymphony.org

The Owen/Cox Dance Group collaborates with composer Stacy Busch in “She Breathes Fire.” Busch is one of the most singular voices creating in Kansas City today, crafting vulnerable realisms through sophisticated sound worlds.
Union Station’s City Stage Theatre, Oct. 6-8, www.owencoxdance.org

Kansas City Ballet dancer Cameron Thomas in advance of his appearance in KC Ballet’s “Jekyll & Hyde,” Oct. 13-22 at the Kauffman Center (photo by Kenny Johnson)

The Kansas City Ballet explores the dark complexities of self-destruction with “Jekyll & Hyde,” a new ballet from choreographer Val Caniparoli (Kansas City audiences saw his “The Lottery” in 2017), making its North American debut.
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Oct. 13-22, kcballet.org

Harriman-Jewell Series presents the Minería Symphony Orchestra of Mexico. They are led by award-winning conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto and joined by pianist Gabriela Montero in a celebration of Mexican orchestral music, including Montero’s own “The Latin Concerto,” Silvestre Revueltas’ “Night of the Mayas,” a new work by Gabriela Ortiz, and Carlos Chávez’s Symphony No. 2.
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Oct. 23, www.hjseries.org

Harriman-Jewell Series also brings the vibrant Mark Morris Dance Group back to Kansas City with “The Look of Love,” a tribute to mega-songwriter Burt Bacharach. (Born in Kansas City in 1928, he died earlier this year at the age of 94.) The vivid performance, with live music, features Marcy Harriell on vocals.
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Nov. 17, www.hjseries.org

Also, in the Master Pianists series, The Friends of Chamber Music presents husband-and-wife duo Alessio Bax and Lucille Chung Dec. 5 at the Folly Theater.

In the Master Pianists series, the Friends of Chamber Music presents the legendary András Schiff and an array of French music performed by husband-and-wife duo Alessio Bax and Lucille Chung. (And don’t miss Friends’ “New Horizons” concert this fall. Read more on page 36.)
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, Nov. 14 (Schiff) and Folly Theater, Dec. 5 (Bax/Chung),

Libby Hanssen

Originally from Indiana, Libby Hanssen covers the performing arts in Kansas City. She is the author of States of Swing: The History of the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra, 2003-2023. Along with degrees in trombone performance, Libby was a Fellow for the NEA Arts Journalism Institute at Columbia University. She maintains the culture bog "Proust Eats a Sandwich."

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