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'Joy seeks eternity' with Kelley O'Connor and Mahler's Third Symphony

Eric T. Williams
Mezzo-soprano Kelley O'Connor with Michael Stern and the Kansas City Symphony in Helzberg Hall - May, 2019

Cozy up and enjoy a Kansas City Symphony performance of Gustav Mahler's epic Symphony No. 3. You'll also hear from music director Michael Stern and special guest Kelley O'Connor, the featured mezzo-soprano, on what it's like to perform such an enormous work.

An agreement with the Kansas City Symphony allows us to share audio for this program up to four weeks after the program's original air date. You can listen to currently available episodes here.

Scroll down for some special bonus content to find out more about Kelley O'Connor's deep connection to Mahler's music.


Michael Stern
Dan Margolies


Kelley O'Connor, mezzo-soprano


Symphony No. 3 (1906 revision)
I. Kraftig Entschieden
II. Tempo di Menuetto Sehr
III. Comodo (Scherzando)
IV. Sehr langsam - Misterios
V. Lustig im Tempo und kec
VI. Langsam - Ruhevoll - Empfunden
by Gustav Mahler

Kelly O'Connor, mezzo-soprano
Women of the Kansas City Symphony Chorus - Charles Bruffy, director
Allegro KC (children's choir) - Christy Elsner, director
Live performance, May 2019

You can learn more about Kelley O'Connor at

Bonus Content
Mezzo-soprano Kelley O'Connor explains the joys and challenges of performing Mahler's music.

Stay Connected
Dan Margolies has been a reporter for the Kansas City Business Journal, The Kansas City Star, and KCUR Public Radio. He retired as a reporter in December 2022 after a 37-year journalism career.
Sam Wisman is a Senior Producer for 91.9 Classical KC and a backup announcer for KCUR 89.3. Email him at