Kirk Swanson, second-year PhD student at The University of Chicago’s Institute for Molecular Engineering, won second place at the Illinois State Music Teachers Association Piano Competition held on October 22, 2017.
Kirk began studying piano at the age of eight and continued for ten years with Sara Crawford at Hoff-Barthelson Music School in Scarsdale, NY, where he also studied music theory with Edmund Niemann, pianist in the Steve Reich and Musicians ensemble, and chamber music with pianist Gerald Robbins and violinist Gary Kosloski. After graduating from Bronxville High School, he attended Williams College, where he majored in mathematics and physics and studied piano with Doris Stevenson, artist in residence at Williams. After college, Kirk studied piano with Jani Parsons at the New Music School in Chicago for two years. Since starting graduate school in the fall of 2016, Kirk has been studying piano with Svetlana Belsky, coordinator of the UChicago Piano Program. He has participated in several master classes, including with pianist Michael Boriskin, artistic and executive director of Copland House, Robert Rinehart, violist in the New York Philharmonic, and pianist Kevin Kenner. Kirk has performed in numerous recitals as a solo pianist and chamber musician and has participated as a performer in community outreach programs in New York, Massachusetts, and Illinois.