Michael Kimber (b. 1945) has performed throughout the U.S. and in Canada, Mexico, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, England, Spain, and Italy. He has been featured as a viola soloist on Australian Broadcasting Commission radio and on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today.” His experience includes concert tours as violist of the Kronos Quartet, fifteen years as violist of the Atlanta Virtuosi, twelve seasons as principal violist of the Kansas City Chamber Orchestra, fifteen seasons with Kansas City’s Summerfest chamber series, over thirty solo appearances with orchestras, scores of solo recitals, and hundreds of chamber music performances.
His compositions, mostly for viola, have been widely acclaimed and performed both in the U.S. and abroad. Eminent Polish violist Marcin Murawski has recorded eight CDs of Kimber’s music for viola(s). In 2002 Kimber received the music composition award of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters. He was a 2010 recipient of the American Viola Society’s prestigious Founders Award in recognition of his compositions for viola.
In 1990 Kimber designed the poly-pad shoulder rest, thousands of which have been purchased by violinists and violists in all 50 states, D.C., and 21 foreign countries. This simple, ergonomically designed poly-foam pad has been praised again and again for promoting correct, relaxed playing posture as well as relieving chronic discomfort sometimes experienced by violinists and violists.
After twenty-five years as a viola professor, first at The University of Kansas and then at The University of Southern Mississippi, Dr. Kimber has resided since 2004 in Iowa City, where his wife, Dr. Marian Wilson Kimber, is associate professor of musicology at The University of Iowa. Recipient of the Iowa String Teachers Association Studio Teacher Award for 2011-12, he has taught viola at Coe College since 2005. He has also been visiting professor of viola at the University of Iowa (spring semesters of 2007 and 2016) and at the University of Northern Iowa (spring semester 2011). Active as a solo and chamber music performer, he is also a member of the viola section of Orchestra Iowa.