Michael Stern, music director of the Kansas City Symphony

“The Kansas City Symphony’s 2023-2024 season will mark the end of Michael Stern’s 18-year run as music director,” writes Patrick Neas in Friday’s (1/27) Kansas City Star. “What a ride it’s been, and by the looks of next season, Stern is going to take us on one last joyful jaunt. For the past year, Stern has been missing from the podium, more often than not, as the symphony has been trying … guest conductors in its search for Stern’s replacement. But next season, Stern is once again leading the symphony in many of its concerts…. Many of [Stern’s friends] are coming back to celebrate his final season with the symphony,” among them Yo-Yo Ma and Joshua Bell. Bell will “play a collaborative work, ‘The Elements,’ by … Kevin Puts, Edgar Meyer and Jake Heggie…. Stern has always been a champion of new music, and next season there’s a lot of it, including works commissioned by the symphony” by Errollyn Wallen and Shelley Washington. A new work by Angel Lam, commissioned by the League of American Orchestras with the support of the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation, will be premiered on March 22-24, 2024. “The season will end with Stern conducting the symphony for the last time as its music director June 21 to 23. The program will include works to show off what a virtuoso ensemble the Kansas City Symphony has become.”