Kirk McElhearn was born and raised in New York City where he lived the first 25 years of his life. In 1984, he moved to France, where he has lived ever since. He has been a music lover since his early years. While not a classical music fan at first (he still has a soft spot for the Grateful Dead, Hot Tuna, Lou Reed, The Clash, and other groups of the 1970s), he discovered classical music, in part, through the "classical rock" compositions of Rick Wakeman, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and other progressive rock groups of the 1970s. Living in New York meant that music was omnipresent - hardly a week went by without attending a concert of some sort: rock, jazz, punk, classical, or some combination of the above. This was also the time when the New York minimalists, Philip Glass and Steve Reich, and performance artists, such as Laurie Anderson, had not yet hit the mainstream, and performed in a variety of venues, from small clubs to such concert halls as the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where he experienced the revival of Glass's Einstein on the Beach, among others.
A freelance translator and writer, Kirk McElhearn lives in the French Alps, where he enjoys a fine climate and beautiful scenery. He has been a dilettante musician since the age of sixteen. Playing guitar for many years, then the viola da gamba for a year, he is now struggling with a digital piano, trying to coax its harpsichord sound into making acceptable music. He is not doing too well.
An avid Bach fan, Kirk McElhearn has a collection of nearly 500 Bach CDs (which grows weekly). He is also a lover of early music, especially instrumental, and has a predilection for German lieder. One of his regrets is that he only managed to hear Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau perform live once, in the late 1980s in Paris. He is currently working on expanding his musical horizon to the 19th century, and very much likes the string quartet, especially Schubert and Beethoven.
He plays go, enjoys first flush Darjeeling teas, and is an avid reader. You can find out much more about him on his web site: