Daniel Brier | WMUK

Daniel Brier

Ballet Arts Ensemble of Kalamazoo

Conductor Daniel Brier says he and the Kalamazoo Symphony staff have learned many new skills and put in long hours to create a season of online concerts. In a conversation with Cara Lieurance, he says the final Digital Concert Hall performance makes him proud:  It's Prokofiev's Peter And The Wolf, featuring the orchestra, narrator David Little, and the Ballet Arts Ensemble of Kalamazoo. Little recorded the narration first, then the symphony recorded the music, then the dancers performed to the music. After careful editing for a seamless show, it will come together in a streamed concert at 7 pm Friday, May 28 through the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra website. The concert, which will be available to watch for 30 days, also features Brier conducting Ravel's Mother Goose Suite.

Colin Howe / Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra

"Miniature Masterpieces" is set to be streamed by the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra at 7 pm Friday, Feb 26. Resident conductor Daniel Brier and featured soloist Rachel Miller previewed the concert with Cara Lieurance.

John Lacko/Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra

It may seem like a conductor's job is to spend all their time rehearsing musicians and conducting concerts, but according to Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra resident conductor Daniel Brier, that's only 10% of the work. The other 90% is studying and interpreting the scores. So when the COVID-19 crisis prevented Brier from conducting, he found new ways to be productive.

Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra

Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra resident conductor Daniel Brier and Kalamazoo Bach Festival Chorus director Chris Ludwa join Cara Lieurance to preview Sounds of the Season, the symphony's annual holiday concert, which will be held at 8 pm Friday, Dec 13 at Chenery Auditorium. Brier and Ludwa talk about their two groups teaming up to perform part 1 of Johann Sebastian Bach's  Christmas Oratorio, BWV 248, a joyous work which includes three soloists, chorus, and orchestra. 

After the oratorio, the program becomes a variety pack of holiday music and special guests, including the 2019 KSO Youth Soloist competition winner, Alyssa Waswick. The alto saxophonist will be featured in a movement of Glazunov's Concerto for Alto Saxophone and Strings. The Kalamazoo Children's Chorus will join the orchestra for carols like Little Drummer Boy and maestro Kuerti's own arrangement of Coventry Carol. 

courtesy of the artist

Kevin Cole is a friend of a friend of George Gershwin. Several friends, in fact. Prior to his appearance with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, Cole tells Cara Lieurance that as a teenager growing up in Bay City, Michigan, he introduced himself to Gershwin's friend and biographer, Edward Jablonski.