Kevin Oldham was born in Kansas City. He showed signs of musical talent at a very young age. His early musical training was guided by his parents, Barbara and Bill Oldham, and Latha Blim, a Kansas City piano teacher. Kevin studied for three years at Northwestern University, and completed his formal studies at the Juilliard School with Herbert Stessin and Sascha Gorodnitzki. There, received both this Bachelors and Masters degrees.
Kevin Oldham's solo recital work included appearances at Carnegie and Merkin Recital Halls in New York City, The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., The Chicago Public Library, and in Atlanta, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles and various cities throughout Europe. In 1980 he made his orchestral debut with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Erich Kunzel playing Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.
In 1988, after being diagnosed with HIV, Kevin decided to give up consertizing. This decision allowed him the time to pursue his desire to create music, rather than perform works of others. As a composer, Kevin Oldham was a 1991 Festival of the Atlantic Young American Composers Award, and his Concerto for Piano, op. 14 received its premiere that same season by the Festiva'ls orchestra. The recorded performance was broacast on National Public Radios' "New, Old and Unexpercted," hosted by music critic and author Tim Page. Kevin also made guest appearances on WQXR/FM's popular "The Listening Room" and "I.T. & T. Salutes the Arts," hosted by June LeBell-a broadcast which won a 1991 Angel Award in Radio Broadcasting.
The second performance of the Concerto for Piano was given on January 17th, 1993 with the Kansas City Symphony, conducted by William McGlaughlin. The composer served as soloist. On March 27th, the Kansas City Symphony once again performed the Concerto for Piano, this time with Ian Hobson at the piano. A recording was made for an upcoming release on the RCA/BMG Classics Catalyst label. The Concerto for Piano is being published by Notevole Publishing, Inc. of New York.
Other works by Kevin Oldham include Ballade for Piano, Op. 17, Variations for Piano on a French Noel, Op. 7, and Three Psalms for Choir and Harp, all published by Neil A. Kjos Music Publishers of San Diego. Unpublished works include the Organ Symphony, op. 10; two Waltzes for Piano, String Quintet and Three Sopranos, op.4; soprano song cycle, Gaspard de la Nuit, op.3; concert arias; transcriptions of works by Durufle and Bach; and Christmas music arranged for four-part chorus, as well as for solo soprano. He also wrote more than two dozen cabaret songs.
Kevin's talents were not limited to composition and piano. He sang with the Marble Collegiate Church Choir, which premiered several of his choral works, and for whom he wrote his last completed choral work, The Boulding Chorales, op. 16 (poetry by Kenneth Boulding). Kevin was a member of The Estate Project for Artists with AIDS, a project of the Alliance for the Arts. With this group he helped other artists ensure the survival of their work. In a New York Times interview, Kevin said, "...whether you stay alive or not seems the trivial part. It's your work itself that must have a life of its own. If I can make sure that my music will continue to have life, that seems to be the more important consideration.