Robert S. Kinkel, Jr.




South High School





Robert S. Kinkel, Jr. (‘75)—Bob Kinkel is the music director, East-coast tour director, keyboard artist and founding member of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, a 21-piece symphonic ensemble that combines rock, classical and traditional music.

Kinkel began playing the piano at age six and started his first rock band while he was a sophomore at Williamsville South. He received his bachelor's degree in music from Hamilton College where he also studied physics, and attended Columbia University on a graduate fellowship in physics before leaving school to pursue a career in music. His first recording industry job was for the Record Plant Studios in New York City where he worked with legendary groups such as The Who and Aerosmith.

The Trans-Siberian Orchestra, formed in 1996 by Kinkel and music producer/writer Paul O’Neill, has produced several albums including the platinum recording, “Christmas Eve and Other Stories”. They have appeared on Conan O’Brien and the former Rosie O’Donnell Show, and have hosted a Christmas television special, “The Ghosts of Christmas Eve” on the Fox Family Network. One of their songs, “A Perfect Christmas Night”, was featured in the movie, “The Grinch.” The Trans-Siberian Orchestra has generated a large following and in 2001, was listed in the top five largest grossing Christmas entertainment attractions in the country, among the ranks of the Radio City Christmas Show, Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Ballet”, Charles Dickens’ “Christmas Carol”, and Manheim Steamroller.