Associate Professor of Bassoon; Chair of the Woodwinds Department
Called “superb” by the Washington Post and “stunningly virtuosic” by the New York Times, Peter Kolkay is the only bassoonist to receive an Avery Fisher Career Grant and to win first prize at the Concert Artists Guild International Competition. He is a Season Artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. Recent seasons have included a solo recital at the Centro Cultural Ollin Yolitzli in Mexico City, chamber music performances at Music@Menlo and Bridgehampton summer festivals, and appearances on the Emerald City, Camerata Pacifica, and Mostly Music series.
Kolkay actively engages with composers in the creation of new works for the bassoon; he has commissioned and premiered solo works by Joan Tower, Mark-Anthony Turnage, and Tania León, among others. His recent recordings include Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale, with Roger Waters narrating, and Michael Torke’s bassoon concerto with the Albany Symphony.
Kolkay is a member of the IRIS Orchestra in Germantown, Tenn., and has also served as guest principal bassoon of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. A dedicated teacher, he is Associate Professor at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University, and has given master classes throughout the United States and Mexico. Kolkay holds degrees from Lawrence University, the Eastman School of Music, and Yale University, and studied with Frank Morelli, John Hunt, Jean Barr, and Monte Perkins. A native of Naperville, Ill., he now calls the Melrose neighborhood of Nashville home.