This is my first blog entry to the newly revamped Kansas City Civic Orchestra (KCCO) Web site. I hope that you will take some time to look around at the historical photos, our new short video documentary, and of course our 51st season schedule! It looks to be another great year for music in the greater Kansas City area.
Our opening season concert will take place this October 24. It is a very exciting concert as it features all three of my most favorite composers: Wagner, Tchaikovsky, and of course, Brahms. I love to program seasons. Of course a conductor looks at budget, personnel, venue, etc., but picking a program is a lot of fun and gets me looking at repertoire from all genres, sizes, “popular” and less frequently performed works.
The Wagner, Die Meistersinger Prelude, I chose due to its massive use of the orchestra. It’s been a long summer, and I wanted to use the most players as possible to let our listeners see and hear how wonderful the size of the KCCO has grown.
Symphony No. 2 by Brahms is probably one of the most popular of his four symphonic works. Aside from it being just long enough in duration to program other works of substantial size, to a wonderful key of D major – Brahms really shows off his lyrical and beautiful writing in his second symphony. Plain and simple – it’s a wonderful work – beautiful sounds mixed with a triumphant finale movement.
Our featured soloist for this concert is a wonderful cellist, Ruslan Biryukov. He will be performing Tchaikovsky’s charming Rococo Variations for Cello and Orchestra. This work is comprised as a theme and variation form. It is quite easy to follow musically, and the cello technique is demonstrated with a sort of “Russian/Viennese Class.” Without a doubt you WILL enjoy Mr. Biryukov’s playing. I encourage you to bring your cellist friends to hear his performance.
THE INTERNET: What do I mean? All of the pieces listed above can be observed visually and audibly from a wonderful site called www.YouTube.com – I am not ashamed to say that I am completely addicted to this site. You can observe some of music’s most wonderful performances as well as other postings from all other musical organizations. I urge you to give a listen.
Well, I must be off. The KCCO has a lot of rehearsing to do. I look forward to writing many more blog entries, and look forward to seeing you all at our concerts. Stay up to speed on our Web site – and always it is great pleasure for me and the members of the Kansas City Civic Orchestra to bring you our music.
The Kansas City Civic Orchestra celebrated its 50th Anniversary with the 2008-2009 season. We are very proud to have been serving the Kansas City community for so many years and thank you, our dedicated listeners, for your continued support. We look forward to the next 50 years!
A native of St. Louis, Christopher Kelts is ready to begin his second season as music director/conductor of the Kansas City Civic Orchestra. He also conducts the Eastern Jackson County Youth Orchestra, and has guest conducted with the Chamber Orchestra of the Ozarks and the Atchison Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Kelts is also the former assistant conductor of the Kansas City Ballet.
Mr. Kelts is currently finishing a doctoral conducting degree from UMKC-Conservatory of Music & Dance. He holds degrees in orchestral conducting; studying with such teachers as Robert Olson, Glenn Block, and Paul Vermel. Alongside his conducting training, Mr. Kelts is also a trained violist. His teachers include Karen Tuttle, Kate Hamilton, and Amy Muchnick. While at UMKC, Mr. Kelts served as assistant conductor of the Conservatory Orchestras and Opera. He has performed such operas as Le nozze di Figaro, Il Ritorno di Ulisses in Patria, Sussanah, Pirates of Penzanc e, Hansel and Gretel, Guilo Cesare, and Puccini’s Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi. [nggallery id=1]
For the past seven years, Christopher Kelts has served as faculty and conductor for Missouri State University’s Summer String Institute. Mr. Kelts is currently faculty for the Stringedo String Insitute through the Conservatory’s Academy of Music & Dance.
Kansas City based musician Brett Gibson received a rousing standing ovation and encore performance for his rendition of Piazzolla’s Concerto when he made his debut with the Kansas City Civic Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Andy Anderson.
Brett was born in Auckland, New Zealand but now makes his home in the Kansas City area of the United States where he has established himself as one of the leading accordion specialists in the Celtic music scene having performed several seasons with The Elders, Gabriels Gate and is a regular musician with Eddie Delahunt. Brett began playing the accordion at age seven and at the age of 12 won his first New Zealand championship for that age category and continued to seriously perform and compete into his late teens as a soloist and with duet, trio, quartet, ensemble and orchestra. He went on to tour overseas with both the Air New Zealand Accordion Orchestra and also the UMKC Accordion Orchestra.
The Kansas City Civic Orchestra focuses on community enrichment and interaction, drawing players from all walks of life and bringing music to people of all ages and interests, the Kansas City Civic Symphony’s concert on Saturday was the last in the 48th season.
Kansas City Civic Orchestra PO Box 224 Shawnee Mission, KS 66201