Called “stunningly virtuosic” by The New York Times and “superb” by the The Washington Post, Peter Kolkay is the only bassoonist to be awarded an Avery Fisher Career Grant and first prize at the Concert Artists Guild International Competition. He is an Artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and a member of the IRIS Orchestra in Germantown, Tenn. Mr. Kolkay is Associate Professor of Bassoon at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University and was a Chancellor’s Faculty Fellow for 2015-17.
Mr. Kolkay’s recent seasons have included solo recitals at BargeMusic, Wolf Trap, Merkin Hall, and the Teatro Nacional in Panama City; concerto appearances with the South Carolina, Rochester, and Westchester Philharmonics; and chamber music engagements at Music@Menlo, the Spoleto USA Festival, and the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival.
Mr. Kolkay actively engages with composers in the creation of new works and will be premiering a new work for bassoon and string quartet by Mark-Anthony Turnage at the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center during the 2018/19 season. In recent years he has premiered concertos by Harold Meltzer and Joan Tower, as well as solo and chamber works by Judah Adashi, Gordon Beeferman, Elliott Carter, Katherine Hoover, Russell Platt, John Fitz Rogers, Tania León, and Charles Wuorinen.
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., Kolkay holds a bachelor’s degree from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis. where he studied with Monte Perkins. He calls downtown Nashville home, and his other interests include travel, modern and contemporary art, old mystery novels, and spending time with his three nieces.