Kansas City Symphony gives life to UMKC master’s student pieces

Posted on: April 18, 2011

In Sunday’s (4/17) Kansas City Star, Steve Paul writes, “After leading his charges through a new piece of music they had never played before, Steven Jarvi, associate conductor of the Kansas City Symphony, swivels on his black wooden stool to peer at the young man in the audience who wrote the piece. … [Composer Brian] Egan, with wavy hair, a plaid shirt and close-cropped beard, wrote ‘The Serpent Rope’ as his master’s thesis at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance. As such, it might have been destined to rest eternally on paper. But on this recent Friday morning, thanks to an expanding partnership between the Symphony and the conservatory, Egan is getting a rare opportunity for a student. He is hearing a good chunk of the piece—its 15-minute closing part—played by seasoned musicians in all its challenging glory. ‘There is almost nothing I can think of that’s a better educational experience for a young composer—even an old composer—than hearing their work played by a professional orchestra,’ the Symphony’s executive director, Frank Byrne, says on the White Recital Hall stage before the performance. ‘It’s probably the most significant thing we’re doing in our conservatory partnership.’ ”

Posted April 18, 2011