Conductor Michael Stern.

(Photo: Courtesy Kansas City Symphony)
Michael Stern conducts the Colorado Symphony in a trio of concerts this weekend featuring Beethoven’s Leonore Overture No. 3, a collection of opera and concert arias by Mozart, and the Second Symphony by Johannes Brahms.

Stern has been music director of the Kansas City Symphony for eight years and won praise both in terms of the orchestra's artistic quality and its audience development.

“In an age of Twitter and Facebook and digital bits and downloading, there is zero excuse – zero – for every child in this country not to be infected with music the way they are presented with every other possible stimuli,” Stern told CPR Classical in a lengthy interview. “I really believe there is the possibility to ignite that love of music in absolutely every child in this country.”

Click the audio above to hear him discuss his outreach efforts in Kansas City, growing up as the son of legendary violinist Isaac Stern and why he hadn’t always planned on becoming a conductor.