The Kansas City Symphony (KCS) is a United States symphony orchestra based in Kansas City, Missouri. The current music director is conductor Michael Stern. The Symphony performs at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, located at 1601 Broadway Boulevard.
Kansas City’s first symphony orchestra was the Kansas City Symphony, formed in 1911 for Carl Busch. It ceased operations at the start of World War I, as many of the musicians were sent to War. Kansas City’s second symphony orchestra was the Kansas City Philharmonic, founded in 1933 and dissolved in 1982. Only months later, seeing the necessity for a new symphony orchestra, businessman and philanthropist R. Crosby Kemper, Jr. founded the Kansas City Symphony.
Kemper chose a group of other prominent Kansas Citians, including Hallmark Cards Chairman and CEO Donald J. Hall, Sr. and H&R Block co-founder Henry W. Bloch, to be the founding trustees; together, the first board established the Symphony’s initial endowment. They also promulgated the Symphony’s mission, to “advance and advocate the art of classical music for the enrichment of the community.”