Kalamazoo Symphony Celebrates 100 Years and Returning to Live Performances | Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra
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Kalamazoo Symphony Celebrates 100 Years and Returning to Live Performances


Following an exciting series of outdoor summer concerts that attracted new and returning audiences from across the state and region, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra (KSO), under the leadership of Music Director Julian Kuerti, continues its 100th anniversary celebration with live indoor concerts for its 2021-22 concert season. The KSO's season explores music from well-known and new composers, as the orchestra celebrates community and the healing power of experiencing music together.

"It is with great joy that I, along with all my KSO colleagues, welcome audiences back into the concert hall," said Kuerti. "This season celebrates being together again and the joy of live music. We revisit some dear old friends — Dvořák, Beethoven, Ravel — and meet some new ones — Previn, Soro, and Holland. We will share the stage with some fabulous guest artists who will be sure to dazzle and amaze!"

"We are so grateful to the Kalamazoo community for supporting us from home during the pandemic and then in the park for our recent summer concert season," said Jessica Mallow Gulley, KSO Executive Director. "That support helped us launch our return to indoor concerts this fall, and we are excited to return to the auditorium, experience music together, and celebrate our momentous centennial milestone with the community that made it possible."

The Concert Season Highlights
The KSO's 2021-22 season, presented by Zhang Financial, includes some of the most joyous moments in symphonic music, with works from Copland, Dvořák, Mozart, Beethoven, Stravinsky, Ravel, and many other well-known composers.

  • Concert season opens Saturday, Oct. 16, at 7:30 p.m. in Miller Auditorium. Pianist Richard Goode joins Maestro Kuerti for Mozart's Concerto No. 25 for Piano and Orchestra. The program also includes Dvořák's Symphony No. 8, and Traces, a world premiere commission by composer and KSO cellist Elizabeth Start that honors strong women of Kalamazoo's history.
  • KSO Music Director Emeritus Raymond Harvey returns to the podium on Friday, Nov. 19, at Miller Auditorium. Come early for his well-loved Wiser Financial Prelude pre-concert talk at 6:30 p.m., followed by the concert at 7:30. He'll conduct Stravinsky's The Firebird and Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 for a jubilant performance.
  • Bass-baritone Derrick Parker makes his KSO debut performing Copland's Old American Songs on Friday, March 4. This passionate and lively program begins at 7:30 p.m. in Miller Auditorium and celebrates romantic music from North and South America.
  • Our vivacious Masterworks Series Finale on Saturday, June 4, includes world-renowned violinist James Ehnes and the world premiere commission of the last large work written by the awe-inspiring Andre Previn.
  • On Friday, Feb. 18, don't miss Steven Spielberg's cinematic masterpiece E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial with John Williams' Academy Award®-winning score performed live to picture, and experience the magic once more!
  • The annual holiday concert is such a favorite, the KSO offers two performance times this season. Select either Friday, Dec. 17, at 7:30 p.m., or Saturday, Dec. 18, at 3 p.m., to enjoy holiday classics in Chenery Auditorium, along with the classic animated film, The Snowman, with the orchestra performing the score.
  • Celebrate a century of sharing music in Kalamazoo on Saturday, June 18, with a journey through stories and symphonic highlights from our history. Longtime KSO musician Robert Whaley and KSO Concertmaster Emeritus Barry Ross are featured as the symphony honors the past and celebrates the century ahead.

Subscription packages and single-concert tickets are available now at KalamazooSymphony.com. The KSO prioritizes safety and has updated its policies to include mask and COVID-19 vaccine requirements. Visit kalamazoosymphony.com/safety for more information.

Season Calendar

Masterworks Series Concerts
Oct. 16 | 7:30 p.m., Miller Auditorium | Masterworks Opening Night
Nov. 19 | 7:30 p.m., Miller Auditorium | Raymond Returns
Jan. 22 | 7:30 p.m., Miller Auditorium | Stulberg: Bach Double
Mar. 4 | 7:30 p.m., Miller Auditorium | Music of the Americas
Apr. 1 | 7:30 p.m., Miller Auditorium | Daphnis et Chloé
Jun. 4 | 7:30 p.m., Miller Auditorium | Masterworks Season Finale

Special Events, Movie, and Family Concerts
Oct. 31 | 3:00 p.m., Chenery Auditorium | Spooky Symphony Family Concert
Dec. 17 | 7:30 p.m., Chenery Auditorium | Sounds of the Season Holiday Concert
Dec. 18 | 3:00 p.m., Chenery Auditorium | Sounds of the Season Holiday Concert
Feb. 18 | 7:00 p.m., Miller Auditorium | E.T. The Extra Terrestrial in Concert
Jun. 18 | 7:30 p.m., Miller Auditorium | 100th Anniversary Gala

KSO Collaborations with Regional Arts Organizations
Dec. 4 | 2 p.m. & 7 p.m., Chenery Auditorium | The Nutcracker, Presented by Ballet Arts Ensemble of Kalamazoo
Dec. 5 | 2 p.m., Chenery Auditorium | The Nutcracker, Presented by Ballet Arts Ensemble of Kalamazoo
May 15 | 4 p.m., Chenery Auditorium | Gilmore Piano Festival Finale

Free Community Concerts Featuring KSO Chamber Ensembles
Nov. 9 | 7 p.m., Kalamazoo First Presbyterian Church
Feb. 11 | 7 p.m., Kalamazoo First Presbyterian Church
Apr. 19 | 7 p.m., Kalamazoo First Presbyterian Church

Sharing Music Safely
As the KSO anticipates continuing an exciting 100th anniversary celebration, it is committed to sharing music in safe environments that honor the health and safety of everyone who works and interacts with the symphony. Its 2021-22 concert season includes important safety protocols:

  • Masks covering the mouth and nose are required for all audience members, regardless of age or venue, while on the concert premises and during performances.
  • The KSO requires in-person vaccination verification from all audience members 12 years of age or older*. To make verification easier, audience members are encouraged to use the Bindle app, a secure wallet for health records and an easy way to share one’s COVID health status privately with others. Audience members also may present their vaccination cards or photos of their cards along with proof of ID, or proof provided by a foreign government at the venue prior to the concert. Negative tests will not be accepted in lieu of vaccination status.
  • At this time, children under the age of 12, for whom there is no currently available vaccine, are permitted to attend KSO events with a vaccinated guardian. As soon as children under the age of 12 become eligible to receive a vaccine, they also will be subject to this vaccination requirement. All children must follow the masking policy.

Concert Tickets
Single-concert tickets start at $20 for most concerts and may be purchased online through the KSO's box office, or by calling the KSO at 269.349.7759. Student and veteran discounts are available. Visit the KSO at KalamazooSymphony.com for performance details, ticketing and schedules. Prices, artists, dates, times and programs are subject to change without notice.

* The KSO may consider requests for reasonable accommodation for a medical reason, or because of (i) a disability that prevents you from obtaining a vaccination or (ii) a sincerely held religious practice or belief. Contact us at info@kalamazoosymphony.com with questions.

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. We are on the stage—and online—actively collaborating with other Kalamazoo area organizations to inspire, care for, educate, and connect people through the arts. We are 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 we are supported by the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. Recognitions, awards, and grants include a major Ford Foundation grant to establish our 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.


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