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September 6, 2022 — The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts is pleased to announce Dr. Kevin Parks as the Curator of the Music and Recorded Sound Division. Dr. Parks comes to the library with a Ph.D. in Music Composition and Computer Technologies, and decades of research and teaching experience. Most recently, he served as Professor of Composition at the Catholic University of Daegu’s School of Music in South Korea
“We are excited to welcome Kevin to the Library for the Performing Arts,” said Linda Murray, interim Barbara G. and Lawrence A. Fleischman Executive Director. “He brings a unique perspective on musicology, including experimental jazz, avant-garde electronic music, and American modernism—his background will certainly continue to help the library stay relevant well into the 21st century. Kevin’s work as an electronic music composer, in addition to his previous work as an archivist has given him experience handling older analog formats, early PCM and digital hardware, as well as today’s higher resolution computer-based digital audio formats.”
“The Library for the Performing Arts has an unparalleled history of preserving music and recorded sound history, and I am excited to be a part of that,” said Parks. “I have utilized the Library’s materials and resources, and many years ago, even consulted for the Library on several archives, so I am very honored to be coming back as curator.”
Parks was born and raised in New York and graduated from the Conservatory of Music at Brooklyn College, CUNY, with a Bachelor of Music in music composition. Kevin later attended Dartmouth College, where he received his Masters and PhD in composition and computer technologies at the University of Virginia. He wrote his dissertation on how technology has changed the aesthetics of music, and our definition of it, throughout the late 19th and 20th centuries.
Meanwhile, Parks is also a musician himself, having studied music composition with composers like Christian Wolff, Charles Dodge, Curtis Bahn, Noah Creshevsky, Larry Polansky, and Jon Appleton. His compositions have been played in many venues in Korea, large and small, including an evening-length theater collaboration with the Sadari Movement Laboratory at the Seoul Arts Center. He is a two-time recipient of Korea Foundation Fellowships and winner of The Peter Ohm Scholarship from The Korea Society and was awarded the John Cage Award for Experimental Music Composition.
Most recently, Parks comes to the Library after nearly a decade as professor at Daegu Catholic University. Parks has previously worked at the Seoul Institute of the Arts and briefly at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. He has worked as a Research Assistant for The Institute for Studies in American Music at Brooklyn College, and for the audio division at the University Press of New England.
Parks’ research interests include modern classical and experimental music, electroacoustic music, improvisation, Fluxus, musique concrète, noise, musical gesture, embodiment, and musical personhood. He also has a long-standing interest in Korean traditional music and art.
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts gratefully acknowledges the leadership support of Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman. Additional support for exhibitions has been provided by Judy R. and Alfred A. Rosenberg and the Miriam and Harold Steinberg Foundation.
About The New York Public Library For The Performing Arts
The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts houses one of the world's most extensive combinations of circulating, reference, and rare archival collections in its field. These materials are available free-of-charge at all times, along with a wide range of special programs, including exhibitions, seminars, and performances. An essential resource for everyone with an interest in the arts—whether professional or amateur—the Library is known particularly for its prodigious collections of non-book materials such as historic recordings, videorecordings, autograph manuscripts, correspondence, sheet music, stage designs, press clippings, programs, posters and photographs. The Library is part of The New York Public Library system, which has 92 locations in the Bronx, Manhattan and Staten Island, and is a lead provider of free education for all.