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Conversations with creators and organizers of the arts scene in West Michigan, hosted by Cara Lieurance

A big new season for the Kalamazoo Symphony encircles jazz, modern music, movies and masterworks

KSO executive director Jessica Mallow Gulley
Toni Smailagic
KSO executive director Jessica Mallow Gulley

Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra Executive Director Jessica Mallow Gulley, who steered the group through both a pandemic and its centennial celebrations, now gets to present a full season of nearly 20 events with a clean slate. It begins Sept 24 with a KSO Masterworks concert featuring James Lee III’s Emotive Transformations, Ravel’s Sheherazade (not to be confused with Rimsky-Korsakov’s work), and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4.

Co-designed with Montreal-based music director Julian Kuerti, Mallow Gulley will oversee the return of Craft Music at Bell’s Eccentric Cafe, a new chamber music series featuring KSO musicians and guest artists in jazz, classics, and modern pieces, pre-concert panels for curious concertgoers, and presentations of timeless masterworks including a Bruckner symphony and Brahms’ German Requiem. The season draws on collaborative partnerships with the Kalamazoo Bach Festival, the Stulberg International String Competition, and regional jazz artist Rufus Ferguson, among others.

Mallow Gulley shares highlights of the new season with Cara Lieurance, and maestro Kuerti chimes in by phone from Argentina, where he recently conducted at the Teatro Colón, the main opera house in Buenos Aires.

Cara Lieurance is the local host of NPR's All Things Considered on 1021 WMUK and covers local arts & culture on Let's Hear It on 89.9 Classical WMUK weekday mornings at 10 - 11 am.
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