Professor Dirst is the founder and artistic director of Ars Lyrica Houston, a Grammy-nominated ensemble specializing in Baroque chamber and dramatic works. He is associate professor of musicology at the University of Houston’s Moores School, and he was the first American to win major international prizes in both organ and harpsichord, including first prize at the American Guild of Organists Young Artist Competition in 1990 and second prize at the Warsaw International Harpsichord Competition in 1993. Dirst’s recordings of music by Scarlatti and Hasse with Ars Lyrica Houston, on the Naxos and Dorian-Sono Luminus labels, have earned a Grammy nomination (for Best Opera 2011) and widespread critical acclaim. His degrees include a PhD in musicology from Stanford University and the prix de virtuosité in both organ and harpsichord from the Conservatoire National de Reuil-Malmaison, France, where he spent two years as a Fulbright scholar. Equally active as a scholar, his work on Bach and Bach reception is published in a variety of journals, and in his book Engaging Bach: The Keyboard Legacy from Marpurg to Mendelssohn, Cambridge University Press, 2012.