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A once-in-a-century chance to celebrate Kalamazoo's professional orchestra: Hear a preview with conductor Julian Kuerti

Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra
Maestro Julian Kuerti has planned an historic celebration
Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra
Robert Whaley has been the KSO's principal tubist since 1967.

At 7:30 pm on Saturday, June 18, the 100th anniversary season of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra will come to a close with the orchestra playing music that highlights the evolution of the group. Julian Kuerti, the music director of the KSO since 2018, did a deep dive into the concert programs and historic upheavals of the KSO's last century in order to fashion a program that tells a story. He spoke about it with Cara Lieurance.

Three special guest artists have been revealed: former concertmaster Barry Ross, conductor emeritus Raymond Harvey, and tubist Robert Whaley, who has played with the symphony since 1967. Excerpts from historic recordings and other surprises are in store for this special night.

The Kalamazoo Symphony commissioned Zaide Pixley and Jane Rooks Ross to research and write a history of the group's first 100 years. It is available for free online — click the picture of the book to read.

Cara Lieurance covers local music with live morning interviews, and produces WMUK's Let's Hear It weekday mornings at 10 am Mon-Fri, showcasing local interviews and performances. She also produces The Pure Drop, an hour of Celtic music, with musician Dave Marlatt.