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First Name: Edgar
Last Name: Kirk
Bio: Edgar Kirk, first president of the IDRS, began his study of the bassoon in 1938. His first teacher was Howard Acton, principal bassoonist of the Harrisburg (Pennsylvania) Symphony. He joined the orchestra as third and contra bassoonist in 1940. In 1941 he entered the Eastman School of Music as a student of Vincent Pezzi. After three years of military service, he returned to Eastman in the fall of 1946. He auditioned for and was accepted into the Rochester Philharmonic as third and contra bassoonist. He joined the staff orchestra of WHAM in 1947. He graduated from Eastman in 1948 with BM and MM degrees, and the Performer's Certificate in bassoon, awarded for Kirk's performance of the Bozza Concertino, which was the United States premiere. In 1948 he accepted the position of instructor of bassoon and theory at Michigan State University, and became principal bassoonist of the Lansing Symphony Orchestra. He spent summers from 1954 through 1965 as visiting professor of bassoon at the Eastman School and principal bassoonist of the Eastman Chamber Orchestra. He was instrumental in the founding of the Richards Quintet, ensemble-in-residence at Michigan State. The quintet toured all across the United States and Canada, and in 1984 did a three-week tour of the People's Republic of China. The quintet also recorded works of Mueller and Reicha for Crystal and Musical Heritage Society. From 1976 to 1980 he was bassoon instructor at the Interlochen Arts Academy. From 1978 to his retirement in 1988 he was head of the programs of graduate study in music, and associate chairperson of the School of Music.
Source: Double Reed 21/1 (1998)