In just over half a century of existence, the Kaufman Center has grown from a community preparatory music school to one of New York City’s richest cultural institutions. It is composed of three parts: Merkin Concert Hall, Lucy Moses School and the Special Music School (P.S. 859).
Merkin Hall is one of the nation’s renowned concert venues, and features an annual season of compelling arts programming. Its concert series feature world premieres and innovative contemporary works, jazz and classical music concerts, as well as Broadway classics and family musical revues. Merkin features a number of festivals throughout the year, including the new Ecstatic Music Festival, committed to bringing together contemporary artists who are redefining directions in music today.
The Lucy Moses School (LMS) is the original seed from which the Kaufman Center sprung. Founded in 1952 as the Hebrew Arts School for Music and Dance, LMS has become a vital and beloved part of its community. The School grew so quickly that after two decades, a dramatic (physical and programmatic) restructuring was needed; the Abraham Goodman House was built in 1978 to house LMS and today remains the home of the Kaufman Center.
The most recent addition to the Kaufman Center, the Special Music School (SMS, added in 1996) is a New York Public School for exceptionally gifted music students grades K-8. It is modeled after innovative Soviet music schools, offering a rounded education with a strong emphasis on music. SMS also hosts the Kaufman Center’s Young Artist Program, an intensive pre-collegiate music program for high school students.
- Venues: The Goodman House contains three facilities: Merkin Concert Hall, Lucy Moses School, and Special Music School
- Public Transportation: Very good (easily accessible by subway lines 1, 2, and 3 at 72nd Street and buses M5, M7, M11, M57, M66, M72, and M104)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Performances/Programs: The Merkin Concert Hall’s season runs from September to June and programming includes world music, chamber music, jazz and musical theater
- Ticket Prices: Vary based on program. Student, senior, and group discounts are available for selected Merkin shows. The Kaufman Center presentations sell half-price student tickets a half-hour before curtain
- Membership: Merkin Memberships are $80. Membership benefits include tickets to any four Musically Speaking concerts, discounts on additional Musically Speaking concerts, premium seating, free ticket exchanges, one free ticket for a guest to a Musically Speaking concert, a 10% discount on classes and group lessons at the Lucy Moses School, a 10% discount on rental of Kaufman Center studios, and practice rooms as well as restaurant discounts and an invite to the Center’s annual gala
- Educational/Community Outreach: The Lucy Moses School has classes in theater, music, and dance.