Kauffman alters performance dates amid COVID-19


Posted by Bob Evans

Kansas City Ballet, Kansas City Symphony, Lyric Opera of Kansas City
and Harriman-Jewell Series Announce Revised 2020-21 Season

No performances through December 31, 2020 by Symphony, Ballet, Opera, and Harriman-Jewell Series at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

 To address building occupancy restrictions and social distancing guidelines, the Kansas City Ballet, Kansas City Symphony, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and Harriman-Jewell Series conclude it is not possible to perform and today announce postponement or cancellation of their on-stage programming at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts through December 31, 2020.

The decision was made based on current information about the pandemic and its impact, which has stopped all activity at the Kauffman Center since mid-March.

“Collectively, The Kansas City Ballet, Kansas City Symphony, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and Harriman-Jewell Series have conducted evaluations and extensive scenario planning. It was determined that it was in the best interest of our shared audiences, artists, staff, volunteers, and guests that resources be conserved now to put us in a stronger position to return for a dynamic and robust season next calendar year,” said Kauffman Center President and CEO Paul Schofer. “We each remain committed to our mission to enrich the lives of our communities throughout the region, country and world by offering extraordinary and diverse performing arts experiences. We cannot wait to welcome all of our audiences back to the Kauffman Center.”

Today’s announcement includes the following performances that were to take place at the Kauffman Center (in date order). In the coming weeks, each organization will release additional information regarding the possible rescheduling of performances. 

  • September 9–13 – Kansas City Symphony – Star Wars: Return of the Jedi in Concert, Helzberg Hall
  • September 18–20 – Kansas City Symphony – Bohemian Rhapsody: Queen’s Greatest Hits, Helzberg Hall
  • September 26–October 4 – Lyric Opera of Kansas City – La Traviata, Muriel Kauffman Theatre
  • September 27 – Kansas City Symphony – Buckets N Boards, Helzberg Hall
  • October 1 – Kansas City Symphony – Richard Marx with the Kansas City Symphony, Helzberg Hall
  • October 7 – Harriman-Jewell Series – Keith Lockhart and the Boston Pops on Tour, performing Lights, Camera…Music! Six Decades of John Williams, Muriel Kauffman Theatre
  • October 9 – Harriman-Jewell Series – Parsons Dance, Muriel Kauffman Theatre
  • October 9-11 – Kansas City Symphony – Classical Series Opening Weekend! Stern Conducts Brahms’ First and Schumann, Helzberg Hall
  • October 16-25 – Kansas City Ballet – Dracula, Muriel Kauffman Theatre
  • October 17 – Harriman-Jewell Series – Renée Fleming, soprano in recital, Helzberg Hall
  • October 24 – Harriman-Jewell Series – Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Riccardo Muti, Zell Music Director, Helzberg Hall
  • October 25 – Kansas City Symphony – Halloween Symphony Spooktacular!, Helzberg Hall
  • October 29 – Kansas City Symphony – Silent Film + Live Organ: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Helzberg Hall
  • October 30–November 1 – Kansas City Symphony – Gil Shaham Plays Brahms with Schumann’s Fourth, Helzberg Hall
  • November 7–15 – Lyric Opera of Kansas City – The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, Muriel Kauffman Theatre
  • November 13-15 – Kansas City Symphony – Audra McDonald with the Kansas City Symphony, Helzberg Hall
  • November 20-22 – Kansas City Symphony – Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Helzberg Hall
  • November 27-29 – Kansas City Symphony – From Darkness into Light: Mozart, Elgar and Walton, Helzberg Hall
  • December 3-24 – Kansas City Ballet – The Nutcracker, Muriel Kauffman Theatre
  • December 4-6 – Kansas City Symphony – Handel’s Messiah, Helzberg Hall
  • December 7 –  Harriman-Jewell Series – Canadian Brass Holiday Concert, Helzberg Hall
  • December 9-10 – Kansas City Symphony – Holidays with Kenny G, Helzberg Hall
  • December 18-21 – Kansas City Symphony – Christmas Festival, Helzberg Hall
  • December 22-24 – Kansas City Symphony – Film + Live Orchestra: Home Alone, Helzberg Hall
  • January 16 – Harriman-Jewell Series – Dorrance Dance, Muriel Kauffman Theatre
  • February 22 – Harriman-Jewell Series – Joyce DiDonato’s Songplay, Helzberg Hall
  • March 14 – Harriman-Jewell Series – Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de México, Helzberg Hall

Kansas City Ballet Executive Director Jeffrey Bentley stated, “The past few months have been an enormously challenging period for Kansas City Ballet, indeed for all of the performing arts and artists in our nation. We are confident our dancers will soon return to the stage, along with our colleagues here at the Kauffman Center and once again deliver those uniquely personal experiences that each patron carries with them when they leave the theater. It cannot be too soon.” He continued, “While we may not be present at this moment on the stage of the Muriel Kauffman Theatre, stay tuned for future announcements regarding new programming initiatives at the Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity which will be celebrating its 10th anniversary this August!”

With this update, the Kansas City Symphony also is rearranging its season to present Classical, Pops, and Family Series concerts beginning in early January through the end of June 2021. This revised schedule will result in some exciting programming changes while ensuring the safety of ticket holders, musicians, and staff.

“We continue to make music, even during these times, through whatever means we can,” said Danny Beckley, Executive Director of the Kansas City Symphony. “The need to perform great music is hardwired into our DNA, and we will not be silenced by this pandemic. We are developing plans for this fall that include chamber music with small ensembles of musicians, with live performances online and outdoors to the maximum extent possible. We are optimistic that society is more successfully dealing with the pandemic six months from now, and so from January to June, we are developing plans to safely present our full subscription series in Helzberg Hall.”

A revised Symphony concert schedule will be announced in the coming weeks. Until then, please stay in touch at kcsymphony.org, and the Kansas City Symphony on Facebook and Instagram for the latest announcements, online performances, podcasts, and educational resources.

Lyric Opera of Kansas City General Director and CEO Deborah Sandler stated, “In the face of this uncertain and unpredictable public health epidemic, it will be impossible for LOKC to proceed with our fall programming at the Kauffman Center through the end of December 2020. This unfortunate and heartbreaking decision postpones the spectacular fall season we had planned for Kansas City. Please know that our energies are focused on reimagining a revised and exciting season at our Lyric Opera Production Arts Building. Look for our announcement shortly. We cannot wait to see you again.”

Most Harriman-Jewell Series performances originally planned for the 2020–2021 season will be moved to the 2021–2022 season.

“Even though subscription performances planned for the 56th Season have been recast to our 57th Season, the Harriman-Jewell Series will actively contribute to the Kansas City cultural landscape in the near term,” said Clark Morris, Series Executive and Artistic Director. “Our 2020–2021 season must be reimagined, and we pledge to find substantive ways to serve our community.”

For existing ticket holders of postponed or cancelled events, please note that the organization that issued your tickets will be in contact regarding next steps soon. Subscribers who have renewed their season subscriptions will have an option to receive a credit to a future performance, donate the package value or speak with the organization about other options. All exchange fees will be waived for tickets purchased for these events.

If you are a ticket holder of one of these performances, please contact the organization that issued your tickets:

Kansas City Ballet
Kansas City Symphony
Lyric Opera of Kansas City
Harriman-Jewell Series

Please reach out to contact@kauffmancenter.org or the Kauffman Center box office at (816) 994-7222 for questions.

For a complete schedule of the numerous performances that remain scheduled at the Kauffman Center visit kauffmancenter.org.

Currently, the Kauffman Center is closed to the public through August 2. For more information regarding updates and performance schedule changes at the Kauffman Center, please visit kauffmancenter.org/coronavirus.


The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts – a major not-for-profit center for music, opera, theater, and dance designed by Moshe Safdie – opened in 2011. Serving as a cultural cornerstone for Kansas City and the region, the Kauffman Center delivers extraordinary and diverse performing arts experiences. Honored as one of the World’s 15 Most Beautiful Concert Halls, the Kauffman Center attracts some of the world’s most renowned performers and entertainers.

Thanks to Kauffman Center Presents series sponsors for their generous support of Kauffman Center Presents: Saint Luke’s Health System, PNC Bank, and Aristocrat Motors and Mercedes-Benz of Kansas City.

Visit the Kauffman Center’s online press room for media resources, multimedia library, press release archive and more: kauffmancenter.org/about/press-room/.


MISSION: To Inspire and Engage Through the Beauty, Power & Passion of Dance

VISION: Outstanding Dance Experiences Accessible to All

Founded in 1975, Kansas City Ballet is a professional ballet company led by Artistic Director Devon Carney and Executive Director Jeffrey J. Bentley. Kansas City Ballet is home to Kansas City Ballet School which, with an enrollment of more than 2,000 children and adults, offers professional training for the career-minded student as well as for those simply seeking a healthy lifestyle.

Through the professional company, second company (KCB II & Trainees), community engagement and education programs, Kansas City Ballet seeks to nurture and develop artists, audiences, and students in the values inherent in the creativity, diversity, and joy of dance. The company’s home, the Todd Bolender Center for Dance & Creativity, in conjunction with our Resident Company status at the world-class Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, positions Kansas City as a destination for dance. Visit kcballet.org/kansas-city-ballet-press-releases/ for more info.


Founded in 1982, the Kansas City Symphony has established itself as a major force in the cultural life of the community. Praised for performances of uncompromising standard, the orchestra is the largest in the region and enjoys a national reputation under the artistic leadership of Music Director Michael Stern. The Kansas City Symphony Chorus is a volunteer, 160-member ensemble led by multi-Grammy® Award-winning conductor, Charles Bruffy, that continues its long tradition of excellence as the choral voice of the Kansas City Symphony. The Kansas City Symphony performs more than 130 concerts each year, often welcomes guests of international acclaim as part of its Classical and Pops Series, and serves as the orchestra for the Kansas City Ballet and Lyric Opera of Kansas City. More information on the Kansas City Symphony is available at kcsymphony.org.


Founded in 1958 and now one of the nation’s premiere regional opera companies, Lyric Opera of Kansas City brings high-quality live operatic performances to the people of the Kansas City and a five-state region. Repertoire choices encompass original-language performances of standard repertory, as well as contemporary and American operas. The company’s productions enrich the community it serves while reflecting the highest artistic standards of the profession. Lyric Opera offers innovative programs to further music and arts education in schools and in the community. Opera lovers can be fans of Lyric Opera of Kansas City on Facebook or follow the company on Twitter or Instagram at @kcopera and at kcopera.org.


The Harriman-Jewell Series continues to carve out an enviable legacy as a performing arts presenter of international importance. More than 970 performances have come to Kansas City by way of the Series, including 24 American recital debuts by prominent artists. With the addition of its free educational events, which allow interaction with musicians and dancers, and its free Discovery Concerts that eliminate the barrier of cost, the Harriman-Jewell Series offers even more life-enriching opportunities for its community’s youth and lifelong learners. More information on the Harriman-Jewell Series is available at hjseries.org.


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