Virgil Thomson Celebration: Conservatory alum, students, and faculty perform at Kauffman Center, Televised on KCPT

About the Conservatory

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in collaboration with Kansas City Public Television (KCPT) celebrates the music of Virgil Thomson, Kansas City’s most illustrious classical composer, in a commemorative concert in Helzberg Hall, Thursday, October 20, 2011, 8 p.m.

Homecoming: An Evening with Virgil T, is a 90-minute program dedicated to an array of Virgil Thomson’s instrumental and vocal works, all related in some significant way to the theme of Thomson as, in Aaron Copland’s words, the “father of American classical music.” The musical tribute is filmed in HDTV with excerpts from the concert incorporated into a biography of Thomson to be broadcast nationally on PBS.

The biography is a work-in-progress by producer/writer James Arntz and director John Paulson, both 2007 Emmy nominees and the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers award-winners for PBS/American Masters. Aimee Larrabee, of Kansas City’s Inland Sea Productions, serves as co-producer/writer on the project, and KCPT is the presenting station for the PBS broadcast.

Tickets for the program are available initially for purchase by invited Kauffman Center and KCPT audiences. A limited number of general admission tickets are available, and there are opportunities for student attendance. Audience members should come prepared to appear on-camera throughout the concert.

A diverse and talented young company of Kansas City performers and chamber groups will be featured, including tenors and Conservatory alum Nathan Granner, Ben Gulley, and violinist Elizabeth Suh Lane. Jazz vocalist Shay Estes, accordionist Kyle Dahlquist, soprano Victoria Botero, singer-guitarist Barclay Martin, pianists Karen Engebretson, Conservatory adjunct piano faculty Karen Kushner and pianist Mark Lowery, mezzo-soprano Elaine Fox, guitarist Beau Bledsoe, baritones Richard Gibson and Cary Mock, the Park University Conservatory String Quartet, the UMKC Conservatory Brass Quintet, and the Peoples Liberation Big Band.

Crosby Kemper III, Director of the Kansas City Public Library, will serve as the concert host and narrator.

For more information, please contact:

Name: Dana Self
Phone: 816-235-2949