Kansas City’s classical music offerings this summer provide opportunity for discovery

05/27/2014 4:03 PM

06/03/2014 10:17 AM

Once the Kansas City Symphony performs its last concert of the season in June, it might seem that classical music in Kansas City dries up until September.

But refreshing rivulets and streams can be found to quench the thirst of the most parched music lover. Summer is a time for musical exploration, and our wonderful community of world-class musicians provides ample opportunity for discovery.

In June, music is busting out all over. On Flag Day, June 14, there’s Symphony in the Flint Hills, an awe-inspiring combination of classical music, provided by the Kansas City Symphony, and natural splendor, courtesy of the stunning Flint Hills. The full day of activities includes a petting zoo, prairie hikes and delicious food, and it ends with dancing and stargazing. www.symphonyintheflinthills.org

On June 22, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts is hosting its first Future Stages Festival. Members of youth and community arts groups will perform, as will members of the Kansas City Symphony, the Kansas City Ballet and the Lyric Opera of Kansas City. The five-hour festival is free and promises to be a fun way to introduce young people to classical music. kauffmancenter.org

Dance fans and anyone interested in cutting-edge art will not want to miss “Memory Palace” on June 28 at Spencer Theater. The Owen/Cox Dance Group will be joined by Helen Gillet, a cellist from New Orleans whose artistry is almost indescribable. Jennifer Owen is choreographing the full-length ballet, and her husband, Brad Cox, is writing the music. Also collaborating are two of Kansas City’s most creative visionaries, saxophonist and horn sculptor Mark Southerland and visual artist Peregrine Honig. owencoxdance.org

Lovers of chamber music, July is for you. Summerfest, which comprises superb musicians from local music faculties and the Kansas City Symphony, offers delightful chamber music every weekend from July 12-13 through Aug. 2-3.

This year’s theme is “To Everything There Is a Season,” music to celebrate the changing seasons. With that theme there’s plenty of material, and you can be sure that Summerfest will perform the obvious and popular pieces but also unknown rarities waiting to be discovered. Saturdays at White Recital Hall, Sundays at Country Club Christian Church. summerfestkc.org

Every summer, Johnson County Community College hosts the Heartland Chamber Music Festival, which draws gifted young musicians from around the country. For nine days, the kids study with violinist Ivan Chan of the Miami String Quartet and other top-notch music faculty, then they give two concerts open to the public. As part of the festival, the Miami String Quartet also gives a public concert. This year, the student concerts will take place on Aug. 1-2, and the quartet will perform July 30. heartlandchambermusic.org

Also coming up in July is guitarist Beau Bledsoe’s new brainchild, Ensemble Iberica, performing fado, that passionate, ultra-romantic music from Portugal. Fado experts from Portugal will join Bledsoe and his fine new ensemble July 12 at Johnson County Community College. On Aug. 15, the group will present an evening of flamenco. ensembleiberica.org

Summer Music at the Cathedrals features wonderful music every Sunday in August. Four of the five concerts will take place at the Episcopal Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, and one will take place at the Roman Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. This year’s concerts include soprano Elizabeth Cass, the Summer Singers of Kansas City, the Cathedral Chamber Musicians and pianist Robert Pherigo playing Charles Ives’ stunningly difficult and tremendously rewarding Concord Sonata. www.kccathedral.org/ musicevents

The French Organ Festival returns at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on Aug. 24. Last year’s inaugural festival was a rousing success, and Mario Pearson, Immaculate Conception’s organist and music director, promises that this year’s festival will be bigger and better. kcgolddome.org

Summer is also a time to go the movies, and for the past several years, Kansas Citians have been able to enjoy their popcorn while watching HD broadcasts of opera performances from around the world.

On June 12, the Tivoli Cinemas will broadcast a Royal Opera House production of Giuseppe Verdi’s “La Traviata” starring Renée Fleming. July 24 and 26, the Tivoli will present Giacomo Puccini’s “Manon Lescaut,” also from the Royal Opera House. www.tivolikc.com

Throughout the summer, the Metropolitan Opera will present encore HD broadcasts, including the deliriously colorful “Enchanted Island,” a baroque pastiche inspired by Williams Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.” It stars Placido Domingo and hometown sweetheart Joyce DiDonato. http://tinyurl.com/nb7ktsc

To cap off what promises to be a great summer of classical music, the Kansas City Symphony, conducted by associate conductor Aram Demirjian, will present its annual Labor Day concert, Pops in the Park in Shawnee Mission Park. www.kcsymphony.org.

Patrick Neas is program director for RadioBach.com. You can reach him at pneas@jccc.edu.

A summer of classical music and dance

June 22: Symphony in the Flint Hills, Rosalia Ranch, outside Rosalia, Kan. (Visit website for directions). Gate opens at 1 p.m. Activities all day. The Kansas City Symphony performs from 6:45 to 9 p.m. 816-471-0400, www.symphonyintheflinthills.org or www.kcsymphony.org.

June 22: Future Stages Festival. 12 to 5 p.m. www.kauffmancenter.org.

June 28: Owen/Cox Dance Group, “Memory Palace.” 8 p.m. Helen Spencer Theater, 4949 Cherry St. www.owencoxdance.org.

June 18: The Met in HD, Giuseppe Verdi’s “Rigoletto.” 7 p.m. For movie theaters and tickets, visit http://tinyurl.com/nb7ktsc.

June 21: “La Traviata” HD broadcast from the Royal Opera House. 11 a.m. Tivoli Cinemas in Westport, 4050 Pennsylvania. 816-561-5222 or www.tivolikc.com.

June 25: The Met in HD, Giacomo Puccini’s “La Rondine.” 7 p.m. For movie theaters and tickets, visit http://tinyurl.com/nb7ktsc.

July 9. The Met in HD, Giuseppe Verdi’s “Otello.” 7 p.m. For movie theaters and tickets, visit http://tinyurl.com/nb7ktsc.

July 12: Ensemble Iberica — Fado, the Soul of Portugal, Polsky Theatre, Carlsen Center, Johnson County Community College. www.ensembleiberica.org.

July 12: Summerfest “A Time to Remember.” 7 p.m. White Recital Hall, 4949 Cherry St. http://summerfestkc.org.

July 13: Summerfest “A Time to Remember.” 5 p.m. Country Club Christian Church, 6101 Ward Parkway. http://summerfestkc.org.

July 16: The Met in HD, “The Enchanted Island.” 7 p.m. For movie theaters and tickets, visit http://tinyurl.com/nb7ktsc.

July 19: Summerfest “A Time to Love.” 7 p.m. White Recital Hall, 4949 Cherry St. http://summerfestkc.org.

July 20: Summerfest “A Time to Love.” 5 p.m. Country Club Christian Church, 6101 Ward Parkway. http://summerfestkc.org.

July 24: “Manon Lescaut” HD broadcast from the Royal Opera House. 1 p.m. Tivoli Cinemas in Westport, 4050 Pennsylvania. 816-561-5222 or www.tivolikc.com.

July 26: Summerfest “A Time to Dance.” 7 p.m. White Recital Hall, 4949 Cherry St. http://summerfestkc.org.

July 27: Summerfest “A Time to Dance.” 5 p.m. Country Club Christian Church, 6101 Ward Parkway. http://summerfestkc.org.

July 30: Miami String Quartet. 7 p.m. Yardley Hall, Johnson County Community College. http://heartlandchambermusic.org/Heartland_Chamber_Music_Festival

Aug. 1 and 2: Students of the Heartland Chamber Music Academy. Yardley Hall, Johnson County Community College. http://heartlandchambermusic.org/Heartland_Chamber_Music_Festival

Aug. 2: Summerfest “A Time to Plant.” 7 p.m. White Recital Hall, 4949 Cherry St. http://summerfestkc.org.

Aug. 3: Summerfest “A Time to Plant.” 5 p.m. Country Club Christian Church, 6101 Ward Parkway. http://summerfestkc.org.

Aug. 3: Summer Music at the Cathedrals, Elizabeth Cass, soprano. 2 p.m. Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, 415 W. 13th St. www.ghtc-kc.org.

Aug. 10: Summer Music at the Cathedrals, pianist Robert Pherigo. 2 p.m. Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, 415 W. 13th St. www.ghtc-kc.org.

Aug. 15: Ensemble Iberica — Flamenco Mio, Polsky Theatre, Carlsen Center, Johnson County Community College. www.ensembleiberica.org.

Aug. 17: Summer Music at the Cathedrals, the Summer Singers of Kansas City. 2 p.m. Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, 415 W. 13th St. www.ghtc-kc.org.

Aug. 24: Summer Music at the Cathedrals, French Organ Festival. 1-5 p.m. Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 416 W. 12th St. kcgolddome.org

Aug. 31: Summer Music at the Cathedrals, the Cathedral Chamber Musicians. 2 p.m. Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral, 415 W. 13th St. www.ghtc-kc.org.

Sept. 1: Kansas City Symphony — Pops in the Park. 7 p.m. Theatre in the Park, Shawnee Mission Park, 7710 Renner Road, Shawnee. 816-471-0400 or www.kcsymphony.org.

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