Keith Kirchoff is one of the most unique artists from his generation. Called a "virtuosic tour de force," he works towards enhancing the status of classical music in American culture by educating audiences before and during performances, lecturing internationally, and stressing the importance of modern music to keep classical music alive and current. His programs focus on unusual, neglected, and new works and his repertoire ranges from the 18th to the 21st centuries.
Kirchoff has played in many of the United States’ largest cities including New York, Boston, Miami, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, and Pittsburgh, as well as major cities throughout Italy, England, Canada, and The Netherlands. Described as "energetic, precise, (and) sensitive," he has appeared with orchestras throughout the U.S. performing a wide range of concerti, including the Boston premier of Charles Ives’ Emerson Concerto and the world premier of Matthew McConnell’s Concerto for Toy Piano, as well as more traditional concerti by Tschaikowsky and Chopin. He has also been a featured soloist in many music festivals including Performing Arts at CAM (Chelsea Contemporary Art Museum, New York), the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS), the Oregon Festival of American Music, PianoForte Chicago, The Experimental Piano Series, Ives and His World, and The eXtensible Toy Piano Project.
Throughout his career, Kirchoff has premiered over 120 new works and commissioned nearly two dozen. As a strong supporter of modern music, he has worked closely with many prominent composers including Christian Wolff, Frederic Rzewski, and Louie Andriessen. A highly sought after lecturer, Kirchoff has presented seminars, lectures, and master classes on the music of the 21st century at many of the country's largest Universities. One of the nation's prominent performers of electronic music, his "Electro-Acoustic Piano" tour has been presented throughout two continents, and, together with the University of Toronto, co-hosted an international composers competition seeking music for piano and live electronics in 2010. The first album in his Electro-Acoustic Piano series will be released in early 2011.
Also a leading authority of early 20th century American modernism, Kirchoff has toured and lectured extensively on the music of Cowell, Ives, Becker, Ornstein, and Antheil. He is currently working on a large-scale project to edit, typeset, publish, record, and promote the previously unpublished music of the late John J. Becker, and the first album of his four volume anthology on the music of Leo Ornstein is to be released later this year.
As a composer, Kirchoff is equally comfortable in acoustic and electronic mediums. The 2010 Rozsa Visiting Artist & Composer at the University of Tulsa, Kirchoff has been awarded residencies at the Banff Centre for the Arts, New York Mills, the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, and Wildacres, and has been a guest composer/pianist at several Universities including the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Cal State, University of New Mexico, University of North Florida, Brigham Young University. He has received commissions from Vital Signs Ensemble, tuba player Jeffrey Meyer, organist Matthew McConnell, pianists Shiau-uen Ding and Kai Schumacher, soprano Christine Keene, and Telling Stories Music. Often performing his own works in recital, his music, which has been described as "hyperactive," has also been performed throughout the United States, Canada, England, and Germany by many respected musicians and ensembles including the California E.A.R. Unit, the Firewire Ensemble, mezzo-soprano Erica Brookhyser, violinists Carmel Raz and Stephanie Skor, cellist Alex Kelly, and pianists Albert Muhlbock and Mabel Kwan.
The winner of the 2006 Steinway Society Piano Competition and the 2005 John Cage Award, Kirchoff was named the 2011 "Distinguished Scholar" by the Seabee Memorial Scholarship Association. He has also received composing grants from MetLife Meet the Composer and the Foundation for Contemporary Arts.
Kirchoff’s primary teachers include Dean Kramer, Stephen Drury, and Paul Wirth. He received his Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Oregon in 2003 graduating summa cum laude and then received his Master of Music degree at New England Conservatory in 2005. He has also studied composition with Michael Gandolfi and Jeffrey Stolet, and conducting with Richard Hoenich. In addition to his recordings on his independent label Thinking outLOUD Records, Kirchoff has released recordings on the New World, SEAMUS, and Zerx labels.