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Performing Arts Leader Richard Harriman Dies at Age 77

Performing arts leader Richard Harriman, who guided the Harriman-Jewell Series for more than four decades (first as director, then as artistic director) died Thursday, July 15, 2010.

By Laura Spencer


Kansas City, MO – In 1965, Richard Harriman co-founded what's now known as the Harriman-Jewell Series - as an English professor at William Jewell College in Liberty with a passion for performing arts.

The series has presented more than 850 classical music and dance events, and 19 American recital debuts, including the professional recital debut of Luciano Pavarotti in 1973.

In a 2007 interview, Richard Harriman talked about the focus of the series.

"From the beginning, it has been very important to us to bring to Kansas City new people," said Harriman. "To introduce artists who have not been heard or seen here before."

Harriman died on Thursday, July 15, 2010 at the age of 77. He had leukemia.

A public memorial service is scheduled for 3 pm, Sunday, August 8th at the John Gano Memorial Chapel, on the William Jewell campus in Liberty, Missouri.

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Kansas City is known for its style of jazz, influenced by the blues, as the home of Walt Disney’s first animation studio and the headquarters of Hallmark Cards. As one of KCUR’s arts reporters, I want people here to know a wide range of arts and culture stories from across the metropolitan area. I take listeners behind the scenes and introduce them to emerging artists and organizations, as well as keep up with established institutions. Send me an email at lauras@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @lauraspencer.
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