In Tuesday’s (1/4) Kansas City Star, Steve Paul reports, “After six seasons preparing the Kansas City Symphony for a great leap forward in 2011, Michael Stern has signed on for another five years at the helm. The Symphony’s music director and its board have agreed to the contract extension, officials were expected to announce today. … The agreement comes on the verge of the Symphony’s move later this year to its new stage at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. Although expectations are high that the orchestra will sound better than ever, in part because of the advanced acoustics of the 1,600-seat Helzberg Hall, Stern is clear that there’s much more to celebrate than a new home. … The Symphony’s musical growth has been widely noticed, from those in the seats at the Lyric Theatre to the ears of music critics and Grammy Award nominators. (The Symphony’s most recent disc of works by Benjamin Britten is up for a Grammy Award for best surround-sound recording.) Most listeners agree that Stern has raised the level of musicianship within the orchestra’s ranks to new heights and has fostered a sophisticated approach to programming new music and old.”

Posted January 4, 2011