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Year of Thanks

In September 2017, Kaufman Music Center’s longtime Executive Director Lydia Kontos announced her retirement.

Kaufman Music Center would not be the thriving cultural institution it is today without Lydia’s leadership, commitment, and vision. Lydia is a remarkable leader, who has guided the growth of Lucy Moses School, founded Special Music School, and made Merkin Concert Hall one of New York City’s foremost performance venues.

This year, we have launched a special campaign to thank Lydia for all that she has done to help this institution thrive and grow. There are many ways you can help, at levels big and small.

How You Can Help

  • A Celebration of our Muse – a campaign inviting donors to make pledges for scholarships to ensure that Lydia’s commitment to making music education affordable can continue, long after her tenure. More information is available here.
  • On May 14, 2018 the Center honored Lydia at its annual Gala. The event featured performances by flutists Sir James Galway and Lady Jeanne Galway and operatic soprano Ailyn Pérez.

Past Initiatives Include

  • On March 10, 2018, the Special Music School PTA dedicated its annual “SMS Live” event to Lydia. This special evening featured performances by world-renowned artists like Pablo Ziegler, Hector Del Curto, Orli Shaham, Shai Wosner, and conductor David Robertson.
  • On January 28, 2018, the Lucy Moses School student community organized its annual Play-a-thon Scholarship Drive, which raised more than $45,000 for scholarships. One concert was dedicated to Lydia.

Want to Join the Chorus of Thanks?

Contact the Development Office at 212 501 3350 or