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Peter Kolkay

Associate Professor of Bassoon; Chair of the Woodwinds Department

Called “stunningly virtuosic” by The New York Times and “superb” by the The Washington Post, bassoonist Peter Kolkay claimed First Prize at the Concert Artists Guild International Competition in 2002 and was awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2004. He is an Artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and a member of the IRIS Orchestra in Germantown, Tenn. He is Associate Professor of Bassoon at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University.

Current season highlights include a recording of Stravinsky’s L’histoire du soldat, a chamber music appearance on the String Theory series in Chattanooga, and a solo performance at Bargemusic in Brooklyn, N.Y. Kolkay’s recent seasons have included solo recitals at Wolf Trap, Merkin Hall, St. Martin’s Abbey (Wash.), and the Teatro Nacional in Panama City; concerto appearances with the South Carolina, Rochester, and Westchester Philharmonics and Waukesha Symphony; and chamber music engagements at Music@Menlo, the Mainly Mozart Festival, the Spoleto USA Festival, and the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival.

Kolkay actively engages with composers in the creation of new works. He recently performed the world premiere of Joan Tower’s bassoon concerto, Red Maple, with the South Carolina Philharmonic, and will premiere a new work for solo bassoon by Gordon Beeferman in February 2015. Kolkay has premiered solo and chamber works by Judah Adashi, Elliott Carter, Katherine Hoover, Harold Meltzer, Russell Platt, John Fitz Rogers, and Charles Wuorinen. His debut solo CD, titled BassoonMusic and released in August 2011 on CAG Records, spotlights works by 21st-century American composers. Kolkay was awarded the Carlos Surinach Prize by the BMI Foundation for outstanding service to American music by an emerging artist.

Kolkay earned a doctorate from Yale University as a student of Frank Morelli and a master’s degree from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with John Hunt and Jean Barr. A native of Naperville, Ill., Mr. Kolkay holds a bachelor’s degree from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis., where he studied with Monte Perkins. His other interests include travel, modern and contemporary art, and mystery novels. 


Blair Woodwind Quintet