Pintscher will take over as music director of the Kansas City Symphony

Matthias Pintscher has been appointed as the music director of the Kansas City Symphony for the 2024-25 season. He was offered the position a mere five days after his inaugural performance as the orchestra’s conductor.

The announcement was made on Tuesday regarding his appointment on a contract that spans five years. Prior to the rehearsals scheduled from March 3-5, the individual who is 52 years of age had not conducted the orchestra or visited Kansas City.

During a telephone interview, Pintscher expressed that the debut did not give the impression of being a first encounter. The action was impromptu and motivated by inspiration. The individuals involved exhibited a high degree of concern for the hues utilized, and were deeply attuned to refining the language and expression. The individuals in question exhibited a high degree of responsiveness to my nonverbal cues, including my hand gestures and eye movements.

Pintscher, a composer in addition to his role as a musician, has allocated a total of 10 weeks per season to the orchestra. During this time, he will lead approximately eight to nine concerts, with at least one of these concerts dedicated to community outreach efforts. The individual in question is slated to assume the position currently held by Michael Stern, who will be concluding a 19-year term at the culmination of the 2023-24 season.

According to Danny Beckley, the President of the Kansas City Symphony, the musicians, audience, and conductor exhibited an immediate and palpable chemistry on the podium. Before Matthias, we had encountered over 20 conductors. Although we had some satisfactory experiences with some of them, none of them exhibited the same degree of chemistry as Matthias.

In his March program, Pintscher oversaw the performance of György Ligeti’s “San Francisco Polyphony,” Ravel’s “Piano Concerto in G Major” and “Rapsodie espagnole,” as well as Scriabin’s “The Poem of Ecstasy.” On March 6, while located in New York, he received a call from Beckley.

Beckley recollected stating, “This will greatly astonish you.” The organization extends an invitation for the recipient to assume the role of music director.

Pintscher’s upcoming tenure in Kansas City will supplant his present role as the music director of Paris’ Ensemble Intercontemporain, which he has held since 2013-14 and is set to conclude at the end of the current season.

According to Beckley, the Kansas City Symphony observed a decline of approximately 25% in ticket sales at the 1,600-seat Helzberg Hall subsequent to the onset of the pandemic, which is consistent with the trend observed across several institutions in the United States. However, Beckley noted that the figures have begun to recover.

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Assuming a leadership position in an American orchestra typically entails substantial involvement in financial planning. Subsequent to Pintscher’s inaugural performance at the venue, he partook in a communal meal with benefactors and instrumentalists at Farina, an establishment under the proprietorship of William M. Lyons, who served as the chair of the symphony’s board from 2013 to 2019.

To date, my involvement in significant fundraising initiatives has been limited. However, I possess strong interpersonal skills and am confident in my ability to engage with individuals effectively. Pintscher expressed his fondness for establishing connections. The author expresses a desire to satiate their hunger and engage with the community in Kansas City. They have already had the opportunity to interact with a substantial number of individuals through their involvement with the symphony board, which is comprised of numerous benefactors and their acquaintances. In my opinion, the initial steps taken were commendable. Furthermore, I experienced a profound sense of trust emanating from the board.

Pintscher currently resides in New York and foresees persisting with his compositional pursuits primarily during the summer season. According to Pintscher, members of the orchestra expressed their interest in performing one of his musical compositions. However, he stated that his primary focus is on conducting at the moment. As a result, the inclusion of his own work in the program is expected to be postponed until his third season at the earliest.

The individual’s position as a leader within the Paris orchestra has afforded them a valuable perspective.

According to Pintscher, the wolf assumes a leadership role within the pack by leading from behind, as this position provides a better vantage point for observing the pack’s activities. The aforementioned image of monitoring, supervising, and listening is one that I find appealing.

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