About Us

John Kirk, Luthier

John Kirk began playing the cello at the age of 10. He progressed into college graduating with a Master of Music from Boston University in cello performance studying under George Neikrug. He then traveled to Paris where he studied with Nadia Boulanger and continued playing his cello throughout Europe. After his travels, he thought he might try his hand at making his own cello. After all, he had many years of engineering studies before switching to music and thought making his own cello would be good use of his acquired knowledge. He apprenticed himself to several makers and even sourced his first instruments from spruce trees out of the Beartooth Mountains. This began his journey to becoming the prolific Montana instrument maker he is today. He has produced several hundred instruments (violins, violas, cellos), maximizing the sound of each instrument he touches. He has recently focused on upper level modern cellos, since that is his passion. Each cello is meticulously handled as each one has its own character. John works diligently to highlight the potential of every instrument. For further information or to purchase/commission a John Kirk instrument, contact us.

John Kirk Instruments

Family roots

John and Janny Kirk started their first retail store in 1990. Since then, they have helped hundreds of players start and grow in their musical playing endeavors. Based in Billings, Montana, the Kirks have built a reputation of selling and making high quality instruments and accessories in the region. They are community focused and strong supporters of musical education in Montana and beyond. With over 100 years of combined playing experience, Kirk Violins should be your go-to resource for all things string instruments!

Our Team

John Kirk

Luthier, Owner

Janny Kirk

Retail Store Manager, Owner

Dale Anderson

Bookkeeping & Finance

Bizzie Johnson

Store Sales, Luthier Assistant

David Kirk

Luthier Assistant

Sarah Bolt

Photography & Marketing