Michael Kimber is active as a performer, teacher, and composer. He has served on the faculty of Coe College since 2004, and was previously the viola professor at the University of Kansas (1979-1999) and the University of Southern Mississippi (1999-2004).
After completing his doctorate with Raphael Hillyer of the Juilliard String Quartet, Kimber began his distinguished performing career with the Alexandria Quartet and then the legendary Kronos Quartet. Kimber was a founding member of the Atlanta Virtuosi, with whom he toured extensively. He also performed as a baroque violinist and violist in London, Boston, the Midwest, the Southeast, and at the Baroque Performance Institute at Oberlin. In Kansas, Kimber was the principal violist of the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra and the Kansas City Camerata. He has appeared as viola soloist with orchestras in the central and eastern United States and has been heard as soloist on NPR’s “Performance Today.”
Dr. Kimber’s detailed studies of intonation and tuning systems are summarized in his influential article published in the spring 1992 issue of American String Teacher. He is the author of the chapter on teaching the intermediate violist in Playing and Teaching the Viola, published by ASTA with NSOA in 2005. Kimber is also the composer of numerous works for violin and viola. His works have been included in repertoire lists of such eminent viola artist-teachers as Donald McInnes and Patricia McCarty, as well as in Carolyn Broe’s “Progressive Etudes for the Viola.” In 2015, Kimber’s Vanishing Woods was premiered at Carnegie Hall.
Awards and honors have included the 1999 Kansas Educator of the Year award of the Kansas Federation of Music Clubs; the 2002 music composition award of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters; a 2010 Founders Award of the American Viola Society in recognition of his compositions for viola; and the 2011-2012 Leopold LaFosse Studio Teacher of the Year Award of the Iowa String Teachers Association.
Eminent Polish violist Marcin Murawski has recorded seven CDs of Kimber's music on the Acte Préalable label.