Founded in 1998 by Stephen Burns, a world-class trumpeter and renowned teacher, performer, conductor and composer, Fulcrum Point New Music Project is dedicated to being a leader in diverse new music that boldly straddles the barriers between new art music and traditional music from around the world.
In the words of the Chicago Tribune’s John von Rhein, “Fulcrum Point is a big reason new music has found its groove.No performing arts group in the city has more avidly explored the cutting-edge connections among the world of new classical music, pop culture, technology and other fields than the Fulcrum Point New Music Project.”
2013 marks the 15th anniversary of Fulcrum Point New Project and it’s been an amazing journey. This season featured the screening of Ken Russell’s Altered States with live orchestra playing John Corigliano’s score at the Harris Theater, the annual 9.11 Concert for Peace in Millennium Park with thousands in attendance singing Ohm while ringing 58 gongs for world harmony, and New Music and Poetry from Yale, an innovative collaboration with the Poetry Foundation.
In its commitment to perform new work, Fulcrum Point has premiered pieces by a number of internationally-renowned composers, including John Corigliano, George Crumb, Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Gabriela Lena Frank, HK Gruber, Ana Lara, Tania León, Hannibal Lokumbe, David Stock, Mark-Anthony Turnage, Jacob TV, Param Vir, and Randall Woolf – many of whom now sit on Fulcrum Point’s advisory council, the “Sounding Board.” Including the 2012-13 seasons, Fulcrum Point will have presented more than 100 Premieres – over 25 performed for the first time in the world – ensuring that Fulcrum Point concertgoers often experience a work they’ve never heard before.
With the goal of redefining the concert experience, Fulcrum Point performances often incorporate multi-media elements of film, dance, literature, poetry, and the visual arts. Throughout its fifteen-year history, Fulcrum Point has worked with many Illinois institutions and cultural organizations including the Chicago Public Schools, Columbia College Chicago, Chicago Tribune Printers’ Row LIT Fest, Chicago Humanities Festival, Snow City Arts, The Nature Conservancy, Merit School of Music, The Poetry Foundation, Museum of Contemporary Art, Art Institute of Chicago, St. James Episcopal Cathedral, the National Museum of Mexican Art, the Field Museum of Natural History, The Green Mill, Ravinia Festival, Millennium Park, Harris Theater for Music and Dance, and even the Cook County Correctional Facility to provide educational programs in conjunction with performances.
Stephen Burns, Founder and Artistic Director
Stephen Burns has been acclaimed on four continents for his consistently and widely varied performances encompassing recitals, orchestral appearances, chamber ensemble engagements, and innovative multi-media presentations involving video, dance theatre, and sculpture. In 1988 he won First Prize at the second Maurice Andre International Competition for Trumpet in France, which brought him numerous international engagements, including a Paris recital, national television appearances and tours of Europe, Asia and the United States.
A conducting student of Jorma Panula, Gerard Schwarz and Pinchas Zukerman, Burns often appears as both soloist and conductor with orchestras performing repertoire ranging from the Second Brandenburg Concerto and Haydn’s Eb major concerto to works by Copland, Shostakovitch and André Jolivet. As a guest conductor he has performed with the Aspen Music Festival, Arizona Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Youth Symphony at the Ravinia Festival, and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s “Music NOW” series in Millennium Park. His recordings include Telemann for Trumpet, with the American Concerto Orchestra, on Dorian, The Complete Sonatas for Brass by Paul Hindemith on Helicon, The Complete Brandenburg Concerti with Helmuth Rilling on Haenssler Classics, and Trumpet Voluntary on ASV records. He has also recorded for Kleos, Musical Heritage Society, Delos, Classical Masters, Ess.ay and Grammavision.
Originally from Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts, Burns studied under Armando Ghitalla, Gerard Schwarz, Pierre Thibaud, and Arnold Jacobs at the Tanglewood Music Center, the Julliard School (BM/MM 1981-82), as well as in Paris and Chicago for post-graduate studies. He has won many prestigious awards including the 1981 Young Concert Artists International Auditions, 1982 Avery Fisher Career Grant, the 1983 National Endowment for the Arts Recitalist Grant, the Naumburg Scholarship at Juilliard, “Outstanding Brass Player” at Tanglewood and the aforementioned 1988 Maurice Andre Concour International de Paris. Sought after internationally for master classes, Burns teaches at the Tuition Free Conservatory at the Merit School of Music and is a former tenured Professor of Music at Indiana University, Visiting Professor at Northwestern University, and Visiting Lecturer at the Amici della Musica Firenze, Italy.