Christopher Kirkpatrickis is Associate Professor of Music at the University of Montana where he teaches clarinet and music history. He has performed and taught throughout the US, Canada, Europe, Taiwan and South Korea. Currently principal clarinet of the Missoula Symphony and the Big Sky Festival Orchestra, he has also performed with the Detroit Symphony, Lansing Symphony, West Michigan Symphony, Brevard Music Center Orchestra, New Mexico Symphony Orchestra and the Santa Fe Symphony. Dr. Kirkpatrick has been an adjudicator for the International Clarinet Association’s Young Artist Competition, the Music Teachers National Association, and throughout the US.
Dr. Kirkpatrick has been a guest artist and lecturer at numerous conferences, including the International Clarinet Association’s Clarinetfest®, North American Saxophone Alliance Conference, International Double Reed Society Conference, River City Winter Clarinet Festival, College Music Society Conference, the Brandon University Clarinet Festival, World Bass Clarinet Congress, and the Montana/Idaho Clarinet Festival. During the summers he is on the faculty of the International Music Camp in Manitoba, Canada.
As a founding member of Duo Nyans, he is dedicated to commissioning and premiering new works and performing the standard repertoire for clarinet and saxophone. The duo has been invited to perform at numerous conferences and universities and recently toured throughout Sweden and Taiwan. They released their debut album in 2018. He is also a member of the Velez Clarinet Quartet, which released their first album, Pulse, in 2020.
An avid enthusiast of new music, recent commissions include works by James Stephenson, Emilie LeBel, Christopher Stark, Simon Hutchinson, Evan Chambers, James David and David Biedenbender. Dr. Kirkpatrick also serves as the Montana state chair of the International Clarinet Association.
Christopher Kirkpatrick earned his Doctorate in Clarinet Performance from Michigan State University, a Master of Music from the University of New Mexico and his Bachelor of Music from the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. His teachers have included Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr, Keith Lemmons, Steve Cohen, Ted Gurch, Nikolasa Tejero and Peter Temko.
Christopher performs on a Buffet RC Prestige B-flat, Buffet Divine A clarinet, Buffet RC E-flat, Buffet Prestige bass clarinet, Aidoni barrels, Silverstein ligatures, and Vandoren reeds. He is a Buffet Crampon Performing Artist and Silverstein Pro Team Artist.