KC Symphony offers three stunning concerts

Violinist Midori will conduct "Inside Music Series." Photo provided.

The Kansas City Symphony promises three brilliant concerts for January. The trio starts January 8 with Brilliant Brits: Elgar and Vaughan Williams. The concert features guest conductor Robert Spano, and introduces cellist Timotheos Petrin to Kansas City symphony patrons.

Celebrated American conductor Robert Spano leads a program replete with British composers. The concert opens with an excerpt from Oliver Knussen’s opera, based upon the children’s book Higglety, Pigglety Pop!

Cellist Timotheos Petrin makes his KCS debut in Elgar’s Concerto, which mirrors the troubled soul of a man who witnessed the horrors of World War I. Vaughan Williams’ London symphony, written before the Great War’s outbreak, is an affectionate tribute to the city.

This Bravo & Masterworks Series concert at Kauffman Center’s Helzberg Hall performs January 8 and 9 at 8 p.m., and January 10 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25 to $78.

In the second offering of the month, the legendary Midori will dazzle audiences with Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto. A virtuoso tour-de-force from start to finish, the piece is one of the most popular and thrilling works in the repertoire.

Fancy Free, Bernstein’s youthful, exuberant ballet depicting a trio of sailors on 24-hour shore leave, opens the program.

Capping off the colorful concert is Stravinsky’s Pétrouchka, the tragic story of a puppet who comes to life, only to be murdered by his rival.

The Ovation & Masterworks Series concert performs in Helzberg Hall, January 15 and 16 at 8 p.m., and Jan. 17 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $28 to $78.

In addition to the concerts, violinist Midori conducts a KC Symphony Inside Music Series program Saturday January 8, at 11 a.m. Witness incredible technique and coaching as the incomparable Midori shares her artistry with two students as part of the Inside Music Series.

Students interested in performing should submit a nomination form no later than Monday, January 4, 2016. The program is free, but RSVP’s are needed. The program is presented in Helzberg Hall.

To cap off the month, the symphony presents Beethoven’s Emperor, With Sibelius’ Seventh on January 29 – 31. Conductor Michael Stern presents this exciting program, with guest pianist Jeremy Denk.

Denk is the soloist in Beethoven’s final Piano Concerto, the Emperor. The nickname refers not to any particular member of royalty but to the Concerto’s grand and noble music.

In the span of one movement lasting 20 minutes, Sibelius’ Seventh and final Symphony explores a universe of emotions.

Scriabin’s Poem of Ecstasy, a virtuoso, romantic work for large orchestral forces, depicts “the spirit that creates sorrow in doubt, (giving) itself to the torment of love.”

This Ovation and Masterworks Series concert in Helzberg Hall is Friday and Saturday, January 29 and 30, at 8 p.m. and Sunday Jan. 31 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $23 to $76.

Tickets for all three concerts may be purchased online at www.KCSymphony.org and www.Kauffmancenter.org, or by calling (816) 471-0400, and in person at the KC Symphony box office.

The Gayly – 1/15/2016 @ 2:24 p.m. CST