Kirk Severtson has been a member of the faculty of The Crane School of Music since 2001. He serves as musical director of the Crane Opera Ensemble, coaches singers and pianists, and teaches classes in art song repertoire and accompanying. Recent performances of the Crane Opera Ensemble under his musical direction have garnered numerous first-place awards from the National Opera Association and The American Prize, as well as honors from the Kennedy Center's American College Theatre Festival. He is actively involved in the steering committee and as music director for the Domenic J. Pellicciotti Opera Composition Prize which received its first production in November 2014, and which recently awarded a full commission and production to Tom Cipullo for his upcoming work MAYO, to be premiered in November 2018.
His professional operatic activity as coach/pianist has included recent productions over five seasons at The Dallas Opera, including three notable world premieres: GREAT SCOTT by Jake Heggie and Terrence McNally, and BECOMING SANTA CLAUS by Mark Adamo, and EVEREST by Joby Talbot and Gene Scheer (for all of which he also played in the orchestra), as well as eleven seasons on the music staff of Opera Saratoga. He has also coached at the Institute for Young Dramatic Voices, Opera North (NH), the Opera Theater of Lucca (Italy), the Cincinnati Opera outreach program, the Rising Star Singers festival, Dorian Opera Theater, and as a Vocal Chamber Music Fellow at the Aspen Music Festival.
A versatile collaborative artist, he appears frequently as pianist and harpsichordist in song and chamber music recitals, and as principal keyboardist with the Orchestra of Northern New York. He served six years as chair of the Music Performance Department at Crane and continues to work actively with the National Opera Association, serving as Associate Executive Director. He holds degrees from the University of Cincinnati (D.M.A. and M.M., both in piano performance) and Luther College (B.A. with majors in music, math, and computer science).