Gary Kirkpatrick


Gary Kirkpatrick of Hewitt, NJ passed away on February 22, 2021 at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, NY. He was 79 years old.

Born in Manhattan, KS on August 19, 1941, Gary was the son of Hugh and Dorothy Kirkpatrick.

Gary gave his first piano recital at the age of eleven. He earned a Bachelor of Music degree at Eastman School of Music, graduating with top honors. In 1961-62, as a member of the Eastman Philharmonia, he participated in the first tour of the Soviet Union, Europe and MidEast sponsored by the U.S. State Department. He continued his studies in Vienna, Austria, at the University of Music and Performing Arts, where he received his Artist Diploma. Gary was a prize winner of international competitions and had an active performing career. His deep and honest musicianship and brilliant virtuosity took him to all five continents as soloist, soloist with orchestra and chamber musician.

Teaching at Kansas University, Interlochen Arts Academy and William Paterson University, Gary Kirkpatrick, through his dedication and excellence inspired many young musicians. His imprint on our musical world will be felt from now on.

Gary is survived by his brothers: Robert Kirkpatrick and his wife Judy, Jerry Kirkpatrick and his wife Linda and several nieces and nephews; his former wife Elka Gurova Kirkpatrick and close friends, Frank Pavese and Itay Goren. He was predeceased by his parents and a sister, Virginia Ponton.

Graveside services will be private in Warwick Cemetery. Anyone who would like to visit may do so during the cemetery’s regular hours. A memorial service is being planned.

A memorial page has been set up on facebook if you would like to add information or send condolences there:

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Doctors Without Borders USA, P.O. Box 5030, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5030 or online

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many fond memories i hold dear learning piano with Gary. he was such a friendly and demanding teacher who shared his great enthusiasm and love of the piano . thank you Gary! pia lord
pia lord
I'm very sorry to hear of Gary's passing. As a member and volunteer at Temple Beth Rishon, I had numerous encounters with Gary during rehearsals, sound checks and of course High Holiday services when he accompanied Cantor Mamber. He was a gentleman and a talent, and his work elevated the spirituality of our services. I will always remember him fondly. My condolences to family and friends.
Mark Niederman
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