A maestro for the masses

COLUMBIA, Mo 6/2/14 (Profile) -- Art -- and artists -- are meant to be shared, and Columbia residents have been sharing the talents of Kirk Trevor since he took the helm of the Missouri Symphony Orchestra (MSO) 14 years ago. 

A maestro, teacher, and recording artist, Trevor has conducted some 40 orchestras in 15 countries during a storied career that started after he traveled  from his U.K. home on a Fulbright grant, and began a decades-long musical love affair with the Midwest

That love affair is once again set to sweep audiences into the passion, excitement, and fireworks of a summer night at the symphony, as Trevor and MSO kick off Hot Summer Nights -- 25 concerts in 38 days.   The wildly-popular festival starts this Thursday, making June a perfect time to name Maestro Kirk Trevor our Heart Beat Artist of the Month

Sharing his talents with Midwest audiences began when Trevor became resident conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.  He went on to direct the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra for 18 years; and will step down this season after 25 years with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra.  
Trevor came to Columbia on a wave of excitement, generosity, and vision that transformed the Missouri Theatre from an aging grande dame into a glittering jewel.  Seven years in the making, the theatre's multimillion dollar makeover was a roller coaster ride of highs and lows that would have challenged the steady hands of the best conductors.    

But as the theatre experienced its own metamorphosis, Trevor created new, innovative programs that reflected his precise, gentle approach to MSO-parent organization the Missouri Symphony Society's primary mission:  enhancing music appreciation in mid-Missouri.   

He founded the Missouri Symphony Conservatory to educate and inspire young musicians; the Strings ’n Things Summer Music Camp; the Symphony of Toys holiday concert; and recently, "Hear Us Here" -- free public concerts around Columbia:  Douglas Park, Columbia Public Library, Columbia Senior Activity Center, and Stephens Lake Park Amphitheater, where this year's Hot Summer Nights Festival  premieres June 5, with Strike Up the Band

Trevor's signature achievement in Columbia, Hot Summer Nights presents a trademark, audience-friendly mix of young talent; family fare; masterworks; pops; and rousing tributes to the patriotism of the Maestro's adopted homeland. 

Thirteen year-old piano prodigy Umi Garrett follows the season opener this Saturday evening; Peter and the Wolf return for an encore; Wicked Divas, Patriotic Pops, and an aptly-entitled Orchestral Fireworks (with the Columbia debut of a young violinist) promise to put some heat in the nights to come. 

Later this month, Trevor fulfills a long-time dream:  to bring a silent cinema classic to the Missouri Theatre, with live orchestrations.   The maestro has chosen Hal Langdon's 1926 The Strong Man, "a whale of a comedy that has a wealth of slapstick," according to Variety Magazine. 

When he's not conducting, Trevor is teaching:  his International Workshop for Conductors is in its 22nd year.   Over the past 14 years, Maestro Trevor has personally instructed this writer's children in voice and cello, and entertained our family countless times.   

He joins a stellar group of Heart Beat Artists from several media: painters Marilyn Cummins, Rodney Burlingame, Byron Smith, and Catherine Parke; actor and director Ed Hanson; mixed media artists Jenny McGee and Lizzie Bryan; and photographer Anastasia Pottinger

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