Kenneth Kirk is Professor of Music at Valdosta State University, where he serves as senior theorist and conductor of VSU Opera. He earned the B.A. degree, magna cum laude, at Duke University; the M.A. at Radford University; and the Ph.D. at the University of Cincinnati (dissertation: The Golden Ratio in Chopin’s Preludes, Opus 28). Additional study was done at the Hochschule für Musik in Vienna.
Kirk’s primary theoretical interests are proportions and aesthetics in music. His principal teachers were George Parrish (analysis), Jonathan Kramer (time) and Arthur Komar (Schenker). He has presented papers at meetings of the College Music Society and has published in the Journal of the International Trumpet Guild. At VSU he currently teaches second year theory and ear training, analysis, counterpoint, and graduate theory.
As conductor of VSU Opera Kirk has conducted some 18 productions, including The Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, Candide, The Old Maid and the Thief, Cendrillon, Acis and Galatea, El dúo de La Africana, and Hansel and Gretel. He also wrote and produced an original Stars Wars adaptation of The Magic Flute. Notable vocalists who have appeared under his baton include Frank Timmerman, Tamara Hardesty, Carol Mikkelsen, Raymond Hughes, and Stanford Olsen. Besides VSU Opera Kirk has conducted the VSU chamber ensemble, Roanoke (VA) Showtimers, and the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program wind ensemble (Schoenberg Variations, Opus 43). He has also served as assistant conductor of the Valdosta Symphony Orchestra. His primary conducting teachers were Allan Bone and Teri Murai.
Before coming to VSU Kirk taught at Roanoke College. While at VSU he also taught for five summers in the Georgia Governor’s Honors Program. He co-directed the VSU summer program in Florence and has taught and administrated in the Georgia University System Paris summer program for eight summers. In addition to his teaching duties Kirk also chairs the Department of Music Curriculum and Policies Committee. He has been at VSU since 1986.