Maestro move: Michael Stern calls time on Kansas City

Maestro move: Michael Stern calls time on Kansas City


norman lebrecht

September 09, 2019

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

Report here. 



  • Nothing to Show Me State says:

    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.

    • Minnesota says:

      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.

    • You are dumb says:

      In all seriousness, what is the point of commenting like this? It’s really pathetic.

    • FP says:

      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.

    • Juan says:

      He worked in KC, Missouri. For 18 years.

      Basic fact checking took 10 seconds.

    • Kay Langford says:

      You know nothing about Kansas City.

      Your ignorance isn’t worth talking about.

  • Cubs Fan says:

    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.

  • Doug Grant says:

    So, he has 4 more years. Good long term planning.

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    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.

    • Brian Bell says:

      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.

  • William says:

    Atlanta will be opening up around that time.

  • Michael says:

    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.

  • opus30 says:

    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.

    • Barry says:

      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.