Friends University Fine Arts to host Kansas premiere performance of Erik Satie’s Vexations on “Satieday” May 18, 2024.

Wichita, KS- In a Wichita premiere, Friends University Fine Arts will host a performance of the enigmatic avant-garde composition “Vexations” by Erik Satie. On what Friends University has dubbed “Satieday”, May 18 will be a day of eccentric performances celebrating the life and work of the composer.

Known for its repetitive and perplexing nature, “Vexations” has captivated audiences since its premiere on September 9, 1963, led by the eminent 20th century American composer, John Cage.

Written in 1893 but not published until 1949, the work consists of four presentations of a theme which must be repeated 840 times in a single performance, ranging from 18 to 35 hours. Friends University welcomes interested high school and professional pianists from around the state to participate in this rare and exciting opportunity.

Various sites in Wichita will host the marathon performance between 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., including Mark Arts, Sedgwick County Zoo, Exploration Place, Wichita Art Museum and City Arts. The spaces provided by our creative partners will ensure that each portion of “Vexations” is unique to the venue.

In celebration of Satie’s 158th birthday, members of the piano faculty at Friends University will conclude the day-long performance of Vexations in a recital of well-known music by the composer and his contemporaries in Alumni Auditorium at 7:30 p.m., with a themed reception to follow.

For more information, please contact Friends University Assistant Professor of Piano Dr. James Knight at or 316-295-5532, or visit

Friends University, a Christian University of Quaker heritage, equips students to honor God and serve others by integrating their intellectual, spiritual and professional lives.

Satie Day