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Andy Kirshner

Professor Emeritus of Art & Design
Professor Emeritus of Music


Photograph of Andy Kirshner


Curriculum Vitae
  • D.M.A. (Music Composition), University of Michigan, 1999
  • M.Mus, University of Michigan, 1995
  • B.Mus. (Saxophone), New England Conservatory of Music, 1983
  • B.A. (Philosophy), Tufts University, 1983

Andy Kirshner is a composer, performer, writer, and media artist who creates music-theater works. Drawing on an eclectic background in jazz, classical composition, theater, dance, video, and performance art, he constructs multidisciplinary compositions that explore areas of intersection among the traditional performing arts and contemporary media. A trained composer and saxophonist who has also studied singing, acting and electronic media, he is often the principal performer of the pieces he creates.

Kirshner’s compositions and performances have been recognized and funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, the Massachusetts Council on the Arts, Meet the Composer, the American Music Center, ArtServe Michigan, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

His recent works include An Evening with Tony Amore, a show-biz performance piece for jazz voice and orchestra based on the myth of Frank Sinatra; Who It Is, a one-man video musical about race and nationalism; and Four Haiku, a web piece. He is currently at work on a post-human, sci-fi morality play, The Museum of Life and Death, which incorporates music, dance, motion capture technology, surround sound, and virtual actors. His music-theater work has been presented at the Museum of African American History in Detroit, Dance Theater Workshop, P.S. 122, BACA Downtown, the DIA Arts Foundation, and St. Mark’s Church in New York City, as well as other performance venues and university settings nationwide.

As a collaborator in dance, performance, theater, and video, Kirshner has worked with well-known performance artists, filmmakers and puppeteers, playwrights, choreographers, directors, and sculptors. His sound/music scores have been heard in such diverse locations as the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Astoria Swimming Pools, the American Dance Festival, Central Park Summerstage, the Joyce Theater, the Nebraska State Capitol Building, Lincoln Center’s Serious Fun Festival, and Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival.