After leaving Overland Park Orchestra, conductor Shah Sadikov focused on NAVO group’s fifth season

Leah Wankum - October 10, 2019 11:00 am
Shah Sadikov has stepped down as Overland Park Orchestra music director. File photo

After a year with Overland Park Orchestra, Shah Sadikov has stepped down as conductor and is now busy gearing up for the start of his fifth season with NAVO, his local nonprofit that brings classical music to the Kansas City area.

Sadikov led the Overland Park Orchestra as conductor for about a year, but due to scheduling conflicts, he was unable to continue in that role.

“We came to the conclusion that our schedules are not matching well,” Sadikov said, adding that his assistant conductor has replaced him. The Overland Park Orchestra will make a formal announcement of its new conductor at a later date. “That’s why we decided it’s best if I step down, and if they need help in the future, I’m happy to help them.”

Sadikov said he had a great year with Overland Park Orchestra, leading “a challenging repertoire” of symphony pieces by Tchaikovsky and Beethoven. He also led the orchestra’s performance with the American Youth Ballet on “The Nutcracker.”

Finally, the conductor said he was also proud to premier his newly commissioned piece “Cassini Overture,” with the Overland Park Orchestra. He commissioned that piece with the Hays Symphony at Fort Hays State University, where he teaches and directs orchestra.

“Giving a Kansas City premier is a unique thing because you’ve never heard it before, you’ve never performed it better,” he said. “So I’m very proud that we’ve done that. There were a lot of proud moments.”

Sadikov continues his musical pursuits with guest conducting. He is also continuing his work with NAVO, the nonprofit arts organization he co-founded that features internationally recognized artists in performances that bring classical music to the Midwest.

NAVO’s kickoff performance this weekend, “Czech Mates,” is a program of music written by Czech composers. The performance will take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12 at Atonement Lutheran Church, 9948 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park.

Admission to the NAVO concert is free, and seats can be reserved at

“We are opening our season with this delightful chamber music evening,” Sadikov said.

“Czech Mates” will feature Daniel Veis, a Czech cellist who has been recognized as “the finest Czech cellist since winning the Silver Medal at the prestigious 1978 Tchaikovsky International Competition in Moscow,” according to NAVO. Veis will be joined by his wife, pianist Helena Veisova, in a selection of character pieces by Suk and Martinu.

“He’s an incredible, incredible cellist,” Sadikov said of Veis, adding that Veis Veisová have performed together for more than five decades. “It’s a well rounded program which features an international cast with the centerpiece being Czech artists from the Czech Republic.”

The evening performance will also feature Dvorak’s A major piano quintet, a work inspired by Bohemian folk dances, according to NAVO. Reuniting to perform this work are NAVO’s core members Véronique Mathieu (co-founder of NAVO) and Mandy Wang on violin, Sadikov on viola, cellist Sunnat Ibrahim as well as guest pianist Lolita Lisovskaya-Sayevich.

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