Peter Kolkay


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. Mr. Kolkay also serves as associate professor of bassoon at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University and was named a Chancellor’s Faculty Fellow for 2015-17.

His recent seasons have included solo recitals at Wolf Trap, Merkin Hall, 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 Spoleto USA Festival, and the Bridgehampton Chamber Music Festival. Mr. Kolkay actively engages with composers in the creation of new works. He recently gave the world premiere of Joan Tower’s bassoon concerto and will debut a new piece by Tania León during the 2016-17 season. Mr. Kolkay has premiered solo and chamber works by Judah Adashi, Gordon Beeferman, Elliott Carter, Katherine Hoover, Harold Meltzer, Russell Platt, John Fitz Rogers, and Charles Wuorinen. His debut solo CD, titled Bassoon Music 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. He now calls downtown Nashville home, and his other interests include travel, modern and contemporary art, and old mystery novels.