Conductor Michael Stern will miss the opening concerts of his second season as the Kansas City Symphony's music director. The orchestra announced yesterday afternoon that Stern has withdrawn from this weekend's performances (September 8-10) due to the expected birth of his first child.
"Only my yet unborn child's stubborn refusal to adhere to our Kansas City Symphony's schedule could keep me from being with the orchestra to launch this 25th anniversary season," Stern said in a statement.
Filling in for Stern will be David Robertson, the widely-admired American conductor who begins his own second season at the helm of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra September 23-24.
The program for this weekend's KCSO concerts has been changed slightly. The local premiere of Si Ji (Four Seasons) by Chinese-American composer Chen Yi (who lives and teaches in Kansas City) has been postponed and will be replaced by the Prelude to Wagner's Die Meistersinger and DvorŠk's Symphonic Variations. As previously planned, the second half of the concert features Jon Kimura Parker in Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto No. 1.
More information on the Kansas City Symphony's season is available at www.kcsymphony.org.