Ned Kirk is a native of Redding, California, where he received his early musical training. He has performed extensively as a piano soloist and chamber musician. Recent concert engagements have included the Phillips Collection and Polish Embassy in Washington D.C.; the Elvehjem Museum of Art in Madison, Wisconsin; the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis; the Colorado Music Festival; various concerts in California; concerto performances with the La Crosse Symphony Orchestra in Wisconsin; the Minnesota Beethoven Festival; the Estes Park Music Festival; and the Governor's Mansion and Second City Chamber Series in Washington State. Kirk currently has concert projects in various stages of development in California, Illinois, Minnesota, North Carolina, Nebraska, France, Poland, Singapore, China and Kenya.
Kirk has collaborated with numerous outstanding musicians, many of whom serve as conductors and principles in major orchestras around the world - Michael Christie, Kevin Kenner, Charles Kavalowski, Glenn Einschlag, Olav Van Hezewijk, Ron Ephrat, Jeffrey Work, David Jones, Lisa-Maree Amos, Daniel Rothmuller and Donald McInnes.
In 2007, guided by the vision of Hugh Miller and with the collaboration of board members Ken Lanik and Julie Smith, Kirk helped create the Minnesota Beethoven Festival where he serves as artistic and managing director; the festival enjoyed a resoundingly successful inaugural season featuring both regional, national and international artists. Kirk is also a founding member of the Ambassador Trio, along with Ray Shows, violin, and Kirsten Whitson, cello. The trio serves as the resident ensemble of the Minnesota Beethoven Festival with the primary mission to act as an educational ambassador within the region and beyond, bringing classical music experiences to audiences of all ages.
From 2002-2004, Kirk served as orchestral pianist for the Colorado Music Festival in Boulder. Over the course of three summers, he performed 25 concerts on piano, harpsichord and celesta including Stravinsky's Petrouchka, Piazzolla's Three Chamber Pieces for piano and string orchestra, a complete baroque program with Michala Petri (recorder), various chamber music concerts, and Saint-SaŽns' Carnival of the Animals for two pianos, with his wife, Caroline.
Kirk earned his Bachelor of Music degree in piano performance from the Peabody Conservatory of Music as a student of Walter Hautzig and his Master of Music degree in piano performance from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, studying under Nigel Coxe. He earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree in piano performance as a student of Craig Sheppard at the University of Washington. Additional piano and chamber music coaches have included Earl Carlyss, Tinka Knopp, Lillian Freundlich, Estela Olevsky, Charles Treger and Yefim Bronfman.
Kirk has been a faculty member at the Marrowstone Music Festival and spent four summers teaching piano masterclasses to students from rural Alaska at the Sitka Fine Arts Institute in Sitka, Alaska. Before moving to Minnesota in 1999, he served for seven years on the piano faculty at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington. In addition to his work with the Minnesota Beethoven Festival, Kirk is also an associate professor of piano and chair of the music department at Saint Mary's University in Winona, Minnesota.
Courses Taught Recently at SMU
Keyboard Musicianship I
Keyboard Musicianship II
Music Fundamentals I
Music Fundamentals II
Music Theory I
Music Theory II
Music Theory III
20th Century Analysis
Advanced Piano Literature
American Musicological Society
College Music Society
Music Teachers National Association
D.M.A., Piano Performance, University of Washington, WA, 2001
M.M., Piano Performance, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, MA, 1992
B.M., Piano Performance, Peabody Conservatory of Music, 1987
2006 to Present: Associate Professor, Music Department, Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, Winona, MN
1999-2006: Assistant Professor, Music Department, Saint Mary's University of Minnesota, Winona, MN
1992-1999: Senior Lecturer, Pacific Lutheran University, Tacoma, WA
1990-1992: Teaching Assistant, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
2002: Employee Recongition Award, Saint Mary's University for "Oustanding Performance of Duties and Responsiblities"