Edgar L. Kirk Papers

Summary Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Creator - Donor
Kirk, Edgar
Edgar L. Kirk papers
Date [inclusive]
1.4 Cubic feet
Language of Materials
Some of the materials are in Chinese.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: "Item title, Collection title, Collection Identifier, Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan."

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Biographical Note

Edgar L. Kirk was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1923 to Arthur and Bertha Kirk. He received a B.A. degree in performance and a M.A. and Ph.D. in music theory from the Eastman School of Music. He served in the U.S. Army in Germany during World War II from 1944-1946. He came to Michigan State College (now Michigan State University) in 1948 as an instructor of bassoon and theory. He became an assistant professor in 1956, an associate professor in 1961, and professor in 1967. While at MSU he was a member of the Richards Quintet. Kirk retired in 1989 after 40 years at MSU. Kirk was a founding member of the Richards Quintet, named for Lewis Richards, a harpsichordist and founder of the MSU Music School. The Quintet was organized in 1948 at MSU. The Quintet debuted in 1966/1968 in New York. In 1977 they were invited to perform at the White House. They also performed at Carnegie Hall and the National Gallery. In 1984 they went to China to perform and gave master classes. Members have included Israel Borouchoff (flute), Edgar Kirk (bassoon), Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr (clarinet), Daniel Stolper (oboe), Douglas Campbell (french horn), Frank Ell, and Alexander Murray (flute).

Richard married Ellen Calhoun Gray in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1947 and was the father of twin sons, Lee and Douglas. He passed away on January 16, 2015.

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Scope and Contents note

The papers consist of materials related to Edgar Kirk and the Richards Quintet. The materials include three binder scrapbooks with photographs, performance programs, letters, and newspapers clippings. There are also two photograph albums relating to the 1984 China trip of the Richards Quintet, one album contains photographs, the other album contains photographs and clippings which are written in Chinese. The collection also contains two LP records of the Richards Quintet: Anton Reicha's Wind Quintet in F Minor and Wind Quintet in B-flat Major, and Müller's Three Wind Quintets.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections December 2008

Conrad Hall
888 Wilson Road, Room 101
East Lansing , MI, 48824

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Legal Status note

Copyright: Michigan State University except where indicated on items. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Richards Wind Quintet.


  • Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Photograph albums
  • Scrapbooks

Geographic Name(s)

  • China -- Description and travel

Personal Name(s)

  • Kirk, Edgar


  • Universities and colleges -- Faculty
  • Wind quintets (Bassoon, clarinet, flute, horn, oboe)
  • Wind quintets (Bassoon, clarinet, flute, horn, oboe) -- Sound recordings

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Collection Inventory









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Box Folder

Newspaper clipping China Trip 1984 

2382 1

Correspondence 1984 

2382 2

Photo albums- China Trip 


Photographs and clippings 1984 


Photographs 1984 


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Anton Reicha - Wind Quintet in F Minor, Wind Quintet in B-flat Major 


Three Wind Quintets by Müller 


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Posters – China Trip (in Chinese) 1984 


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