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Kansas City Symphony Returns To In-Person Concerts At Helzberg Hall

Eric Williams
Kansas City Symphony
The Kansas City Symphony returns to in-person performances at Helzberg Hall in May and June.

The Symphony on Tuesday announced three in-person concerts at Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in May and June.

After a long wait and one false start, the Kansas City Symphony has announced it will return to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts this spring for in-person concerts.

“We believe that we can safely perform for live audiences once again,” executive director Danny Beckley said Tuesday in a news release.

Since the pandemic began, the Symphony's leaders have worked with the University of Kansas Health System to gauge the safety of gathering musicians and audiences in Helzberg Hall.

In December, the Symphony announced it would return to the stage in January with limited, in-person performances. But that didn't happen. Coronavirus cases spiked and city officials tightened guidelines on gathering.

Instead, the Symphony launched a new streaming platform.

Beckley said protocols will be in place for reopening, including distance between seats, mask mandates, and extensive cleaning.

“But it is time for our return to in-person attendance," he added, "and we couldn’t be more excited.”

courtesy Kansas City Symphony
The Symphony launched its outdoor Mobile Music Box chamber music concerts in the fall of 2020, with the goal of visiting all the ZIP codes in the Kansas City metro area.

Symphony musicians have continued to perform throughout the pandemic — with online concerts through its MySymphonySeat.org site, as well as Mobile Music Box concerts in neighborhoods across the metro area.

Music director Michael Stern said he was looking forward to performing in front of audiences at Helzberg Hall again.

“I was grateful for all the internet connectedness that our digital world afforded us,” Stern said in a release. “But there is no substitute for the special communion that occurs between all of us on stage and those listening in person, surrounded by the miraculous acoustics of Helzberg Hall.”

According to the Symphony, Kansas City's health department has granted permission to seat 20% of the Hall. Subscribers will be able to select tickets based on the number of subscribed seats and their section, although seating assignments for the May and June concerts are likely to differ from current subscription seats.

The Symphony's Box Office can be contacted online or by calling 816-471-0400, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

May and June concerts at Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts:

Wednesday, May 26 at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; and Friday, May 28 at 1:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.

COPLAND Fanfare for the Common Man
HAILSTORK Amazing Grace
R. STRAUSS Wind Serenade
CARLOS SIMON The Warmth from Other Suns
STRAVINSKY Suite from Pulcinella “Hallelujah Holidays"

Friday, June 4 at 1:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Saturday, June 5 at 1:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, June 6 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

W.A. MOZART Serenade for Winds in E-flat Major
DUKAS Fanfare from La Peri
TIM HIGGINS Sinfonietta
GRAINGER/HIGGINS Lincolnshire Posy

Thursday, June 17 at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Friday, June 18 at 11 a.m.; Saturday, June 19 at 1:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and Sunday, June 20 at 2 p.m.

DEBUSSY/FRADIANI Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune
F.J. HAYDN Symphony No. 64, “Tempo mutantur”

Kansas City is known for its style of jazz, influenced by the blues, as the home of Walt Disney’s first animation studio and the headquarters of Hallmark Cards. As one of KCUR’s arts reporters, I want people here to know a wide range of arts and culture stories from across the metropolitan area. I take listeners behind the scenes and introduce them to emerging artists and organizations, as well as keep up with established institutions. Send me an email at lauras@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @lauraspencer.
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