The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra proudly presents its 2017-18 Season - EMBRACE! 97 years of artistry and entertainment | Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra
HomeAbout UsKso News2017 2018The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra proudly presents its 2017-18 Season - EMBRACE! 97 years of artistry and entertainment

The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra proudly presents its 2017-18 Season - EMBRACE! 97 years of artistry and entertainment


Kalamazoo, MI March 1, 2017 – The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra announces its upcoming 2017-18 season. In this 97th season, the KSO embraces diversity and change. Exciting masterworks with energetic new conductors, the Kalamazoo debuts of world renowned guest artists, entertaining pops concerts, and family friendly concerts make the 2017-18 season one to remember for the entire community.

In keeping with the season’s theme - embracing change and diversity - the KSO’s Symphonic Series will highlight the five finalists vying for the position of KSO Music Director. The KSO’s season will launch with a program centered around works from Sibelius & Tchaikovsky and will feature violinist, Jennifer Frautschi under the baton of KSO Resident Conductor, Daniel Brier.  The KSO is proud to feature its Principal Oboist, Gabriel Renteria, as well as the 2017 Stulberg International String Competition Winner, in the second symphonic performance of the year, a Bruckner & Williams program under the direction of Las Vegas Philharmonic Music Director, Donato Cabrera. 2007 International Queen Elisabeth Contest Winner and international star pianist, Anna Vinnitskaya will perform alongside returning San Francisco Symphony Summer Series Director, Edwin Outwater, in Rachmaninoff’s 3rd Piano Concerto (Brahms & Rachmaninoff). February’s symphonic concert, Haydn & Beethoven, will feature Elgin Symphony Orchestra Music Director, Andrew Grams, and cellist Pablo Ferrandez-Castro, Tchaikovsky International Competition finalist. Next in the series, and in celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s 100th, the KSO has invited international acclaimed violinist, Anne Akiko Meyers and mezzo soprano, J’Nai Bridges.  Joining them on stage is Stilian Kirov, the Music Director of the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra and New Jersey’s Symphony in C, as he returns to Kalamazoo for his second appearance on the podium. A Beethoven & Prokofiev themed program will round out the symphonic series with Julian Kuerti, Principal Guest Conductor of Montreal’s Orchestre Métropolitain, with the internationally renowned Eroica Trio, performing Beethoven’s Triple Concerto. 

KSO Pops! concerts are perfect for those who desire a less classical approach to symphonic concerts. The KSO will welcome one of the most beloved pop and R&B groups of the 90’s – All-4-One - to the Miller Auditorium Stage for one night only! This Grammy Award Winning group is internationally known for making beautiful love songs that not only chart radio airwaves, but that also garner countless awards.  You will want to put on your dancing shoes and join the KSO in the spring as they celebrate the legacy of ABBA with acclaimed tribute band Arrival from Sweden – The Music of ABBAThe Sun Valley Times raves “Arrival did not disappoint, playing all of the legendary group’s biggest hits well into the night. It was a time warp of the most entertaining kind — they looked like ABBA, they sounded like ABBA, they dressed like ABBA, for all intents and purposes, they were ABBA.”

This season includes three family friendly concerts. The KSO is proud to once again partner with Classical Kids LIVE! for our Family Discovery Series this season, as they present Gershwin’s Magic Key and Tchaikovsky Discovers America. In year three of their exclusive Disney partnership, the KSO will feature another family favorite, Disney’s The Jungle Book in Concert!  Under the baton of Maestro Daniel Brier, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra will bring to life George Bruns’ remarkable score while the full-length movie plays on the big screen. Reduced family ticket rates can be found on the Kalamazoo Symphony’s website. 

Catering to an intimate audience are the KSO’s ever popular chamber music series - Classics Uncorked and Classics On Tap.  These concerts feature smaller orchestral ensembles and casual atmosphere.  Classics Uncorked (Kalamazoo Institute of Arts) and On Tap (Bell’s Eccentric Café) feature select KSO Artists In Residence and deliver a casual and social environment. These concerts typically sell out far in advance and seating is limited to only 180 individuals.  

“Our 2017-18 season is a particularly exciting one for me” said Peter H. Gistelinck, President & CEO of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra. “Not only do we continue to attract remarkable internationally renowned soloists who will be making their Kalamazoo debut, but we have also gained the interest of five prominent conductors as finalists in our Music Director search. Embracing our community with unique opportunities, creative programming and increased accessibility is and will remain top priority for the KSO.”

KSO Resident Conductor, Daniel Brier, adds, "This season holds a special place in my heart. We welcome fantastic guest conductors and artists to share the stage with our own wonderful musicians. We will celebrate our heritage while we forge our future. I'm particularly thrilled to embrace our community through interesting programming which highlights diversity, showcases artistry, and inspires us all!" 

Current subscribers will receive their personalized renewal packets in the mail or can renew their subscriptions now by calling the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra office at (269) 349-7759. Subscriptions for first time subscribers are available for up to 30% off and can be purchased through the KSO office or online. Single tickets will go on sale August 28, 2017.

Please visit for more information.


Season Details


Sibelius & Tchaikovsky

Saturday, September 16, 2017 | 8pm | Miller Auditorium
Daniel Brier, Conductor; Jennifer Frautschi, Violin 

World renowned violinist, Jennifer Frautschi, makes her Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra debut in Sibelius’ unparalleled violin concerto under the baton of Resident Conductor, Daniel Brier. The second half of the program brings us one of Tchaikovsky’s most beloved masterworks, his 6th Symphony – the “Pathétique”.

                WALKER                Sinfonia No. 4 “Strands"
                SIBELIUS                Violin Concerto in D minor
                TCHAIKOVSKY      Symphony No. 6 “Pathétique”


Bruckner & Williams

Saturday, October 28, 2017 | 8pm | Miller Auditorium
Donato Cabrera, Conductor; Gabriel Renteria, Oboe; 2017 Stulberg International Competition Winner

Las Vegas Philharmonic Orchestra Music Director, Donato Cabrera, leads the KSO in Bruckner’s 1st Symphony. John William’s Oboe Concerto is performed by KSO Principal Oboe, Gabriel Renteria. Program includes the 2017 Stulberg International String Competition winner.  

                COPLAND             Fanfare for the Common Man
                TBD                      Stulberg Winner’s Choice
                WILLIAMS            Oboe Concerto
                BRUCKNER           Symphony No. 1 in C minor

Brahms & Rachmaninoff

Saturday, November 11, 2017 | 8pm | Miller Auditorium
Edwin Outwater, Conductor; Anna Vinnitskaya, Piano 

2007 International Queen Elisabeth Contest Winner Anna Vinnitskaya performs Rachmaninoff’s 3rd Piano Concerto, under the baton of San Francisco Symphony Summer Series Director, Edwin Outwater. Brahms’ 2nd Symphony opens the program.  

                BRAHMS               Symphony No. 2 in D Major
                RACHMANINOFF Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor


Haydn & Beethoven

Saturday, February 24, 2018 | 8pm | Chenery Auditorium
Andrew Grams, Conductor; Pablo Ferrandez-Castro, Cello 

Elgin Symphony Orchestra Music Director, Andrew Grams, conducts a refreshing Beethoven & Haydn program. The concert features star cellist and finalist of the XV International Tchaikovsky Competition, Pablo Ferrandez-Castro in Haydn’s Cello Concerto in C Major. 

                MOZART        Overture to the Magic Flute
                HAYDN                 Cello Concerto No. 1 in C Major
                BEETHOVEN        Symphony No. 7 in A Major


Leonard Bernstein’s 100th 

Saturday, March 24, 2018 | 8pm | Miller Auditorium
Stilian Kirov, Conductor; J’Nai Bridges, Mezzo Soprano; Anne Akiko Meyers, Violin

Stilian Kirov, Music Director of the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra and New Jersey’s Symphony in C, conducts our celebration of Leonard Bernstein! Anne Akiko Meyers performs Serenade, and Mezzo-Soprano J’Nai Bridges is featured in his 1st Symphony “Jeremiah”. 

                BERNSTEIN            Overture to Candide
                                               Serenade (After Plato’s “Symposium”)
                                               Symphony No. 1 “Jeremiah”
                                               Symphonic Dances from “West Side Story”


Beethoven & Prokofiev

Saturday, May 19, 2018 | 8pm | Miller Auditorium
Julian Kuerti, Conductor; Eroica Trio 

Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestre Métropolitain in Montréal, Julian Kuerti, leads the KSO in Prokofiev’s 5th Symphony. Rounding out the program is Beethoven’s Triple Concerto, featuring the internationally renowned Eroica Trio.  

                BEETHOVEN        Triple Concerto in C Major
                PROKOFIEV          Symphony No. 5 in B-flat Major





Saturday, November 4, 2017 | 8pm | Miller Auditorium
Daniel Brier, Conductor; All-4-One 

Grammy Award Winning pop and R&B group, All-4-One, will be performing with your KSO in a concert that is anything but traditional.  Join us as we kick off our Pops! series with one of the most sensational and timeless groups of the 1990’s. Their success has spanned across two decades with more than 20 million records sold worldwide.  You can’t miss this, it will be the talk of the town, “I swear!” 


Arrival From Sweden – The Music of ABBA

Saturday, March 3, 2018 | 8pm | Miller Auditorium
Daniel Brier, Conductor; Arrival From Sweden

The legacy of Swedish pop sensation, ABBA, has been enjoyed and celebrated for generations since their beginning back in 1971.  Bringing with them several original band members, Arrival From Sweden – The Music of ABBA will put on a performance so genuine even the most avid ABBA fans won’t know the difference. Put on your dancing shoes and be ready to enjoy the symphony in an entirely new way!


Music from the Movies with Sara Andon

Saturday, December 16, 2017 | 8pm | Chenery Auditorium
Daniel Brier, Conductor; Sara Andon, Flute; Kalamazoo Children’s Chorus, directed by Fred Sang 

A KSO holiday tradition with a twist!  Join us as we rediscover music from your favorite holiday movies: The Polar Express, Frozen, Elf, It’s a Wonderful Life and many more.  Los Angeles based and international acclaimed Flutist, Sara Andon and Kalamazoo Children’s Chorus join the KSO.    


Disney in Concert: The Jungle Book

Saturday, May 26, 2018 | 3pm | Miller Auditorium
Daniel Brier, Conductor 

Join your KSO as they perform live the music of Disney’s classic The Jungle Book. This animated, iconic film features the charming and delightful score by the one and only George Bruns and includes such beloved songs as “The Bare Necessities” and “I Wan'na Be Like You” composed by one of the most famous songwriting teams in history, Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman.



Gershwin’s Magic Key

Sunday, October 8, 2017 | 3pm | Chenery Auditorium
Daniel Brier, Conductor; Classical Kids LIVE!

The KSO will perform Gershwin’s greatest works as the master composer shares historical anecdotes about his life and musical passion in this story of a poor newspaper boy’s encounter with the great American composer, George Gershwin.  A bonding friendship develops as they explore the vast melting pot of American music and discover the key to unlocking the boy’s own musical potential. 


Tchaikovsky Discovers America

Sunday. February 11, 2018 | 3pm | Chenery Auditorium
Daniel Brier, Conductor; Classical Kids LIVE! 

This true story tells of the great composer's arrival in New York for the grand opening of Carnegie Hall in 1891 and his famous trip to Niagara Falls. A surprise meeting with a young American girl, reveals much about Tchaikovsky - his life in Russia, his love of music and his fears of conducting. Join us for a touching story where old world influences and new world experiences collide. 



Kalamazoo Institute of Arts & Bell’s Eccentric Café

The perfect combination - music, friends and spirits.  Join KSO musicians as they perform the same chamber program at two different locations. Friday evening’s Classics Uncorked is performed at the KIA while Saturday’s Classics On Tap takes place at Bell’s Eccentric Café.  Enjoy wine and dessert at the KIA and dozens of delicious brews on tap at Bell’s! 


Winter Evening 

KSO musicians and Resident Conductor Daniel Brier will perform works by Brahms, Walker and Coleridge-Taylor.
– Friday, January 26, 2018 | 8pm | Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
– Saturday, January 27, 2018 | 8pm | Bell’s Eccentric Café


Spring Evening

KSO musicians and ensembles will feature works by Walker, Muhly, Joplin and more.
– Friday, April 20, 2018 | 8pm | Kalamazoo Institute of Arts
– Saturday, April 21, 2018 | 8pm| Bell’s Eccentric Café


Visit for up-to-date information, details and schedules.  Prices, artists, dates, times and programs are subject to change without notice.


The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra receives major support from the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation, the Kalamazoo Community Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.  The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra also receives generous support from other local, state and national foundations, as well as private and corporate support.  For more information, visit

About the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra

Founded in 1921, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra is Southwest Michigan’s premier musical organization, providing musical enrichment to over 80,000 adults and youth per year.  The third-largest professional orchestra in the state, the KSO has won numerous awards and grants, including the Met Life Award for Arts Access in Underserved Communities, the National Endowment for the Arts for its extensive education programs, and a major Ford Foundation grant to found its innovative Artist-in-Residence program. 




Additional photos available upon request


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