Kalamazoo Symphony, embracing change as it enters its 100th season

Posted on: October 20, 2021

Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra Executive Director Jessica Mallow Gulley and Music Director Julian Kuerti at an Oct. 14 press conference. Photo: Ryan Boldrey

“Music connects us. Three words that stand alone at the heart of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra as it celebrates its 100th anniversary and prepares for a second century of spreading music throughout the community,” writes Ryan Boldrey in Saturday’s (10/16) MLive (Michigan). “For the first time since prior to the pandemic, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra will perform indoors as it launches its masterworks season Oct. 16 [with] pianist Richard Goode … KSO Music Director Julian Kuerti and the rest of the symphony for a performance of Mozart’s Concerto No. 25 … Dvořák’s Symphony No. 8 and ‘Traces,’ a world premiere commission by composer and KSO cellist Elizabeth Start which honors strong women in Kalamazoo’s history, among them KSO founder Leta G. Snow. ‘Traces’ was also inspired by Merze Tate, the first Black woman to graduate from Western Michigan University … as well as suffragist Lucinda Hinsdale Stone…. The symphony … is also publicly launching an $8.8 million fundraising campaign [and] announced a diversity and inclusion campaign … that [Executive Director] Jessica Mallow Gulley says will allow KSO to continue to secure high level talent … as well as extend the symphony’s presence ‘to play more music for more people in every community across our city.’ ”