“There’s an exalted air about the Kansas City Symphony’s recently announced 2019-20 season,” writes Patrick Neas in Saturday’s (2/2) Kansas City Star (Missouri). “With spiritually rapturous works like the cosmic ‘Also Sprach Zarathustra’ by Richard Strauss and Anton Bruckner’s Seventh Symphony, it’s a season that will have us contemplating higher things. The symphony is also celebrating some important anniversaries—2020 marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Beethoven…. Next year also marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Isaac Stern—the father of the symphony’s music director Michael Stern.… A host of world-class violinists performing works closely associated with Isaac Stern will help the Kansas City Symphony celebrate his career…. Next season also marks the 15th anniversary of Michael Stern’s tenure as music director of the symphony. And what a remarkable 15 years it’s been…. As is his wont, Stern has sprinkled contemporary works throughout the season, adding sparkle and interest. He chooses works that always provoke thought and tickle the ear but don’t outstay their welcome. Just the names of the newer works to be performed next season sound intriguing: ‘The Golden Spike,’ ‘This Midnight Hour,’ ‘Flowing Sleeves’ and ‘Dust Devils.’ ”

Posted February 4, 2019