Kirk O’Riordan

composer | conductor | saxophonist


“The Six works on ‘Strange Flowers’ reveal a composer for whom imagery is a defining inspiration. Each of the pieces -- beautifully played -- has a title that establishes a mood or a particular emotional world. O’Riordan is a deeply sensitive composer who savours going gently into the night.”

--Donald Rosenberg, Gramophone Magazine (April 2014)

"Kirk O’Riordan’s Twenty-six Preludes for Piano composed for his wife and pianist, Holly Roadfeldt, are similarly atmospheric and proceed to unfold like a magical tapestry. Each of the 26 Preludes seemingly comprising of warp and weft forming a myriad of pixels of little pictures that ultimately combines to form a moveable feast for both eye and inner ear. O’Riordan’s miniatures are informed by languorous beauty and profundity, the lyrical variations of each often feature elaborate embellishments, as well as sudden dissonant figurations that seem to mimic the gravity-defying leaps of the gazelle, and even – in No. 21, a certain darkness. However, a gossamer-like filament links each of the preludes and O’Riordan seems to revel in boundless invention, wide expressive range, technical challenges and intellectual cachet."

--Raul da Gama, World Music Report (March 2017)

Kirk O'Riordan’s music has been referred to as “unapologetically beautiful” and is often praised for its uniquely “visual” qualities that depict a wide range of striking moods. His music has been performed in Canada, China, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Finland, Italy, and Russia; and in thirty of the fifty United States. Recordings of his works appear on the Ravello, Centaur, ERM-Media and EnF labels, and feature performances by Lawrence Stomberg, Marianne Gythfeldt, Holly Roadfeldt, and Frederick L. Hemke. In 2009 Dr. O'Riordan joined the faculty of Lafayette College where he serves as Associate Professor of Music and Director of Bands, teaching courses in music theory, and composition and conducts The Lafayette College Concert Band. Kirk studied composition with Rodney Rogers, Randall Shinn, James De Mars, Glenn Hackbarth, Burton Beerman, and Marilyn Shrude. He has studied saxophone with Frederick L. Hemke, John Sampen, and Eugene Rousseau.


Temptation for Solo Bassoon is on the 2018 IDRS Gillet-Fox Competition repertoire list.
More information here.

For information on the piece, including retailers who are carrying the score, please go here.

The Masque of Edgar Allan Poe
University of Delaware Opera Theater

More information here.

Performance Video and more information can be found here.

The Preludes Project CD
The Preludes Project his stores on November 18!!

Check out the preview video:

Or the Soundcloud Preview:

Click the poster to listen to Incidental Music from "Metamorphoses."


July 17-28, 2017
Artist Residency
Avaloch Farm Music Institute
Boscawen, NH


Artist Residency

June 19, 2017: Twenty-Six Preludes for Solo Piano (excerpts)
Prayer Stones for Viola and Piano
Holly Roadfeldt, piano
Michael Hall, viola
University of Missouri-Kansas City Composition Workshop
Kansas City, MO

World Premiere

April 20-22; 27-29: Incidental Music from "Metamorphoses"
for Saxophone and Playback

Lafayette College Department of Theater
Dan Weis Theater
Lafayette College
Easton, PA

World Premiere


The Lafayette College Concert Band

Music by Shostakovich, Lo Presti, Whitacre, and Copland. Also featuring the world premier of Shiki (The Four Seasons) for Taiko and Wind Ensemble.

Saturday, December 10, 2016


Music by Schuman, Elgar, Bennett, Lauridsen, and Hindemith…as well as the world premiere of a new piece from composer Zach Jones (Lafayette class of 2013) that was commissioned by the LCCB.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

The Lafayette College Contemporary Music Ensemble

Soundtrack to the film Nosferatu performed live on Halloween! The performance will take place at the brand new Buck Hall Theater, and is co-sponsored by the Department of Film and Media Studies.

Monday, October 31, 2016. 9:30 pm


Prayer Stones
For Viola and Piano
Composed for Michael Hall, viola and Holly Roadfeldt, piano

Music for the Play Metamorphoses
by Mary Zimmerman
in collaboration with the Lafayette College
Department of Theater


Kirk is the conductor of The Lafayette College Concert Band and the Lafayette College Contemporary Music Ensemble.

Previous to his Lafayette appointment, Kirk was an Assistant Conductor for the Lamont Symphony Orchestra and the Timberline Symphony Orchestra (now the Boulder Symphony). He also appeared as a guest conductor with the Boulder Concert Band.

The Preludes Project
Ravello Recordings
Twenty-Six Preludes for Solo Piano

Strange Flowers
Ravello Records

High Notes
Centaur Records
Moments, Once Remembered
for Sopranino Saxophone and Guitar

Simple Gifts
EnF Records
Cathedral for Alto Saxophone
and Organ

Peter Richard Conte & the Grand Skinner E.M. Skinner Organ
Cathedral for Alto Saxophone
and Organ

Masterworks of the New Era, vol 15
ERM Media
River Lights for Orchestra


Email Kirk

234 Williams Center for the Arts
Lafayette College
Easton, Pennsylvania


Copyright © 2016 by Kirk O’Riordan. All rights reserved.