In September 2017, Kaufman Music Center’s longtime Executive Director Lydia Kontos announced her retirement, anticipated for September 2018. Lydia has dedicated her professional life to the Center, joining the Merkin Concert Hall staff in 1979 and assuming the post of Executive Director in 1986.
Kaufman Music Center would not be the thriving cultural institution it is today without Lydia’s leadership, commitment, and vision. Because of Lydia, the Center opens its doors to more than 75,000 people each year – including 4,000 talented, motivated students.
To thank Lydia for bringing about the many music education and performance programs that define the institution today and mean so much to all of us, the Center is announcing a scholarship campaign to raise at least $750,000 in funding for our educational programs. The campaign is called A Celebration of our Muse.
Levels of Support
Levels of support are named after Greek musicians and musical terms because of Lydia’s close ties to the Greek heritage. Gifts of $10,000 and above may be paid over a term of five years. Gifts will support the Fund for Music Education, which underwrites the Center’s educational programs.
- Apollo’s Circle – Give or pledge $100,000 to the campaign; you will be recognized as the underwriter of a faculty member each year for the next five years.
- Muses – Give or pledge $50,000 to the campaign; you will be recognized as the underwriter of a music scholarship for a student at Special Music School each year for the next five years.
- Oracles – Give or pledge $25,000 to the campaign; you will be recognized as the underwriter of a student recital each year for the next five years.
- Lyric Poets – Give or pledge $10,000 to the campaign; you will help fund private lessons for a student each year for the next five years.
- Greek Chorus – Gifts up to $9,999.
Supporters who give $1,000 or more will be listed on a prominently displayed plaque honoring Lydia at Kaufman Music Center. We will celebrate the completion of the campaign with the plaque’s unveiling at a reception celebrating Lydia’s legacy.
All supporters who give $1,000 and above will be listed in Merkin Concert Hall programs as part of the campaign through 2022. Additionally, they will receive an annual report on the Center’s educational programs and an invitation to our annual Musical Leadership Circle event through 2022.