Arts & Culture

Friends joining forces for new season

The 2011-12 Friends of Chamber Music season includes a world premiere, performances at the new Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and a 10-day festival celebrating J.S. Bach.

In other words, it’s ambitious as usual.

"We do try to do things we haven’t done before," said Jeremy Lillig, the Friends’ marketing director. "A great deal of collaboration is happening."

Among those joint ventures: the Music Alliance Series with the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance and "Young Mozart," a children’s play about Mozart as a child produced with the Theater for Young America and the Folly Theater coming next spring.

In a world premiere, the Friends also will tell the story of the life of Charles Darwin in a multimedia performance, joining forces with the Kauffman Center, Kansas City Collegium Vocale, the Daedalus Quartet and actors Gary Neal Johnson, Kathleen Warfel and Cinnamon Schultz.

" ‘The Darwin Project’ is the first time we’ve produced something," said Lillig, who wrote the work with Nancy Cervetti. "It’s a big risk but also an exciting one, because it involves so many people."

The Bach Festival is similarly grand in scope. Pianist Konstantin Lifschitz will perform Bach’s works at several Kansas City venues over 10 days.

"Playing one of these Bach works would be extremely difficult for a pianist to do, from memory especially," Lillig said. "But to play four of them in a row like that is unheard of. But he does it, and he does it well."

More information and tickets (which range from $15 to $50 for individual performances) can be obtained at www.chamb- The schedule follows.

International series

"The Darwin Project," by Jeremy M. Lillig and Nancy Cervetti. Oct. 14, Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. A multimedia concert experience exploring the life of Charles Darwin, featuring actors, images and photos, and classical works presented by string quartet, solo piano and chamber choir.

Tokyo String Quartet. Oct. 21, Folly Theater. Program TBA.

Chanticleer. Nov. 5, Helzberg Hall. Program TBA.

Les Violons du Roy with Maurice Steger, Recorder. Jan. 27, Folly. This chamber orchestra specializes in the baroque and classical eras. Steger joins to perform Telemann, Scarlatti, Vivaldi, Geminiani and W.F. Bach.

Artemis String Quartet. April 27, Folly. Berlin-based quartet presents Debussy, Haydn and Schubert’s "Rosamunde" quartet.

Master pianists series

Richard Goode. March 9, Folly. Program includes Mozart’s Fantasy in C minor and Chopin’s Sonata No. 2 in B flat minor, Op. 35.

Jonathan Biss. April 13, Folly. Program includes Beethoven’s Sonata No. 5 in C minor, Op. 10, No. 1 and Janacek’s "In the Mists."

2012 Bach Festival

Pianist Konstantin Lifschitz. Feb. 10-19 at the Folly, the Kauffman Center and White Recital Hall. Works range from Two-Part Inventions and Goldberg Variations to the Art of the Fugue. In addition, the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra performs Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos Jan. 24 at the Folly and joins with Lifschitz in two Bach concertos Feb. 10.

Early music series

REBEL with Rufus Muller. Nov. 18, Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral. "Out of the Eclipse: Music of Transformation and Revelation."

Tallis Scholars. Dec. 6, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. A holiday concert featuring works by composers from across Europe.

Piffaro & King’s Noyse. March 24, Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral. The renowned Renaissance wind ensemble joins with America’s premier Renaissance violin band for "New Waves in Ferrara: Two Bands, Fresh Sounds."

Music Alliance Series

Konstantin Lifschitz. Feb. 19, White Recital Hall.

Morgenstern Piano Trio. March 16, Folly. Program includes Debussy’s Piano Trio in G Major and Brahms Piano Trio No. 1 in B Major, Op. 8.

Violinist Jennifer Koh and pianist Shai Wosner. April 21, White Recital Hall. Program includes Janacek’s Sonata for Violin and Piano and Bartok’s Sonata for Violin and Piano No. 1 in C-sharp minor.

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