HomeConcerts & Tickets2018-2019 Season - Take Note!

2018-2019 Season - Take Note!

Our 98th season, 2018-2019, will "take note" of great masterworks, with an emphasis on French and female composers, feature famed guest artists, present two blockbuster film concerts and welcome a new music director to the podium (June).

Our Symphonic Series will explore the fifth symphonies of Schubert, Tchaikovsky, Mahler, and Sibelius, all composed after Beethoven's fifth, which had set a difficult precedent for future composers' fifths. In keeping with the season's theme, French masterworks bookend the Symphonic Series and will continue to be exhibited in the Classics Uncorked, Classics On Tap and Community Events Series. We are excited to welcome several sensational guest artists and soloists in this series: Di Wu, Piano; Pablo Sáinz Villegas, Guitar; Nina Kotova, Cello; 2018 Stulberg International String Competition Gold Medalist (TBD); Georgiy Borisov, KSO Principal Clarinet; Bramwell Tovey, Guest Conductor; and former KSO Concertmaster, Susie Park, Violin. Don't forget the Wiser Financial Prelude at 7pm before each of our Symphonic Series concerts, so arrive early!

As we continue expanding our programming to embrace the whole of our diverse community, the symphonic, chamber, educational, pops, and community event programming will feature several works by women composers including Anna Clyne, Jennifer Higdon and Jessie Montgomery. The Zhang Financial Pops! series presents "Women Rock," a program celebrating some of the biggest names in female singer/songwriter history, such as Carole King, Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, Minnie Riperton, and Heart, just to name a few.

From the big screen to television, orchestras provide the soundtrack to modern life. Season 98 celebrates great musical moments in cinematic history with works by early Hollywood masters such as Erich Korngold, Elmer Bernstein and André Previn. KSO@The Movies brings John Williams' incredible scores to life with live orchestra as audiences enjoy two classics - Jaws and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back – on the big screen. A special appearance by popular television personality, Paul Shaffer (Late Night with David Letterman), will add even more Hollywood flair to the KSO's Zhang Pops! Series. And we're excited to bring the world premiere of Revolution: The Beatles Symphonic Experiencethe first authorized, symphonic experience for The Beatles!

New this season - patrons will have additional opportunities to join KSO Artists In Residence for our popular Classics Uncorked chamber concerts. These performances will move to the Judy K. Jolliffe Theatre in downtown Kalamazoo's Epic Center. This intimate and jazzy atmosphere will enhance the experience and an added performance will allow greater access to these consistently sold out concerts. Enjoy wine, dessert and coffee with performances at both 3pm and 8pm with sommelier Ron Merlino's Wine Prelude at 2 & 7. Classics On Tap has moved to Fridays, but remains at Bell's Eccentric Café offering the same repertoire as Saturday's Uncorked concert but with dozens of Bell's delicious beers on tap.

Check out the full concert season below!

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  • Di Wu

    Ravel & Berlioz

    Friday, September 14, 2018 | 8pm | Miller Auditorium
    Di Wu, Piano  
    Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique evokes unrequited love, witches, guillotines, and violent hallucinations. Di Wu lends her “keen musical intelligence” (Philadelphia Inquirer) to Ravel’s jazzy Piano Concerto in G. Frédéric Devreese’s sensuous Benvenuta: Suite No. 1 completes this celebration of French inspired music.    

                Devreese         Benvenuta: Symphonic Suite 1
                Ravel                Piano Concerto in G
                Berlioz             Symphonie Fantastique


  • Pablo Sainz Villegas

    Schubert’s 5th

    Saturday, October 27, 2018 | 8pm | Chenery Auditorium
    Pablo Sáinz Villegas, Guitar

    Erich Korngold’s charming suite from Much Ado About Nothing anchors this exploration of the music of Hollywood and Vienna. Pablo Sáinz Villegas brings his “irresistible exuberance” (New York Times) to Elmer Bernstein’s Guitar Concerto. Schubert’s tender and lyrical Fifth Symphony concludes this intimate program.

                Korngold          Suite from Much Ado About Nothing
                Bernstein         Guitar Concerto “For Two Christophers”
                Schubert          Symphony No. 5

  • Nina Kotava

    Sibelius & Dvořák        

    Saturday, November 17, 2018 | 8pm | Miller Auditorium
    Nina Kotova, Cello

    Sibelius crafted his entire Symphony No. 5 from one simple, four note idea. The final moments, inspired by the flight of swans, soar to a majestic conclusion. Nina Kotova, a “strong and individual artist” (Grammophone), closes the program with Dvořák’s grand Cello Concerto.

                Sibelius             Symphony No. 5
                Dvořák             Cello Concerto

  • Tchaikovsky

    Tchaikovsky’s 5th

    Saturday, January 26, 2019 | 8pm | Miller Auditorium
    2018 Stulberg International String Competition Gold Medalist

    Anna Clyne’s Night Ferry conjures an evocative voyage from stormy darkness to enchanted worlds. The Gold Medalist of the 2018 Stulberg International String Competition makes their KSO debut. The orchestral brilliance of Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 brings the program to an unforgettably thrilling conclusion.

                Clyne               Night Ferry
                TBD                  2018 Stulberg Winner, TBD
               Tchaikovsky      Symphony No. 5

  • Georgiy Borisov

    Mahler’s 5th

    Saturday, March 9, 2019 |  8pm | Miller Auditorium
    Bramwell Tovey, Conductor & Georgiy Borisov, Clarinet

    Rage, passion, tenderness, joy, and sorrow — are all in Mahler’s Symphony No. 5. Maestro Bramwell Tovey, “one of the most versatile and charismatic musicians in the world” (Musical America), leads the orchestra. KSO Principal Clarinet and Artist in Residence, Georgiy Borisov performs Jonathan Leshnoff’s captivating Clarinet Concerto.

                Leshnoff          Clarinet Concerto “Nekudim” (2015)
                Mahler             Symphony No. 5

  • Susie Park

    Bartók & Stravinsky

    Friday, May 17, 2019 |  8pm | Miller Auditorium
    Susie Park, Violin

    Machine, by Pulitzer Prize winning composer, Jennifer Higdon, opens our final Symphonic Series concert, followed by former KSO Concertmaster, Susie Park, performing Bartók’s Violin Concerto No. 2. Edgy, intense and exhilarating, Igor Stravinsky's Rite of Spring closes season 98.

                Higdon             Machine
                Bartók              Violin Concerto No. 2
                Stravinsky         Rite of Spring


  • Paul Shaffer

    Paul Shaffer in Symphony

    Saturday, November 3, 2018 |  8pm | Miller Auditorium
    J. Ernest Green, Conductor & Paul Shaffer

    Enjoy an evening with Paul Shaffer as he shares symphonic renditions of his favorite pop, R&B and Jazz tunes. Shaffer, longtime sidekick and musical director to David Letterman, will also take you on a fascinating journey with his stories, reminiscences, and anecdotes.


  • The Beatles in concert

    Revolution: The Beatles Symphonic Experience

    Saturday, December 1, 2018 |  8pm | Miller Auditorium
    Jeff Tyzik, Conductor, & Special Guests

    Join us for the world premiere of “Revolution: The Beatles Symphonic Experience,” presented with Schirmer Theatrical, LLC, and Greenberg Artists! “Revolution” is the first authorized, symphonic experience for The Beatles, featuring never-before-seen photos from the official Beatles Book Photo Library in London, alongside stunning new video and animation created by award-winning creative video designer Charles Yurick. Conducted by Grammy® Award-winning arranger and “Revolution” co-producer, Jeff Tyzik, the KSO and top vocalists will present his restorative arrangements of more than 25 top hits that were recreated from the original Abbey Road master recordings.

  • Women Rock

    Women Rock

    Friday, April 12, 2019 |  8pm | Miller Auditorium
    Robert Thompson, Conductor

    Join us as we honor powerful female singers and songwriters who changed Pop and Rock & Roll forever. Celebrate the music of Carole King, Holly Knight, Tina Turner, Janis Joplin, Aretha Franklin, Pat Benatar, Minnie Riperton and Heart.  Local female artists will have an opportunity to audition for a special appearance on stage!

  • Star Wars

    Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back – In Concert

    Thursday, October 11, 2018 | 8pm | Miller Auditorium
    Friday, October 12, 2018 | 8pm | Miller Auditorium
    Daniel Brier, Conductor

    Travel through time to “a galaxy far, far away” as your KSO presents another unparalleled STAR WARS film concert with The Empire Strikes Back. The orchestra will perform John Williams’ thrilling and Academy Award-winning musical score while you enjoy the full-length, iconic movie from 1980. Get your costumes ready! Children must be six years or older to attend this performance.

    "You must feel the Force around you..."

    The battle for the galaxy intensifies in this thrilling fifth episode of the unfolding saga. As Imperial Forces launch an all-out attack on the Rebel Alliance, Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) flee to Cloud City where they are captured by Darth Vader. Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) journeys to the mysterious, marshy planet of Dagobah, where the wise Jedi Master Yoda teaches the young hero the ways of the Force.

    Little does Luke know that all his Jedi training will be called upon so soon. A stunning revelation-- and a seeming life-or-death duel with Darth Vader-- await.

    Presentation licensed by Disney Concerts in association with 20th Century Fox, Lucasfilm Ltd. and Warner/Chappell Music.

  • Jaws

    Jaws - In Concert

    Saturday, March 30, 2019 | 8pm | Miller Auditorium
    Daniel Brier, Conductor

    Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the concert hall...

    The original summer movie blockbuster, with an Academy Award®-winning score by composer John Williams, JAWS is an unforgettable film-with-live-orchestra experience!

    Directed by Academy Award® winner Steven Spielberg, JAWS set the standard for edge-of-your-seat suspense, quickly becoming a cultural phenomenon and forever changing the movie industry. When the seaside community of Amity finds itself under attack by a dangerous great white shark, the town's chief of police, a young marine biologist and a grizzled shark hunter embark on a desperate quest to destroy the beast before it strikes again. Featuring an unforgettable score that evokes pure terror, Jaws remains one of the most influential and gripping adventures in motion picture history.

    Now for the first time, audiences will have the chance to experience the power of a live symphony orchestra performing the entire score in sync with one of the greatest motion pictures of all time.

    In the words of Chief Brody, "You're gonna need a bigger boat!"

    Jaws is a trademark and copyright of Universal Studios. Licensed by Universal Studios. All Rights Reserved.

  • Mark McVey

    Sounds of the Season - Songs of Love, Joy & Peace

    Saturday, December 15, 2018  |  8pm | Chenery Auditorium
    Daniel Brier, Conductor; Mark McVey, Marissa McGowan & Valerie Lemon, Vocals

    Join KSO musicians, local chorus members and renowned vocalists, Marissa McGowan, Mark McVey and Valerie Lemon, as they bring songs of peace, love and joy to Chenery Auditorium in our annual Sounds of the Season celebration!

  • Classics

    New! On Tap now on Friday night. Uncorked has moved to the Epic Center’s Judy K. Jolliffe Theatre for two performances!

    Winter Evening
    Resident Conductor, Daniel Brier leads KSO Artists in Residence and a guest vocalist in Schubert's beloved song cycle, Winterreise (Winter Journey).

    Classics on Tap

    Friday, January 18, 2019  |  8pm | Bell’s Eccentric Café

    Classics Uncorked
    Saturday, January 19, 2019 | Two Concerts - 3pm & 8pm | Judy K. Jolliffe Theatre, Epic Center

    Spring Evening
    KSO Artists in Residence welcome spring with a lively performance of 20th Century French chamber music.

    Classics on Tap
    Friday, May 10, 2019  |  8pm | Bell’s Eccentric Café

    Classics Uncorked
    Saturday, May 11, 2019 | Two Concerts - 3pm & 8pm | Judy K. Jolliffe Theatre, Epic Center

  • Natalie Berg

    All tickets $5. Pre-concert activities begin at 2pm with Instrument Petting Zoo & Meet the Maestro at 2:40pm.

    Beethoven Lives Upstairs
    Sunday, September 30, 2018  |  3pm | Chenery Auditorium
    Daniel Brier, Conductor & Classical Kids LIVE!

    This world-famous production features a lively exchange of letters between young Christoph and his uncle about the “madman” who has moved into the upstairs apartment of Christoph's Vienna home. Listeners will be riveted by the music and life of Beethoven.

    The Phantom of the Orchestra
    Sunday, February 10, 2019  |   3pm | Chenery Auditorium
    Daniel Brier, Conductor

    Mysterious calamities continue to befall the orchestra’s performances. Does a mysterious phantom haunt Chenery Auditorium? Join Inspector Jones on an orchestral adventure for all ages as he uncovers a diabolical scheme to silence the orchestra once and for 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 20, 2018.

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