Violinist Keir GoGwilt was born in Edinburgh, Scotland and grew up in New York City. As a soloist he has performed with groups including the Chinese National Symphony, the Orquesta Filarmonica de Santiago, the Bowdoin International Music Festival Orchestra, the Manhattan School of Music Chamber Sinfonia, and members of A Far Cry. As a recitalist and chamber musician he has played at festivals including the Luminato Festival, the Spoleto Festival in Italy, Rockport Chamber Music, Yellow Barn, and Taos, and at venues including Miller Theatre, the 92nd St Y, Sanders Theater, Dumbarton Oaks, and National Sawdust.
GoGwilt’s work spans the disciplinary range, both creatively and critically. His collaboration with dancer Bobbi Jene Smith on “A Study on Effort” incorporates his improvisations and poetry. They have been featured at the Luminato Festival, PS 122’s COIL Festival, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance. In addition to his activities as a performer, he is interested in re-writing common notions of technique and interpretation by examining what structural templates guide performers’ musical reproductions. These templates manifest historically and culturally specific ideas of music’s object. He has presented his work in conversational performances and presentations at Fordham University, the Scottish Poetry Library, the Peabody Essex Museum (together with Matthew Aucoin), the Darmstadt Summer Courses for New Music (with Roger Reynolds), and the Orpheus Institute in Ghent.
GoGwilt has worked closely with composers including Tan Dun, Tobias Picker (recording of violin and chamber music released with Tzadik Records), Carolyn Chen, Celeste Oram, and Matthew Aucoin. He has premiered several of Aucoin’s violin works including “Poem,” “This Same Light,” “Celan Fragments,” and “Its Own Accord.”
Graduating from Harvard University with high honors in 2013, GoGwilt was awarded the Louis Sudler Prize in the Arts. GoGwilt has studied and collaborated with musicians including Lewis Kaplan, Robert Levin, Steven Schick, Charles Curtis, and Anthony Burr. He has served as associate concertmaster of the Canadian Opera Company, as faculty on the Wellesley Composer’s Conference, and as backup strings for Chance the Rapper on SNL. At UCSD he has been a teaching assistant for courses including European music history and hip-hop.