KSO to Present World Premiere of Legendary Composer’s Final Major Work During Season Final | Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra
HomeAbout UsKso NewsJames EhnesKSO to Present World Premiere of Legendary Composer’s Final Major Work During Season Final

KSO to Present World Premiere of Legendary Composer’s Final Major Work During Season Final


June 4 concert features world-renowned violinist James Ehnes and the world premiere of composer André Previn’s final major work


KALAMAZOO, Mich.– On Saturday, June 4, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra will close its centennial Masterworks season with a finale fit for the occasion. The concert will feature James Ehnes, “one of the most sought-after violinists” of our time, performing Johannes Brahms’ Violin Concerto. Closing the concert will be the world premiere performance of composer André Previn’s final major work, Concerto for Orchestra.

The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. at Miller Auditorium, located at 2200 Auditorium Drive in Kalamazoo on Western Michigan University’s campus, and will be conducted by KSO Music Director Julian Kuerti.

About the Previn Commission:

In 2016, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra began the conversation with renowned composer André Previn to write a piece for the orchestra’s 100th Anniversary. Although completed in 2017, with the intention of being performed in the 2020-21 season, the piece did not reach the concert hall due to COVID-19, making the June 4th concert a much-anticipated performance and a perfect way to close out the 2021-22 Masterworks season.

“It is such an honor to share this new work with our community,” said KSO Executive Director Jessica Mallow Gulley. “As we close out our first 100 years, I hope you will join us to celebrate this incredibly special moment in our history.”


André Previn was a German-American pianist, composer, and conductor. Previn was one of his generation’s legendary composers with an expansive career spanning film scores, jazz, and classical music. He received 10 Grammy Awards and four Academy Awards for his music.


As a conductor, he notably served as music director of the Houston Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and Los Angeles Philharmonic as well as principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra and chief conductor for the Royal Philharmonic. Some of his best-known works include his first opera, A Streetcar Named Desire, and his stage-to-film adaptations of George Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess and Frederick Loewe’s My Fair Lady.


“It is not every day that we have the opportunity to breathe life into a new piece of music,” said KSO Music Director Julian Kuerti. “The performance of André Previn’s Concerto for Orchestra has been almost six years in the making, and we cannot wait to share this experience with Kalamazoo. And with James Ehnes playing the Brahms Violin Concerto, this may well be the concert of the century!”


About James Ehnes:

Gifted with a rare combination of stunning virtuosity, serene lyricism, and an unfaltering musicality, Ehnes is a Grammy Award-winning artist. He is a favorite guest of many of the world’s most respected conductors including Marin Alsop, Sir Andrew Davis, Ivan Fischer, Paavo Järvi, Juanjo Mena, Gianandrea Noseda, David Robertson, and Donald Runnicles. Ehnes’ long list of orchestras includes, amongst others, the Boston, Chicago, London, NHK, and Vienna Symphony Orchestras; the Los Angeles, New York, Munich, and Czech Philharmonic Orchestras; and the Cleveland, Philadelphia, Philharmonia, and DSO Berlin orchestras. James Ehnes’ full biography is available online at https://www.jamesehnes.com/bio.


The KSO is celebrating its 100th Anniversary of bringing vibrant musical experiences to Kalamazoo and Southwest Michigan. The organization’s first concert was held on Dec. 21, 1921.

Concert tickets are available online at KalamazooSymphony.com or by calling the Epic Center’s Community Box Office at 269.349.7759.


Music Connects Us 100th Anniversary Campaign

The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra’s Music Connects Us 100th Anniversary Campaign is an $8.8 million community effort to ensure a vibrant future for the KSO's next 100 years. This bold initiative will enhance the symphony's artistic excellence, community engagement, and financial sustainability. Gifts to the Music Connects Us campaign can be made online at https://www.kalamazoosymphony.com/100th-Campaign.


About the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra
Making symphonic music a part of everyday life for 100 years, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra shares lifelong musical experiences and learning throughout our community. The KSO is on the stage—and online—actively collaborating with other Kalamazoo area organizations to inspire, care for, educate, and connect people through the arts. The KSO is the state’s third-largest orchestra, serving Michigan’s sixth-largest metropolitan area with a professional roster of more than 80 musicians and a dedicated staff through exceptional symphonic music, world-class guest artists, and a vibrant educational program.


The KSO receives major support from the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation, the Kalamazoo Community Foundation, and the Stryker Johnston Foundation, and is supported by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. Recognitions, awards, and grants include a major Ford Foundation grant to establish an innovative Artists in Residence program, and recognition from Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute. The KSO also receives generous support from other local, state, and national foundations as well as private and corporate support.


Tags: James Ehnes, kso, season finale, Violin, World Premiere