Michael Kibbe (1945-)

Mr. Kibbe was born and raised in the San Diego area, where he received his earliest musical education, which included lessons on the snare drum, accordian, saxophone and tap dancing. His first composition (a trivial mistake for band!) was composed in junior high school, and his first completed "real" work, a FUGUE (ala Bach) was performed by his high school concert band in 1963. The same concert found him as alto sax soloist on Ibert's CONCERTINO DA CAMERA, with piano.

Three years of music course work at San Diego State College (now California State University San Diego) as well as composition study with David Ward-Steinman, saw the creation of several small pieces for woodwinds, and includes the WIND QUINTET #1, opus 1.

A three year interruption for military service found Kibbe (Specialist Kibbe, that is, U.S. Army!) making assorted rude noises with the North American Air Defense Command Band, in Colorado Springs. In 1967 he married Vanessa (Anderson) also of San Diego, a violinist. Further university study followed, at New Mexico State University, with composer Warner Hutchinson. It was at this time that his son, Victor, was born, who is now a guitarist and recording engineer.

A move to Los Angeles followed, with further music study at California State University Northridge, with composers Aurelio de la Vega and Frank Campo. After earning his MA in composition and logging in two years of part-time teaching at CSUN, he secured a full-time post at Cameron University, Lawton, Oklahoma, where he taught double-reeds, theory and composition, and appeared in numerous chamber music recitals and as oboe soloist with the local Philharmonic. By this time (1976) he had completed thirty-some compositions, including the PIANO CONCERTO, opus 25, and the CONCERTO TRI-CHROMA, opus 18, for woodwind soloist with band, (Howard Klug, soloist) and the second wind quintet, AURAL CONTINGENCIES, opus 24.

It was time to move on, so at the end of the school year, Spring of 1976, he resigned his position, took a two week trip to Japan, then moved to Los Angeles. The next few years found him alternately working into the music performance scene, learning music preparation (copying) and attending UCLA, where he finished doctoral course work and studied composition with Elaine Barkin, Roy Travis, Alden Ashforth and Henri Lazarof. (But, alas, no Ph.D. completed!)

Since that time Kibbe has been a freelance performer (live concerts, recordings, films) on most of the woodwind instruments, and was oboist and arranger for the North Wind Quintet for 17 years. It was this group for which he composed the majority of his twelve wind quintets, as well as numerous duos, trios, and over a hundred arrangements. 1983 saw the birth of his second son, Peter, now a professional cellist.

As of this writing, Kibbe's  total creative output is over 212 concert works, including large band and orchestra pieces, concertos, and a large variety of chamber music for strings, winds, piano and percussion. He has also written music for voice. His works have been commissioned by the City of Los Angeles, the Pacific Serenades concert series, Quatrocelli, to name a few. His compositions have been performed throughout the United States, Mexico, Europe, Israel and China.


back to the top