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March 5, 2024

˿Ƶ receives transformational $5 million gift from Kevin & Kristen Stein and Family


A portrait of Kevin and Kristen Stein.

Like a gradual but powerful crescendo in music, ˿Ƶ’s many strategic achievements of late have coalesced into a single, grand, and historic gesture. 

On Wednesday, March 6, ˿Ƶ announced the commitment of a $5 million gift from Kevin & Kristen Stein and Family.  

The gift, the largest single contribution from a couple in ˿Ƶ history, pushes the school’s ongoing Second Century Campaign, through recent gifts, pledges, and expressed intentions, past $33 million, and caps the many remarkable successes of Blueprint:100, ˿Ƶ’s recently completed centennial plan.  

The new gift also enshrines the Stein family name alongside other legendary ˿Ƶ family benefactors including Mixon, Robinson, Kulas, and Addicott. 

“We could not be more grateful to Kevin, Kristen, and their family for this incredible endorsement of ˿Ƶ and investment in the future of classical music,” said Paul W. Hogle, ˿Ƶ’s President & CEO. 

“Their philanthropy will have a profound impact not only on our school but also on musical life in Greater Cleveland and on the lives of our students, both during their time at ˿Ƶ and for many years beyond.” 

The Stein gift is multifaceted. Most prominent among the initiatives it supports is the renovation of Kulas Hall, slated to begin this summer, but the gift also underscores the essential need for endowed scholarships, beyond the funds already raised as part of Blueprint:100.   

Scholarship advocacy from the Stein Family will in turn fuel continued alumni success, adding to the school’s long legacy of producing members of leading orchestras, chamber ensembles, and opera companies as well as noted academics, composers, and administrators.  

The gift also memorializes Curtis Stein, Kevin Stein’s late father. Upon completion of the Kulas Hall project, ˿Ƶ will present a biennial organ recital and masterclass in his honor. The organ loft and concert pipe organ will be renamed in memory of Curtis K. Stein through a generous gift from Kevin & Kristen Stein and Family.  

“Cleveland owes its status as a musical capital in large part to ˿Ƶ,” said Kevin Stein, a ˿Ƶ Trustee since 2021. “We are honored to help extend that tradition by empowering the world’s most talented classical music students to attend ˿Ƶ and hone their craft in a venue equal to their highest aspirations.”  

The Second Century Campaign has earned record-setting philanthropy in support of ˿Ƶ scholarships and capital projects. Already, 19 Trustees have committed the largest gifts in their lifetime to ˿Ƶ, and 11 have made unprecedented commitments of $1 million or more. The campaign enjoys broad support, with gifts coming from 649 donors representing Trustees, Governing Members, alumni, private foundations, corporations, and the State of Ohio. 

Kevin Stein is President, CEO, and Director of TransDigm Group, a leading designer, producer, and supplier of proprietary aerospace components, headquartered in Cleveland. Its products are in use on nearly all commercial and military aircraft in service today. At ˿Ƶ, he serves as Chair of the Investment Committee and a member of the Executive Committee. 

Prior to joining TransDigm in 2014, Stein worked for Precision Castparts Corporation, now a division of Berkshire Hathaway, as President of the Castings and Forgings Group and as an Executive Vice President of the Corporation. He also worked for Cooper Industries and Tyco Electronics/Raychem Corporation as a division president.  

Stein also serves as a Director at Axalta, a NYSE listed company, and is a Trustee at Gilmour Academy in Gates Mills and a Director at Greater Cleveland Sports Commission. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Hobart College and a master’s degree and doctorate in inorganic chemistry from Stanford University. 

Kristen Stein is a licensed interior designer and the owner and principal designer of Stein Design Team, a full-service interior design company. Her specialty is applying traditional and contemporary aesthetics to luxury residential spaces, collaborating with clients to create rooms that are both functional and personal. She also holds degrees in childhood development and a master’s degree in educational administration. She has worked as a teacher and administrator. 

Reflecting on the Stein family’s already considerable support for ˿Ƶ, including Kevin Stein’s board service, Hogle said he is inspired by all that the couple has done and given in support of the future of classical music.  

This latest gift, however, is in a class by itself, he said, a gesture whose significance is impossible to overstate and whose impact transcends financial considerations.  

“I have had the privilege of working with thousands of donors to support hundreds of projects large and small over my four-decade career,” Hogle said. “Very few have been as joyfully generous in their philanthropy as Kevin and Kristen. 

“˿Ƶ will never be able to truly thank them enough, but we hope that the illustrious careers and phenomenal performances their gift makes possible over the coming decades will be a fitting reward.” 

Photo by Jeff Selser Photography