Kansas City Ballet Music Director Ramona Pansegrau came to Kansas City via the Boston and Tulsa ballet companies, where she held the positions of principal pianist, solo pianist, music director, and conductor.
She has been called one of the best ballet pianists in the world. Robert Joffrey said of her ballet class, “The perfect music for every combination.” She was music director for Tulsa Ballet for nine years, and conductor of the Tulsa Symphony orchestra for ballet performances before she became the Kansas City Ballet music director in October 2006. She was principal pianist/solo pianist for 10 years at Boston Ballet and tenured keyboard for the Boston Ballet Orchestra for 15 years. Pansegrau was on the faculty at Aspen/Snowmass Dance Festival for 11 years, served on the faculty and as music director of seven International Ballet Competitions, and taught at the Boston Conservatory.
As a piano soloist for ballet, she has performed the piano concertos of Tchaikovsky, Brahms, Gottschalk, Hindemith, and Chopin to name a few, performing with many symphony orchestras, including the Kennedy Center Opera Orchestra. Of her performances, the Boston Phoenix stated, “the music…brought to sublime heights by pianist Ramona Pansegrau, allow[ing] you to experience the music anew each time.” Her arrangements of ballets are now in the repertory of the Western Australia Ballet, Charleston Ballet Theatre, Tulsa Ballet, Louisville Ballet, Washington Ballet, Ballet West, the San Carlo Opera House in Italy, and NBA Ballet in Tokyo, Japan.
As conductor, Pansegrau conducted the premiere of the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra’s full-length Sleeping Beauty, starring Italian ballerina Viviana Durante. Her performances were hailed as “giving life to the music and energizing the dancers.” Conducting for the Ballet Across America Festival, The Washington Post stated, “There is a delicious tension between the outpouring of the strings conducted by Pansegrau and the hushed anxiety of the dancing.” The Kansas City Star said Miss Pansegrau’s Symphony Number 5 by Gustav Mahler was conducted with “heartrending sensitivity.” Miss Pansegrau’s other ongoing engagements include Music Director and Conductor for the USA International Ballet Competition since 1990, and guest conductor for Orlando Ballet.