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Burt Bacharach | November 21st

Burt Bacharach

Friday, November 21st | 7:30 PM
Muriel Kauffman Theatre

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Burt Bacharach will perform on Friday, November 21 at 7:30 pm in Muriel Kauffman Theatre. The three-time Academy Award ® winner and eight-time Grammy® winner will perform with his band of three singers and seven musicians his most beloved hits from “Alfie” to “Walk on By.”

Burt BacharachABOUT BURT BACHARACH Six decades into one of songwriting’s most successful and honored careers – marked by 48 Top 10 hits, nine #1 songs, more than 500 compositions and a landmark 50+year run on the charts, Burt Bacharach’s music continues to set industry records and creative standards. Bacharach’s global audiences span several generations, and he is viewed as the unique combination of one of the greatest composers of all time and the ultra-cool cult hero of the contemporary music set who often has several songs on various music charts in many countries simultaneously.

Along with Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Paul Simon, Bacharach is a legend of popular music. His songs have been recorded by legendary singers, such as Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Linda Ronstadt, Dionne Warwick and Aretha Franklin. Other tributes to the diversity of Bacharach’s music have been paid by, among others, Elvis Costello (“I’ll Never Fall in Love Again” and “God Give Me Strength”), REM, Diana Krall, Barenaked Ladies, Sheryl Crow, Wynonna Judd and Mike Myers. Bacharach revolutionized the music of the 1950s and 60s and is regularly bracketed with legendary names, ranging from Cole Porter to Sir George Martin, as one of a handful of visionaries who pioneered new forms of music from the second half of the 20th Century and continued into the 21st Century.

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Kauffman Center Celebrates Third Anniversary Milestones with a Focus on the Future

Paul Schofer

President and CEO Paul Schofer

Kauffman Center will build upon three years of fiscally-sound operations, community engagement and innovative artistic successes both nationally and within the Kansas City community.

Kansas City, MO – This week, the Kauffman Center celebrated three years of bringing extraordinary and diverse performing arts experiences to the Kansas City community with an inaugural gathering of key stakeholders, including the Kauffman Center Board of Directors and Mayor Sly James.

Chairman of the Board, Julia Irene Kauffman welcomed an intimate crowd of supporters Tuesday evening and introduced President & CEO Paul J. Schofer to offer insight into the operational milestones, artistic successes and future focus of the Center.

Since the opening, Kauffman Center has hosted more than 830 public performances welcoming more than 1.3 million audience members and guests through its doors. Its diverse programming continues to shine a spotlight on Kansas City’s own vibrant arts community and attract national talent from all genres. Resident companies the Kansas City Ballet, Kansas City Symphony, and Lyric Opera of Kansas City, along with numerous other community arts organizations, have experienced record attendance in their new performance homes.

“We will continue to provide diverse and extraordinary performing arts experiences for audiences of all ages and interests to the tune of nearly 300 public on-stage performances annually,” states Paul J. Schofer, president and CEO of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. “The area in which we will increase our focus is in community engagement. Kauffman Center will be creating more opportunities and more events for everyone in our community to experience, learn from and be inspired by the performing arts.”

Kauffman Center’s vision of serving everyone in the community is evident from its commitment to providing children and families access to the Center’s performances. More than 127,000 students have attended a matinee performance at the Kauffman Center and more than 68,000 school children have been provided transportation funding through the Kauffman Center’s Open Doors Transportation Fund. Additionally, Open Doors Community Tickets continues to provide opportunities for Kansas City individuals and families to attend performances at no cost through partnerships with social service agencies.

In addition, a wide range of free or low-cost programming is offered throughout the year at Kauffman Center, including Kansas City Symphony free Happy Hour Concerts and Kauffman Center’s own Future Stages Festival, an annual free community event which welcomed 6,000 people and provided opportunity for 600 performers, mostly youth, to perform on stage as part of the event last June. Audiences are also able to experience low-cost presentations and performances priced as low as $10, such as the popular National Geographic Live series, part of Kauffman Center Presents.

Along with artistic successes, Kauffman Center’s first three years have been marked by solid financials due, in no small part, to efficiencies created within the Center’s operating and staffing models and from financial and volunteer support within the Kansas City community. Effective management and strong annual fundraising support have allowed Kauffman Center to operate in the black for each of its first three years, which is considered an exceptional accomplishment in comparison with performing arts centers nationally.

“We currently operate in an environment in which numerous arts organizations across the country are in financial disarray, facing financial shortfalls, labor strikes and, in some cases, bankruptcy. At the same time, the performing arts in Kansas City seem to be thriving, with many local organizations having banner years. Kauffman Center’s overall contributed and sponsorship revenue has increased by 73% since our grand opening year,” explains Schofer.

Strong support from donors in the community have been a vital component to the Kauffman Center’s successes enabling the organization to complete its capital campaign, achieve first phase of endowment funding and reach annual fundraising goals.

“We are grateful for the incredible support we have received from the Kansas City community. For long-term success, we can’t be complacent. Our goal is to further stabilize our annual revenue model. To do so, we will be quickly moving into phase two of building our endowment. At the same time, we will continue to develop our business programs – and individual giving programs – to strengthen the Center’s overall financial structure,” stated Schofer.

Kauffman Center has received national and international recognition within its first three years. Earlier this year, CNN reported that the Kauffman Center is one of only two American venues included in Emporis’ rankings of The World’s 15 Most Beautiful Concert Halls. Paul Schofer asserts that Kauffman Center’s success is a direct reflection on Kansas City’s forward momentum. “The Kauffman Center has established itself as an iconic landmark in the Kansas City skyline. It not only shows the world our city’s passion and appreciation for the performing arts, but it symbolizes the transformation of Kansas City’s urban core; and reflects the vibrant energy, creativity and forward-thinking that this community has embraced.”

– 1,300,000 people attended Kauffman Center events.
– 836 performances occurred in first three years.
-127,082 school children attended student matinee programming.
– Kauffman Center has operated in the black in each of its first three years.

– October 19: WORDLESS! Art Spiegelman and Phillip Johnston
– October 26: Virtuosic organist, Cameron Carpenter
– November 21: Burt Bacharach
– February through June: National Geographic Live speaker series
– June 28: Future Stages Festival (free event)

New programs will be announced throughout the year. Visit or download the Kauffman Center mobile app to learn more and sign up for email updates and presale offers.

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 to thank our official building sponsors, Aristocrat Motors and Mercedes-Benz of Kansas City, and extend special thanks to Sprint for its generous support of our 2014-2015 season.

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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 visual centerpiece 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

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

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