Andrew Kirkman BA, MMus, PhD — violin

I became familiar with Scott's music initially through Clipper Erickson, who had recorded the Second Piano Sonata; then, a colleague of mine who was supervising a student writing an MA study on him (and particularly on the original version of the First Sonata) suggested I play it, since no-one apparently had since 1908.

Clipper and I gave our first performance at my home institution (Univ. of Birmingham). I fell very much in love with the piece, and it still gives me chills to hear it, even after around five (I think) public performances and recording it. Desmond Scott suggested the Fourth Sonata as a counterweight for the recording, and I had someone set it in Sibelius for us. Also a fine piece, albeit much more brittle, and very similar in style (as I have just discovered from hearing the recording by our PhD student Richard Jenkinson) to the 'Cello Sonata. 

Andrew Kirkman (Conductor) studied at the universities of Durham, London (King’s College) and Princeton, and has worked at the universities of Manchester, Wales, Oxford and Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. He is currently Peyton and Barber Professor of Music in the Music Department at Birmingham. He has directed a wide range of ensembles, including choirs, orchestras and various period-instrument ensembles. He founded The Binchois Consort in 1995, since when it has made nine recordings, all on the Hyperion label. Its recordings and performances, of music by Du Fay, Binchois, Josquin, Busnoys and others, have received universally strong critical acclaim and many music industry prizes, including Gramophone ‘Early Music Recording of the Year’ in 1999 for its recording ‘Music for St James the Greater by Guillaume Du Fay.’

Kirkman’s research centers on sacred music of the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries, and he has published and lectured widely on English and continental music of the period, including the music of such composers as Du Fay, Binchois, Ockeghem and Josquin. His books include The Cultural Life of the Early Polyphonic Mass: Medieval Context to Modern Revival (Cambridge, 2010), Binchois Studies, edited jointly with Dennis Slavin (Oxford, 2000), andContemplating Shostakovich: Life, Music and Film, edited jointly with Alexander Ivashkin (Ashgate, 2013). His articles have appeared in many journals, including the Journal of the American Musicological Society, The Journal of Musicology, Early Music History,Music and Letters and 19th-Century Music.

He has also maintained a busy career as a freelance violinist, and recently made the world première recordings of Cyril Scott’s Violin Sonata No. 1 (original version) and Violin Sonata No. 4 with American pianist Clipper Erickson.