KANSAS CITY, Mo. | Sept. 9, 2019 — Kansas City Symphony Board Chair Patrick McCown and Executive Director Daniel Beckley are pleased to announce they have renewed Music Director Michael Stern’s contract through the 2022/23 season.
Stern, whose current contract continues through the 2019/20 season, will have served as Kansas City Symphony’s music director for 18 years when the new contract expires — one of the longest tenures for a major American orchestra.
“Without a doubt, the artistic growth of the Kansas City Symphony over the past 15 years is due to the exceptional musical leadership of our Music Director Michael Stern,” McCown says. “We support Michael wholeheartedly, and in turn, he embraces this community season after season and delivers artistically excellent performances. He has not only laid a solid foundation but also provided a springboard for our future. We happily celebrate Michael’s renewal and look forward to many great years ahead.”
Stern says his time with the Symphony has provided some of the most satisfying experiences of his entire career. “These years with the extraordinary Kansas City Symphony musicians have been a defining period in my life, musically and personally,” Stern says. “It’s a privilege to be onstage making music with them and making the case for music in our community. I’m grateful for the board’s support, thrilled for these next years together and beyond, and incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved together. The orchestra’s artistic level has been transformed, and it continues to soar. We are proud to champion composers of our time and honored to play in one of the greatest halls anywhere. The future of the Kansas City Symphony is limitless.”
Together, Stern and Symphony administration have steered the organization into new heights of artistic excellence. Since joining the Symphony as music director in the 2005/06 season, Stern has appointed 34 full-time, tenure-track musicians (or 43 percent) of the current orchestra roster.
The Symphony presents 14 Classical Series weekends of its 42-week season. With a healthy subscription base and strong single ticket sales, Classical Series concerts average 94 percent sold capacity, and the Symphony continues to see unprecedented financial growth. The orchestra recorded its highest-ever Classical Series ticket revenues in the 2018/19 season.