Melissa Trier Kirk


For violist, Melissa Trier Kirk, music has always been a passion. Her father Phillip Trier was a music teacher who made family music-making a part of growing up and wrote mini-operas for family and friends to perform. Her primary viola teachers have been Robert Swan, at Northwestern University, Karen Tuttle at the Aspen Music Festival, and Robert Vernon at the Blossom Music Festival.

She has been a member of the Lyric Opera and Santa Fe Opera Orchestras since 1982 and has performed with all the major ensembles in Chicago over the past 30 years including the Chicago Symphony, Music of the Baroque, the Chicago Philharmonic and Chicago Opera Theater.

Ms. Kirk has appeared as soloist with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, where she served as principal violist from 1979-82, the City Musick and the Bach Week Festival an organization she helps to plan. With a strong interest in baroque performance practice, she was a founding member of period instrument groups "The City Musick" and "Orpheus Band".

Her love of chamber music has led her to many collaborations over the years including performances with the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. She helped to create a series of concerts for the Arcturus String Quartet and performed regularly with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic's Chamber Music Society during her tenure there as Principal Violist. Most recently she collaborated with Lyric Opera Orchestra colleagues at Preston Bradley Hall in a symposium of chamber music by Mstislav Weinberg. She and husband, bassoonist Lewis Kirk reside in Evanston. They have two children, Eleanor and Cynthia.