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Stephen Burns

Chicago, IL      

STEPHEN BURNS-Artistic Director


Conductor, trumpet virtuoso, and composer Stephen Burns is the Artistic Director of the Fulcrum Point New Music Project in Chicago.   He 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. He began his studies at the age of ten and made his professional debut at the age of 14 performing the Handel Aria “Let the Bright Seraphim” with coloratura soprano Elizabeth Phinney. 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.

In 1998 Stephen Burns was invited to create innovative new music programs as the Artist in Residence with Performing Arts Chicago. In the process he created the Fulcrum Point New Music Project and the American Concerto Orchestra whose mission it is to champion New Art Music influenced and inspired by Pop culture, World Music, literature, film, art, theatre, dance, nature, politics, and social dynamics. The 2013 15th anniversary season features the annual 9.11 Peace Concert at the Pritzker Pavillion in Millennium Park, the world premiere of “Altered States” complete film score by John Corigliano at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park, and the launching of Fulcrum Point Discoveries, a new interactive workshop featuring new works by young and emerging composers in dialogue with performing artists and audiences.

A conducting student of Jorma Panula, Gerard Schwarz and Pinchas Zukerman, Mr. 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. He has performed this dual role with the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, the Simon Bolivar Orquesta, the Orquesta da Camera del Tachira, the Sea Cliff Chamber Orchestra, and the American Concerto Orchestra. 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.

He has given numerous premiers by American composers (Rorem, David Stock, Gunther Schuller, Robert Rodriguez, Philip Glass) as well as composers of international renown (Stockhausen, Franck Amsellem, Somei Satoh, Aulis Sallinen). Committed to new music, Mr. Burns has written for trumpet, electronic music, chamber music and symphony orchestra. In 2007 he was commissioned by the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago to write the electro-acoustic version of Reveille, “Wake Up, Y’all” as part of the Allora/Calzadilla installation “Wake Up.” “Fanfare for Humanity” was commissioned by the Chicago Humanities Festival for the 2003 opening Gala. His composition “Reflections,” a work created in collaboration with choreographer Ruby Shang, was performed around the Henry Moore reflecting pool at Lincoln Center in 1989. At the request of Pipa virtuoso Yang Wei Mr. Burns wrote the incidental music to “Cat and Rat: the Legend of the Chinese Zodiac” as part of the Children’s Humanities Festival in Chicago. He is currently composing “Phalanx,” a multi-media work based upon American military musical themes to be premiered at the Lake Placid Institute.

Stephen Burns is a frequent guest artist at many prestigious summer festivals including Santa Fe, Kuhmo, Tanglewood, Mostly Mozart, Spoleto, Caramoor, Lieksa, Ravinia, Grand Canyon, Moab, Estate Musicale St. Cecilia, and Divonne les Bains. 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, Stephen 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, Mr. 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. Stephen Burns is a Yamaha performing artist.

 Stephen Burns – Discography


Complete Hindemith Sonatas-David Korevaar, pianist

1995 Dorian Discovery www.dorian.com

Telemann for Trumpet

American Concerto Orchestra, Stephen Burns, Artistic Director

1994 Hänssler Classic

Complete Brandenburg Concerti

Oregon Bach Festival, Helmuth Rilling, conductor

1993 Gramavision www.lamonteyoung.com

La Monte Young: The Melodic Version of the Second Dream of the

High-tension Line Step-down Transformer from the Four Dreams of China

1993 Ess.ay

Baroque Trumpetissimo!

Concerti for Multiple Trumpets

Philharmonia Virtuosi, Richard Kapp, Director

1992 Northeastern

Taking Stock: Music of David Stock, Tekiah for Trumpet & Ensemble

Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, David Stock, Director

1990 ASV

Trumpet Voluntary: English & Italian Baroque music for trumpet and

1988 Classical Masters

Requiem for the Challenger, trumpet & Organ

Leonard Raver, Organist

1984 Music Masters/Musical Heritage Society

Music for Trumpet and Strings

1981 Delos www.delosmus.com

Shostakovitch Piano Concerto #1 Carol Rosenberger, Pianist

Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Gerard Schwarz, Conductor