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STEPHEN BURNS

Trumpet virtuoso, Stephen Burns, is the founder and artistic director of the Fulcrum Point New Music Project in Chicago. With his dynamic, expressive style and multimedia performances Burns has been acclaimed on five continents for his dramatic interpretations, innovative programming and imaginative musicianship. Winner of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions, Burns is an Avery Fisher Career Grant recipient and Maurice André International Competition 1st Grand Prix Lauréat. He has performed in the major concert halls of New York, Boston, Chicago, Washington DC, Hong Kong, Quebéc, Tokyo, Paris and Venice. Stephen has been a featured guest on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” “Performance Today,” NBC’s “Today Show,” and at the White House. He has guest conducted at the Aspen Festival, the National Arts Center Orchestra of Canada, Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW ensemble, Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, and the Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar, among others. As artistic director of Fulcrum Point and its sibling organization, The American Concerto Orchestra, Burns is a champion of new art music that is influenced by popular culture, art, dance, literature, religion, and social dynamics.

He has given numerous premières by American composers (Ned Rorem, David Stock, Gunther Schuller, Robert Rodriguez, Philip Glass, Julian Wachner, Mischa Zupko) as well as composers of international renown (Andriessen, Magnus Lindberg, Somei Satoh, Aulis Sallinen, Stockhausen). Committed to new music, Burns has composed works for electronic music, chamber music and symphony orchestra. The Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago commissioned him to write “Wake Up, Y’all” as part of their Allora/Calzadilla installation. “Fanfare for Humanity” was commissioned for the Chicago Humanities Festival. His composition “Reflections,” created in collaboration with choreographer Ruby Shang, was premièred at Lincoln Center. “Cat and Rat: the Legend of the Chinese Zodiac” is a feature work for pipa virtuoso Yang Wei based on the children’s book by Caldecott Award-winning author/illustrator Ed Young.

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 Hänssler Classics, and Trumpet Voluntary on ASV records. He has also recorded for Kleos, Musical Heritage Society, Delos, Classical Masters, Essay 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. Sought after internationally for masterclasses, Burns is a former tenured Professor of Music at Indiana University and visiting lecturer at Northwestern University, the Merit Music School and the Amici della Musica Firenze, Italy. Stephen Burns is a Yamaha performing artist.

Presently he resides in Chicago with his wife, school psychologist, Katherine Neisser and their twin sons, Edward and Isaac.


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