Kirke Mechem

Composer

Kirke Mechem small image
Kirke Mechem image

Symphony No. 2, second movement: “Quodlibet”

Mechem’s first opera, Tartuffe, has been performed 400 times in six countries

"A distinctive voice... music of sheer inventiveness... a lengthy ovation."
Opera Now (London) on Tartuffe in Vienna

John Brown was premiered in 2008 by Lyric Opera Kansas City

“. . . .clutches music, history and the soul itself. . . his score swells into both requiem and celebration.
The crowd clapped so long and hard that hands grew sore.” — Pitch.com

Josef Krips premiered Mechem’s symphonies with the San Francisco Symphony

"A master symphonist... the audience reacted immediately."
Musical Observer, Russia on all-Mechem symphonic concert in Moscow

The Czech Quartet and New Zürich Quartet have toured with his String Quartet No. 1

“Extraordinary . . . to a degree that few modern American works equal, it held its own
with music of Beethoven and Smetana . . . searches sharply and deeply . . . with
fanciful touches of dance, caprice and humor.” — San Franciso Examiner

Mechem is often called the “dean of American choral composers”

“The finest in choral composition . . . he combines high artistic integrity with the ability
to communicate directly with performers and audience.” — Choral Journal

Rowman & Littlefield published Mechem's memoir in 2015 —

Believe Your Ears: Life of a Lyric Composer,
winner of the ASCAP 48th annual award for "outstanding musical biography"