Maestro move: Michael Stern calls time on Kansas City

The music director has decided to leave in 2023, after 18 years in the job.

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  • Poor man. He managed to stay in that ugly bible belt city for 18 years. This is heroic. Maybe he took a drive to the Missouri side and decide to call it quits. Been there once. The highlight of the trip was eating at a recommended BBQ restaurant inside a gas station.

    • Your attempt to be snide is revealing. The KC Symphony is in Kansas City, Missouri, which is an attractive and interesting city. Kansas City, Kansas is a different place. Michael Stern has done a wonderful job with this orchestra as a leader and builder. Fortunately for them he is not leaving until 2023, after 18 years. There will be a lot of interest in his position.

    • What the hell is wrong with? Bible Belt City? Took a drive to the Missouri side? You know downtown Kansas City IS in Missouri, right? Please use more protection from the radiation and stay off your computer, and keep your ignorant and breathtakingly fatuous comments to yourself.

  • Huge loss for KC. Wonderful conductor and I’ve heard him in guest conducting gigs where he really inspires orchestras to play better than ever. His Reference Recordings legacy is brilliant. Hope he doesn’t become a musical hermit – he has a lot to offer still.

  • I don’t know why he has an S.F. Giants jersey on, but I’ve liked this guy long before I saw that. Now I know he’s a good guy. Speaking of San Francisco, he might be perfect for that job after Salonen.

    • In 2014, the San Francisco Giants defeated the Kansas City Royals in the World Series (we’re talking baseball). I’m surmising that he had to wear the shirt in a light hearted wager with Michael Tilson Thomas.

  • Also, the (Zagat-listed) ‘barbecue in a gas station’ referred to is actually on the Kansas side. Pretty much everything in this comment was misinformation.

  • Over the past two years, the orchestra has lost its concertmaster (yet to be replaced), asst. concertmaster, principal violist, several other orchestra members, executive director (recently retired), and now Stern when his contract ends. Here’s hoping the orchestra can get through all this and continue operating at a high artistic level.

    • With base salary to increasing 15% over the next 4 years (30% since 2011), I think the orchestra will be just fine. They play in one of the world’s great concert halls. Not to mention their endowment now stands at three times that of orchestras with triple the operating cost.

      An increasingly attractive orchestra for this country’s ultra competitive audition circuit. KC’s symphony is only going to improve artistically during and well after 2023.

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