Performance Year: 2016
Building on three decades of artistic leadership from coast to coast—the New York Philharmonic to the Los Angeles Philharmonic—Welz Kauffman has dedicated his Ravinia tenure, which began in 2000, to educational goals. These include the expansion of audiences for classical music through innovative programming in a uniquely welcoming setting; diversifying festival repertoire and audiences; exposing new listeners to great music from all genres, especially youngsters in budget-strapped schools without music programs; and developing the artistic and performing strengths of emerging talents from around the world. Both of Kauffman’s parents were professional educators, and he germinated his own music career as a piano teacher. Education remained a key component of his work from the J. Paul Getty Trust to several orchestras where he managed education services, including the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; the Atlanta Symphony, where he collaborated with the legendary vocal conductor Robert Shaw and former President Jimmy Carter; and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, where he developed community programs with Hugh Wolff and Bobby McFerrin.