Kirby, F.E. 1928-2007 (Frank Eugene Kirby, II)

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Kirby, F.E. 1928-2007 (Frank Eugene Kirby, II)


See index for CA sketch: Born April 6, 1928, in New York, NY; died March 24, 2007, in Chicago, IL. Musicologist, educator, and author. A retired Lake Forest College music professor, Kirby was a noted scholar of Richard Wagner. He was a 1950 graduate of Colorado College, after which he earned his doctorate in music history from Yale. During his early career, he worked briefly as a music cataloguer for the Peabody Institute Library and as a visiting or guest professor at the Universities of Virginia and Texas. An assistant professor at West Virginia University from 1961 to 1963, Kirby joined the Lake Forest faculty in 1963. He would remain there until his 1993 retirement. Here he developed the college's first course in jazz music history and was chair of the department for ten years. He was the author of such books as A Short History of Keyboard Music (1966) and Music for Piano: A Short History (1995); his last book, Wagner's Themes: A Study in Musical Expression (2004), was on his favorite subject. Kirby, who spoke fluent German, was fascinated by eighteenth-and nineteenth-century German composers and was interested in how Wagner used certain themes in relation to characters and emotions. In addition to his academic pursuits, he was also a talented amateur magician and enthusiastic outdoorsman who was still ascending mountain peaks at the age of seventy-two.



Chicago Tribune, April 2, 2007, Section 3, p. 9.