Kirk M. Rich
March 13, 2016 @ 6:00 pm - 6:45 pm
Join us as organist Kirk M. Rich performs on St. Thomas’ Schoenstein organs, Sunday March 13 at 6 pm. The performance follows Choral Evensong at 4 pm and a reception at 5 pm.
The program includes works by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), Giuseppe Gherardeschi (1759-1815), Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809-1847), Jacques-Nicolas Lemmens (1823-1881) and Marcel Dupré (1886-1971).
About the Artist
A native of Kentucky, Kirk Michael Rich began organ studies with Douglas Reed at the University of Evansville in Indiana. He maintains an active career as a church and synagogue musician, a recitalist, and a collaborative artist. Recent concert appearances include solo recitals at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Berkeley, California, Christ Church Cathedral in St. Louis, and an appearance at the Kennedy Center Conservatory Project Organ Showcase in Washington, D. C. Recent collaborative performances include Benjamin Britten’s St. Nicolas cantata with the Houston Chamber Choir under the direction of Robert Simpson, as well as a performance with the River Oaks Chamber Orchestra (ROCO) Brass. Upcoming performances include a solo recital at St. Thomas Church (Episcopal), Fifth Avenue, in New York City this coming season.
Kirk is a laureate of several organ competitions. Winner of the 2007 American Guild of Organists/Quimby Competition for Young Organists (Region V), he performed a “Rising Star” recital at the 2008 National Convention of the American Guild of Organists in Minneapolis. In October 2013, Kirk garnered second prize in the Schoenstein Competition in the Art of Organ Accompaniment at Indiana University. In June 2014, he was a finalist in the AGO’s National Young Artists’ Competition in Organ Performance, performing at the National AGO Convention in Boston at Harvard University’s Memorial Church. More recently, Kirk took first prize and the prize for hymn playing excellence at the 44th Annual Hall William C. Hall Pipe Organ Competition (graduate division) in San Antonio. Kirk has been accepted as a semifinalist in the 2016 NYACOP, where he will compete in Dallas, Texas. As a harpsichordist, he has played continuo in performances with period orchestras led by Stanley Ritchie and Nigel North, among others. This coming summer, Kirk will serve as Festival Organist for the 2016 Festival of the Hours in the Bay Area, accompanying choirs under the direction of the renowned Edward Higginbottom, recently retired from New College, Oxford.
Kirk holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music where he studied organ with James David Christie and harpsichord with Webb Wiggins. He has played in masterclasses for Marie-Claire Alain, David Briggs, Francesco Cera, Hans-Ola Ericsson, and Olivier Latry, among many others. An interest in technique and ease in playing led to certification in the Lister-Sink Method of Well-Coordinated, Injury-Preventive Keyboard Technique with pianist Barbara Lister-Sink. Kirk obtained the Master of Music degree in organ performance from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music where he studied organ with Christopher Young, harpsichord with Elisabeth Wright, and improvisation with Bruce Neswick. Currently, Kirk is a doctoral student at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music where he studies organ with Robert Bates, harpsichord with Matthew Dirst, and choral conducting with Betsy Cook Weber. He is the Organist and Worship Ministries Associate at Grace Presbyterian Church in Houston, as well as the High Holy Day Organist-Choirmaster at Congregation Beth Israel, the oldest Jewish congregation in Texas. Kirk’s wife, Laura, is a college counselor at St. Agnes Academy in Houston, and they are the proud pawrents of Gatsby, a rescued Pomeranian.