Brandmeyer Great Hall will be closed to the public Friday, December 2nd.


The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts’ 2011-2012 season features a diverse array of classical, jazz, and pop music, opera, ballet and contemporary dance, Broadway, comedy, lectures, and more.

The inaugural season features legendary performing artists, including Aretha Franklin, Mavis Staples, Philip Glass, and Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, among others. The Kauffman Center’s three resident companies—the Kansas City Ballet, the Kansas City Symphony, and the Lyric Opera of Kansas City—will also present seasons filled with world premieres, acclaimed guest artists, and a new production.

“The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will play a dynamic role in our community, not only by inviting the greatest artists from around the world to perform in our spectacular new halls, but also by providing opportunities for local, regional, and student performing arts organizations to perform at the Center,” said Jane Chu, CEO of the Kauffman Center. “In our first season, there is something for everyone at the Kauffman Center, and audiences will be able to experience the performing arts in Kansas City in an entirely new way.”

Five world premiere performances will take place at the Kauffman Center in its first year, with the debut of three new works performed by the Kansas City Symphony, including one written by Chen Yi, a professor at the University of Missouri Kansas City; the Kansas City Ballet’s performance of Tom Sawyer, composed by Maury Yeston and choreographed by the Ballet’s artistic director William Whitener; and a unique multi-media concert experience based on the life of Charles Darwin developed by The Friends of Chamber Music. Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, which has made Kansas City its second home outside of New York, will perform at the Kauffman Center in its first tour under artistic director Robert Battle. Other highlights of the inaugural season include nine performances in the Harriman-Jewell Series, Kansas City’s venerable performing arts presenter, including the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and Parsons Dance, and two performances from The Friends of Chamber Music’s ten-day Bach Festival, featuring pianist Konstantin Lifschitz.

The Kauffman Center’s inaugural season also features performances by local performing arts organizations, including the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra and the Heartland Men’s Chorus, and student performances by the Youth Symphony of Kansas City and the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance.

In addition to providing performance venues for many of Kansas City’s performing arts organizations, the Kauffman Center has created four new series that will appeal to a wide variety of audiences: the American Legends Series, showcasing artists who are masters of their genres and have been instrumental in defining American culture; the Destinations Series, a series to introduce audiences to high quality experiences offered by performing artists and groups from around the world;  the Vanguard Series, presenting artists who have pushed the boundaries and redefined their art forms and a National Geographic Speaker Series, featuring dynamic National Geographic explorers, scientists, photographers, and filmmakers. Tickets for Laurie Anderson, as well as single tickets for all community organization performances at the Kauffman Center, will go on sale beginning August 30 and can be purchased through the Center’s box office at 816-994-7222 or online at

Following is the 2011-2012 inaugural season at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts:

American Legends Series
Presented by the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Lily Tomlin, November 20

Mavis Staples, December 8

Aretha Franklin, May 8

Destinations Series
Presented by the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Ladysmith Black Mambazo, January 24

Burn the Floor, May 18 – 20

The Chieftains, March 7

Vanguard Series
Presented by the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Laurie Anderson, October 9

Philip Glass, April 3

National Geographic Speaker Series
Presented by the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Annie Griffiths Belt, February 28

Kenny Broad, March 20

Mattias Klum, April 23

Mireya Mayor, May 21

Kansas City Ballet
Resident Company of the Kauffman Center

Tom Sawyer, a Ballet in Three Acts (world premiere), October 14-23

The Nutcracker, December 3-24

Romeo and Juliet, February 17-26

Masters of American Dance, May 4-13

Kansas City Symphony
Resident Company of the Kauffman Center

The Kansas City Symphony’s inaugural season features 14 different classical programs, as well as pops, holiday, and family programs. Works in the classical series were chosen to showcase the new Helzberg Hall at the Kauffman Center, and the season features more world-renowned guest artists and conductors ever presented in a single season of the Kansas City Symphony. Highlights of the season include:

Fountains Commission by Chen Yi and guest artist Emanuel Ax (world premiere), September 23-25

Guest artist Yo-Yo Ma, January 20-22

Guest conductor Christoph von Dohnányi, March 2-4

Guest artist Joyce DiDonato, March 23-25

Water Music by Daniel Kellogg and guest artist Yefim Bronfman (world premiere), March 30-April 1

The Muse of Missouri by Stephen Hartke and guest artist Joshua Bell (world premiere), June 15-17

Lyric Opera of Kansas City
Resident Company of the Kauffman Center

Turandot (new production), October 1, 5, 7, 9

Così fan Tutte, November 5, 9, 11, 13

Nixon in China, March 10, 14, 16, 18

The Barber of Seville, April 21, 25, 27, 29

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, November 16-19
Presented by Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey

Harriman-Jewell Series

Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, October 1

Vienna Symphony, November 9

DePueBrothersXmas, December 19

Hamburg Symphony, January 25

Parsons Dance, January 28

Juan Diego Flores, February 19

Ray Chen, March 11

Red Army Chorus, March 16

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, March 31

Heartland Men’s Chorus

Summer Concert, June 16-17

Kansas City Broadway Series
Presented by Theater League

An Evening with Patti Lupone and Mandy Patinkin, January 17-22

Million Dollar Quartet, March 20-25

Next to Normal, June 5-10

The Friends of Chamber Music

The Darwin Project (world premiere), October 14
Presented in partnership with the Kauffman Center

Chanticleer, November 5

Bach Festival/Kansas City Chamber Orchestra, February 14

Bach Festival/ Konstantin Lifschitz, February 18
Presented in partnership with the Kauffman Center

The KU School of Music

Wind Ensemble and Jazz Ensemble with Paul Popiel and Dan Gailey as conductors, November 13

KU Concert Opera, David Neely as conductor, May 5

University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance Artist Series

Conservatory Concert Jazz Band, Conservatory Wind Symphony and PRISM Quartet, September 28

Carmina Burana by Carl Orff, February 20

Conservatory Dancers, Choirs, and Wind Symphony

Chinese Myths by Chen Yi, April 28

Conservatory Orchestra

Youth Symphony of Kansas City

Spring Concert, April 22

About the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, a major new center for music, opera, theater, and dance designed by Moshe Safdie will open in Kansas City in September 2011.  The Kauffman Center will present vibrant performances and educational programming, and will advance the role of the performing arts as a catalyst for Kansas City’s educational, civic, and economic vitality.

Three of the region’s leading performing arts organizations—Kansas City Ballet, Kansas City Symphony, and Lyric Opera of Kansas City—will be in residence at the Kauffman Center.  The Kauffman Center’s two performance venues, the 1,800-seat Muriel Kauffman Theatre and the 1,600-seat Helzberg Hall, will offer audiences engaging and intimate experiences, while at the same time providing resident companies with dramatically enhanced performance capabilities.

Serving as a cultural cornerstone for Kansas City’s dynamic downtown, the Kauffman Center will bring a new spotlight to the region’s performing arts community while simultaneously attracting some of the world’s most talented performers and entertainers, further establishing Kansas City as a major cultural destination.

More information on the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts is available at


For media in Kansas City:

Larry Jacob

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts


For media outside of Kansas City:

Maria May / Isabel Sinistore

Resnicow Schroeder Associates

212-671-5173 / 212-671-5175