Arts Corner

I YAM WHO I YAM: In KC Symphony premiere, Previn proves that knowing thyself has no shelf life

By Paul Horsley
At 85, André Previn has nothing to prove. As one of the great musical geniuses of the 20th century and for that matter the 21st, the Berlin-born American whose family fled the Nazis has headed several international orchestras, won four music-category Oscars, and received fistfuls of kudos including the Kennedy Center Honors, Lifetime Achievement Awards by both the Grammys and Gramophone magazine, and an honorary knighthood by the Order of the British Empire.

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LYRIC NIGHT: Prize-winning World War I opera, soon to make KC premiere, strikes at the heart of human conflict

By Paul Horsley
Silent Night, the World War I opera that is taking the music world by storm, is not a history lesson, and it’s not a sermon. It’s an image of what can happen in wartime when men and women who have been told they are enemies sit down and talk, in defiance of commanders and political leaders. And it draws much of its force from the fact that it actually happened.

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MUSIC PAST, MUSIC PRESENT: Choral composition honors Harriman’s life and the Series he founded

By Paul Horsley
Any celebration of the Harriman-Jewell Series is to some extent a tribute to Richard Harriman, the late William Jewell College professor who cofounded the world-renowned series that bears his name. What a shame that Richard, who died in 2010, didn’t live to see this season’s 50th anniversary celebration, for among other things it features a number of artists who were longtime friends of Richard’s and who have remained loyal to the Series.

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ADIEU, ‘MR. B’: KC Ballet presents Bolender ‘Nutcracker’ one last time with help of Todd protégé

By Paul Horsley
Ballet is ephemeral at its core, the product of a certain time and place, a specific set of dancers, musicians and designers. This year it’s with no little sadness that the Kansas City Ballet bids farewell to Todd Bolender’s durable production of The Nutcracker, which after 34 years has run its course and is to be replaced with a new version in 2015.

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PRESCIENCE AND POETRY: Harriman series celebrates golden anniversary with returning pianist

By Paul Horsley
Just as Kansas Citians often think of themselves as residing at a geographic and a spiritual center-point of the United States, Macedonians characterize their nation as occupying a special place at the heart of Europe. So it’s especially apt that in 2004 the late Richard Harriman, whose mind was always working several steps ahead, chose Macedonian pianist Simon Trpceski to inaugurate the Harriman-Jewell Series’ path-forging Discovery Series.

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