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September 2016
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Classical Music Supporter Richard “Dick” Kiphart Dies at 75


Richard “Dick” Kiphart (Photo courtesy of Lyric Opera of Chicago)

Richard “Dick” Kiphart, a prominent and influential Chicago investment banker and philanthropist who was an active supporter of the city’s cultural life, died this past weekend at age 75.

Kiphart worked at William Blair & Co. for 50 years before retiring this past January. He was served on the boards of and helped lead Columbia College, the Poetry Foundation, Erikson Institute, Merit School of Music, and Lyric Opera of Chicago, where he served as president and CEO.

In a statement from Lyric Opera of Chicago, General Director Anthony Freud said that “Dick and Susie’s leadership at Lyric have had incalculable value and importance. We are immensely grateful to them both. Lyric will benefit from Dick’s passion and commitment for many years to come.”

He, along with his wife Susie, were also supporters of WFMT and WTTW, and were among the first supporters of the station’s program “Introductions,” which features talents young local musicians every week, as well as the programming of the station’s late Critic-at-Large Andrew Patner.

David Polk, Program Director of WFMT and founding producer and host of “Introductions,” said that “Dick was and Susie remains wholly interested in advancing the cultural life of our city for everyone. The amount of time he dedicated to serving some of our most beloved and important institutions was an inspiration. We at WFMT are grateful to him for his encouragement and support of our programming, and especially those featuring young people, conversation and criticism.”

A memorial service celebrating Richard P. Kiphart’s life will take place at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, September 21, 2016 at Kenilworth Union Church, 211 Kenilworth Avenue, Kenilworth, IL 60043. The service will be streamed live on

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