Kansas City Symphony

DESCRIPTION:  Founded in 1982 and recognized as “The Sound of Kansas City,” the Kansas City Symphony’s 80-person orchestra is a vital part of the cultural arts community of Kansas City. The Symphony performs more than 50 concerts in three series (classical, family and pops) throughout the 42-week season from September to June. Maestro Michael Stern directs the Symphony in beautiful Helzberg Hall, located in the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.


Administrative Offices-1703 Wyandotte, Suite 200, Kansas City, MO 64108

Kauffman Center-1601 Broadway Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64018

LOCATION: Crossroads Arts District, near the Convention Center

PHONE: 816-471-1100

WEB SITE: www.kcsymphony.org

SOCIAL MEDIA: Facebook-The Kansas City Symphony, Twitter-@kcsymphony, Instagram-kcsymphony


  • The concert season includes four series with performances that are sure to delight different audiences. Highlights of the 2015-2016 season include Ravel’s Boléro and Symphonic Soloists, Pixar in Concert, Handel’s Messiah and Harry Potter and the Magic of Music.
  • Concert Comments is a lively and informative pre-show talk held one hour before each classical series performance. Hosted by music director Michael Stern and often featuring guest artists, this event is a great way for the audience to understand and appreciate the music.

ADMISSION: Ticket prices vary by performance. Student discounts and group rates available. Please visit http://tickets.kcsymphony.org or call the box office at 816-471-0400 for more information.

HISTORY: The Kansas City Symphony (KCS) was founded by R. Crosby Kemper, Jr. after the dissolution of the Kansas City Philharmonic in 1982. Under Kemper’s leadership, a strong Board of Directors and endowment was created, ensuring that the Symphony would be a major force in the cultural life of Kansas City and the region. The KCS has experienced impressive artistic growth throughout its history, including under music directors Russel Patterson (1982-1986), William McGlaughlin (1986-1997), and Anne Manson (1998-2003). Now under the direction of Michael Stern, the Kansas City Symphony continues to inspire audiences through the art of orchestral music.

WHERE TO GET DINNER: The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts is located next to several great dining options to enjoy before the show. Grab drinks at The Kill Devil Club in the Kansas City Power & Light District, or enjoy an authentic Italian meal at Lidia’s, located in the Crossroads Arts District.

WHAT’S NEARBY: Union Station, the Crossroads Arts District and the Kansas City Power & Light District are all less than five minutes from the Kauffman Center.

ANNUAL SPECIAL EVENTS: The Bank of America Celebration at the Station is a non-series concert held each Memorial Day weekend at Union Station. This is the largest free Memorial Day weekend event in the Midwest, with an exciting fireworks display at the end of the performance.

Pops in the Park celebrates Labor Day with familiar classics at The Theater in the Park, located inside of Shawnee Mission Park. This family-friendly event is free to all ages.

WHAT’S NEW: The Kansas City Symphony’s commitment to the continuing formation of young musicians has led to the exciting development of several educational programs. The John and Marny Sherman Education Series includes performances for children grades K-6 while the Inside Music Series and Young Artist Competition give young musicians ages 13-18 years old the opportunity to develop their skills. The Bush and Jamie Helzberg Instrument Petting Zoo is also a unique program that allows Symphony performers to travel to local schools to teach children about their instruments.

DID YOU KNOW: The Kansas City Symphony Chorus (KCSC) serves as “the choral voice of the Kansas City Symphony.” This 160-voice group often accompanies the orchestra and additionally serves as Kansas City’s unofficial chorus, providing music for civic events such as the Mayor’s Christmas Tree Lighting.

DON’T FORGET: Check out the Symphony’s four CD recordings, including the Grammy®-winning Britten’s Orchestra.

GROUP TOURS: Public and private tours of the Kauffman Performing Arts Center are available with advanced reservations. Tours are approximately 60 minutes in length and led by a trained guide. Please note that due frequent changes in rehearsal schedules, tours through both performances halls cannot be guaranteed.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: Take the MAX to the Wyandotte and 16th stop or take the Kansas City Streetcar to the Kauffman Center stop (16th & Main).


From the north: Take I-35 North, exit on West Pennway. Head east one block to Washington. Continue north to 17th Street and then east to the Kauffman Center.

From the south: Take I-35 South, exit on 20th Street. Head east to Broadway then north to the Kauffman Center.

From the east: Take I-670 East to I-35 South, exit on 20th Street. Head east to Broadway then north to the Kauffman Center.

From the west: Take 1-70 West, exit on 13th Street or Locust/Truman Road. Continue west to Baltimore. Continue south to 17th Street and then west to the Kauffman Center.

PARKING: Adjacent to the Center, the well-lit underground Arts District Garage is available for performance events for $7. On non-event days parking is free for the first 30 minutes and $5 for any duration beyond. Valet parking is also available for $17.

PUBLIC RELATIONS CONTACT: Beth Buchanan, communications manager, 816-218-2621 or bbuchanan@kcsymphony.org.

Media Contacts

Derek Klaus
National & Convention Media:
Derek Klaus
Director of Communications
dklaus@visitkc.com | Twitter | LinkedIn
Toni Alexander
Regional & KC Media:
Toni Alexander
Communications Manager
talexander@visitkc.com | LinkedIn
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