Saluting Those Who Served| August 17th

Saluting Those Who Served: Music from a Time of War
Featuring organist Jan Kraybill

Sunday, August 17th | 4:00 PM
Helzberg Hall

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Saluting Those Who Served: Music from a Time of War showcases music written and created during the time of World War conflict. Featuring letters from soldiers and those affected by war, the performance incorporates music, spoken word performance and audience interaction. The program highlights the Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant Organ, Opus 3875, the world-class concert hall organ in Helzberg Hall.

The event is part of the commemoration of the WWI Centennial in partnership with the National WWI Museum, featuring Dr. Jan Kraybill, organ conservator at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 


Partial program listing:
Program highlights may include Aaron Copland: Fanfare for the Common Man, Edward Elgar: Pomp and Circumstance Military March No.1, Op. 39, Over There, Pack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit Bag, Louis Vierne: Prelude and Allegro from Symphony No. 4 in G Minor, Op. 32, Blanche Gangwere:Desolation, Jehan Alain: Joies (Joys) from Trois Danses, Marcel Dupré: Poème Héroïque (Heroic Poem), Op. 33

More Information

For more information about the Julia Irene Kauffman Casavant Organ, Opus 3875, click here.

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Jan Kraybill’s official website

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Cameron Carpenter | October 26th

Cameron Carpenter, Organist

Sunday, October 26th | 7:00 PM
Muriel Kauffman Theatre

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Cameron Carpenter

“There were many moments…of majestic beauty and manic ferocity that took the breath away…Carpenter is already the most gifted organist in many a generation. And he’s only just begun.” (The Los Angeles Times)


Back after his sold out performance at the Kauffman Center, Cameron Carpenter performs in Muriel Kauffman Theatre on his newly designed international touring organ. Cameron is having a ball smashing the stereotypes of organists and organ music – all the while generating worldwide acclaim and controversy. His repertoire – from the complete works of J. S. Bach to film scores, his original works and hundreds of transcriptions and arrangements – is probably the most diverse of any organist. Cameron brings his International Touring Organ to the Kauffman Center – a monumental digital organ of his own design, playable throughout the world. Cameron’s embrace of fashion on the concert stage includes concert wear of his own design.

“Everything he touches turns fantastical and memorable.” (The New York Times)

As a keyboard prodigy, he performed Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier at age 11 before joining the American Boychoir School in 1992 as a boy soprano. 

Cameron Carpenter is “one of the rare musicians who changes the game of his instrument…He is a smasher of cultural and classical music taboos. He is technically the most accomplished organist I have ever witnessed…And most important of all, the most musical.” (The Los Angeles Times)

More Information Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get more details about upcoming performances at the Kauffman Center and behind-the-scenes access.

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Cameron Carpenter’s official website

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Art Spiegelman | WORDLESS! | October 19th

Art Spiegelman performs WORDLESS!

Created in collaboration with Phillip Johnston Sunday, October 19th | 7:00 PM Helzberg Hall

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Art Spiegelman, noted as a historian and theorist of comics as well as an artist, collaborates with Phillip Johnston, the critically acclaimed jazz composer who will be performing live with his sextet. Johnston’s music accompanies the cartoonist’s personal tour of the first legitimate “graphic novels”— silent picture stories made by early 20th century masters like Frans Masereel, Lynd Ward and Milt Gross—and their influence on him. As Spiegelman explores “the battle between Words and Pictures,” he smashes at the hyphen between High and Low Art in a presentation featuring a new work drawn specifically for this project, “Shaping Thought.”

This event is sponsored by Lawrence and Donna Gould Cohen and Martha Gershun and Don Goldman in memory of Gloria P. Gershun, a professional librarian and passionate booklover with deep ties to the Jewish community.

Art SpiegelmanArt Spiegelman: Art Spiegelman has almost single-handedly brought comic books out of the toy closet and onto the literature shelves. In 1992, he won the Pulitzer Prize for his masterful Holocaust narrative Maus— which portrayed Jews as mice and Nazis as cats. His comics are best known for their shifting graphic styles, their formal complexity, and controversial content.  

Phillip Johnston:Phillip Johnston  A saxophonist and composer of both jazz and new music, Phillip has been a significant figure in the underground music scene of New York’s downtown since the beginning of the 1980’s. He has composed extensively for film, and his original scores for silent film have been performed at the Sydney Opera House and beyond. 

More Information Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get more details about upcoming performances at the Kauffman Center and behind-the-scenes access.

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Art Spiegelman’s official website Phillip Johnston’s official website

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First-ever Future Stages Festival at Kauffman Center Welcomes 6,000 Visitors

The Kauffman Center’s inaugural Future Stages Festival showcased more than 500 youth artists performing in Muriel Kauffman Theatre, Helzberg Hall and an additional outdoor stage. A free event for the entire community, Future Stages Festival was created to thank Kansas City for the warm welcome the Kauffman Center has received since opening in 2011. Since that time, more than one million visitors have experienced an event at the Center and 6,000 people participated in Sunday’s Future Stages Festival.

Future Stages Festival is part of the Kauffman Center’s Open Doors Spotlight on Youth access program designed to share the Kauffman Center’s stages (and spotlight) with a wide range of local artists and performers, from young children to smaller arts groups, many of whom have not yet had the opportunity to perform at the Center.

“Future Stages Festival is an exciting display of the Kauffman Center’s commitment to providing excellence in programming to everyone in our community for generations to come,” stated President and CEO Paul J. Schofer. “The Kauffman Center will build upon the community support that made it possible in our first three years to provide diverse and outstanding programming, as well as arts access programs necessary to open our doors to more children and families.”

The Kauffman Center’s Open Doors access programs, which provide transportation subsidies for schools to attend matinee programs, free community tickets for non-profit agencies as well as opportunities for youth to perform on stage, are viewed by the Center as vital to the effort to promote and develop creativity for future generations. “Along with our renowned resident artistic organizations and community partners, Kauffman Center strives to create a supportive environment that will allow Kansas City to nurture and educate its own future artists. Our region has thousands of talented youth. Each has a dream to perform in a world-renowned venue and Future Stages Festival provides youth the opportunity to perform and be recognized. We’re placing our youth and the arts at the center of our vibrant community,” explained Schofer.

The Kauffman Center Open Doors program connects young people to the arts through three major components:

  • The Open Doors Spotlight on Youth program inspires and nurtures the next generation of artists by giving young performers the opportunity to perform on the stages of the Kauffman Center.
  • The Open Doors Community Ticket Fund offers access to programming at the Kauffman Center for youth and families through reduced price or free tickets.
  • The Open Doors Transportation Fund offers funding to schools in the metropolitan area so that bringing students to the Kauffman Center for school matinee performances is more affordable.

ABOUT THE KAUFFMAN CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, a major center for music, opera, theater, and dance designed by Moshe Safdie, opened in 2011. Serving as a cultural cornerstone for Kansas City and the region, the Kauffman Center delivers extraordinary and diverse performing arts experiences. Recently honored as one of the World’s 15 Most Beautiful Concert Halls, the Kauffman Center attracts some of the world’s most renowned performers and entertainers. Through educational outreach programs and community enrichment, the Kauffman Center supports Kansas City as a cultural destination.

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

The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts would like the thank our official building sponsors, Aristocrat Motors and Mercedes-Benz of Kansas City, and extend special thanks to Sprint for its generous support of Future Stages Festival.


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Kauffman Center Board of Directors Names Paul J. Schofer as President and CEO

KANSAS CITY, MO – Today, the Kauffman Center Board of Directors named Paul J. Schofer as its President and CEO. Schofer served as vice president of operations and chief financial officer of the Kauffman Center since March 2012.Paul Schofer Portrait Headshot

“I have said repeatedly that the Kauffman Center has an outstanding leadership team,” said Kauffman Center Chairman of the Board Julia Irene Kauffman. “This vote of overwhelming confidence in Paul by the entire board of directors is affirmation that the Kauffman Center is on the right path to continue its vision of bringing outstanding performing arts to our community.”

Schofer moved to Kauffman Center from Learfield Communications, where he served on its executive leadership team as senior vice president and chief financial officer. While at Learfield Communications, Schofer helped provide strategic direction and leadership for the organization’s primary business of providing multi-media marketing services to more than fifty of the nation’s top Division I athletic programs. Prior to his tenure at Learfield, Schofer worked at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, providing financial oversight for more than $2 billion in assets as its CFO from 2004 to 2007. Schofer is a Missouri native and received his undergraduate and Master of Business Administration degrees from the University of Missouri, Columbia. In addition, Schofer has been deeply involved in the Kansas City area community, serving as vice president of the board for The Children’s Place, completing the Centurions Leadership Development program, and serving on the board of directors for Powell Gardens.

“In the past two years, Paul helped strengthen both the financial and the artistic foundation of the Kauffman Center,” said Jane Chu, outgoing president and CEO, who is leaving to become chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts. “His varied background, strong financial sense, and passion for the performing arts make him the ideal choice to take the Kauffman Center to the next level.”

Schofer lives in the Kansas City area with his wife and two children, who attend schools in the Park Hill School District. His move from finance to the arts was based on his passion and his experience growing up. “I’ve seen firsthand how both the Kauffman family and the arts can transform our community,” Schofer said. “My vision is to uphold the values of the Kauffman family and build on the great work Kauffman Center has started. That means working with our resident companies – the Kansas City Symphony, the Kansas City Ballet, the Lyric Opera of Kansas City – as well as the many diverse and eclectic programs that grace our stages. We are in a strong position to sustain Kauffman Center’s vitality and its contributions to Kansas City for generations to come.”

Chairman Julia Irene Kauffman concluded, “Paul is the right choice to build on the success of the Kauffman Center’s presentation of outstanding performances, strong financial management and deep community engagement.”

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