DMA, Opera and Orchestra Conducting, University of Washington
Kirk Gustafson, DMA, received his formal training from the University of Colorado and the University of Washington, where, as a Boeing Fellow, he earned his Doctorate of Musical Arts in opera and orchestra conducting. Music Director of the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra (GJSO) and a lecturer at Colorado Mesa University, Gustafson has been reviewed as someone who "On or off the podium, … stresses tremendous passion for music," "an elegant figure on the podium," "sensitive," and "a conductor of elegant exactness."
Active as a guest conductor, Gustafson has appeared with the Littleton, Colo.; Rogue Valley, S.D.; Southwest Illinois; Salt Lake City and Idaho Falls symphonies. He has also appeared with the Boulder and Arapahoe Philharmonic, Arvada Chamber Orchestra and the Colorado Festival Orchestras, where he was an assistant conductor for eight seasons.
Credited with bring the GJSO to a new artistic level, Gustafson's accomplishments with the orchestra include a longstanding commitment to the orchestra's artistic growth, diverse programming of orchestral masterworks never before performed in Grand Junction and the inception of the Musician's Training Fund, a fund devoted to further the training of GJSO musicians. He remains deeply committed to the education of young musicians and was instrumental in starting the GJSO's Young Artist Competition. Each spring, under his leadership, the GJSO has presented its Springfest program, where chamber music groups from the symphony demonstrate their instruments at elementary schools across the Grand Valley.
Gustafson is an accomplished cellist and has appeared as soloist with various orchestras. At Colorado Mesa University, he coordinates the music theory program.