Kirk O'Riordan

Composer | Conductor | Saxophonist

Kirk O'Riordan’s music has been referred to as “unapologetically beautiful” and is often praised for its uniquely “visual” qualities that depict a wide range of striking moods. His music has been performed in Canada, China, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Finland, Italy, and Russia; and in thirty of the fifty United States. Recordings of his works appear on the Ravello, Centaur, ERM-Media and EnF labels, and feature performances by Lawrence Stomberg, Marianne Gythfeldt, Holly Roadfeldt, and Frederick L. Hemke. In 2009 Dr. O'Riordan joined the faculty of Lafayette College where he serves as Associate Professor of Music and Director of Bands, teaching courses in music theory, and composition and conducts The Lafayette College Concert Band. Kirk studied composition with Rodney Rogers, Randall Shinn, James De Mars, Glenn Hackbarth, Burton Beerman, and Marilyn Shrude. He has studied saxophone with Frederick L. Hemke, John Sampen, and Eugene Rousseau.


New Sonata for Alto Saxophone and Piano

Attention Saxophonists: consider joining the consortium that is commissioning a new saxophone and piano sonata.

The new work will be a three-movement sonata with an approximate duration of 12-15 minutes. The commission will be open to 30 saxophonists and/or studios. The anticipated date of completion is June, 2019. My initial sketches are in a language that is not too distantly related to that of Copland. Much of my music has a strong Debussy influence as well, and I imagine that this will be evident here as well. I anticipate a difficulty level that is appropriate for an advanced upper-division undergraduate student saxophonist. The piano part will be of similar difficulty.
Update 1: I have a good chunk of the first movement finished, as well as some sketches for the second movement. So far, the first movement is kind of in the sound world of a Lowell Lieberman. There is some lyrical altissimo up to the D-ish range and some vibrant rhythmic energy. The second movement is developing an Arvo Part-ian quality.
Update 2:I now have a complete first draft of movement II. There is a lot powerful, lyrical altissimo (up to Eb),with some nice cascading piano lines to support them. The Arvo Part-like quality is still there, and there is a hint of Albright in there too. With two completed movements, the total duration is about 11 minutes...we are on pace for about 16 or so for the full work.
Update 3:The full first draft has been sent to the commissioning parties. If you are still interested in supporting the work, please contact me.
The full work is about 17 is a large work, reasonably challenging--I feel pretty good about reaching the difficulty level I describe above.
I want to thank all of the performers who have supported this work. I cannot wait to hear what you all bring to this piece...I am sure I will hear things that I didn't know were there, and that to me is one of the great joys of composing.

Music for Piano is available at Sheet Music

I have made some of my piano music available at Sheet Music Follow this link to see everything SMP carries...this includes Strange Flowers and as well.

The pieces that are currently available are: Water Lilies, Lacrimosa, Twenty-Six Preludes, and Humming Spheres. Links to the individual pieces can be found in the Piano Music page.

Maestro: Superconductor

Superconductor is now available from Go here to download the album!

Maestro is the pop music voice of classical composer Kirk O’Riordan. The music combines contemporary classical composition techniques and styles (minimalism, serialism, etc.) with elements of 80’s -era synth pop. Imagine Kraftwork, Depeche Mode, Steve Reich, and Debussy in a blender, poured over 70’s-style Yes.
The debut release, Superconductor, is comprised of seven long-form (7-10 minute) songs that reflect these various influences. The album blurs the lines between classical and popular music in brand new ways.





These recordings are available from iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, and other fine retailers. They can also be found on streaming services such as Spotify and others.

Autumn Winds

Holly Roadfeldt, piano
Ann Moss, soprano
Peter Dutilly, viola

Four Beautiful Songs
Prayer Stones
Autumn Winds
Beautiful Nightmares

Coming February 2020

The Preludes Project

Holly Roadfeldt, piano

Twenty-Six Preludes. The Preludes are paired with the op. 28 Preludes by Frederic Chopin.

Strange Flowers

Holly Roadfeldt, piano
Marianne Gythfeldt, clarinet
Lawrence Stomberg, cello

Sonata rapsodica
Water Lilies
Pressing Forward, Pushing Back
Dying Light
A Strange Flower for Birds and Butterflies

High Notes

Farrell Vernon, saxophone
Laura Lydy, guitar

Moments, Once Remembered

Centaur Records

Simple Gifts

Frederick L. Hemke, saxophone
Douglass Cleveland, organ


EnF Records


Rick Van Matre, saxophone
Peter Richard Conte, organ


Limited release by the Cincinnati Museum of Art

Masterworks of the New Era vol 15

Kiev Philharmonic
Robert Ian Winstin, conductor

River Lights

ERM Records


Kirk O'Riordan, electronics

Shiny Sea Glass