Geoffrey Burleson, Pianist

Biography - detailed

Geoffrey Burleson, pianist, has performed to wide acclaim throughout Europe and North America, and is equally active as a recitalist, concerto soloist, chamber musician and jazz performer.  The New York Times has hailed his solo performances as “vibrant” and “compelling”, and has praised his “command, projection of rhapsodic qualities without loss of rhythmic vigor, and appropriate sense of spontaneity and fetching colors”.   And the Boston Globe refers to Mr. Burleson as a “remarkable pianist” and “a first-class instrumental presence” whose performances are “outright thrilling.”   His numerous acclaimed solo appearances include prominent venues in Paris (at the Église St-Merri), New York, Rome (American Academy), Athens (Mitropoulos Hall), Mexico City (National Museum of Art), Rotterdam (De Doelen), Chicago (Dame Myra Hess Memorial Series), Boston, Washington, Switzerland, England, Spain, and elsewhere.   He has also appeared as soloist in many international festivals, including the Bard Music Festival, Monadnock Music Festival, Santander Festival (Spain), the Talloires International Festival (France), the International Keyboard Institute & Festival (New York), and the Interharmony International Music Festival (Italy).

Geoffrey Burleson, pianist

Mr. Burleson made his New York City solo recital debut at Merkin Concert Hall in 2000, sponsored by the League of Composers/ISCM (International Society for Contemporary Music.) He has appeared as concerto soloist with numerous orchestras and ensembles, including the Buffalo Philharmonic, New England Philharmonic, Boston Musica Viva, Pioneer Valley Symphony, Arlington Philharmonic, and the Holland Symfonia in the Netherlands, performing repertoire ranging from Mozart, Weber and Saint-Saens to Gershwin and Klaas de Vries.  

Mr. Burleson currently performs as a principal pianist with the American Modern Ensemble, Boston Musica Viva and the Tribeca New Music Festival, as well as IMPetus, a dynamic trio featuring vocalist Maria Tegzes, and guitarist Dave "Knife" Fabris. He is also a member of Princeton University's Richardson Chamber Players. Formerly, Mr. Burleson performed in Greece and the United States as principal pianist with ALEA III, the contemporary ensemble-in-residence at Boston University, for five seasons.  Recent touring projects include “Akoka:  Messiaen Remix”, a CD and program featuring Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time, and including new works commenting on it by David Krakauer and DJ Socalled, with David Krakauer, clarinet; Matt Haimovitz, cello; and Todd Reynolds, violin.  Via the “Akoka” CD, Mr Burleson was nominated for a 2015 Juno Award for Classical Album Of The Year.

Mr. Burleson has also appeared in duo performances with many prominent musicians, including Boston Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Malcolm Lowe, former BSO principal flute Jacques Zoon, violinist Bayla Keyes, Mary Rowell, and Rolf Schulte; and cellists Matt Haimovitz and Rhonda Rider. He has collaborated with numerous world-renowned composers, and has given solo and duo premieres of works by Gunther Schuller, Vivian Fine, William Kraft, David Rakowski, Lior Navok, Hayes Biggs, Barbara White, Jeffrey Stadelman, Jason Eckardt, Evan Johnson, and others. As a jazz pianist, Mr. Burleson has performed extensively at home and abroad, both as soloist and in many ensembles. The Boston Globe has lauded his jazz performances, praising his "solos filled with complex harmonic and rhythmic figures", as well as his "compact and dramatic" arrangements of works by such diverse artists as Eric Dolphy and Patti Smith.  Mr. Burleson's work in jazz has also taken him as far as Baku, Azerbaijan, where he performed as both soloist, and with vocalist CoCo York, under the auspices of American Voices.

Currently, Mr. Burleson is recording the complete piano works of Camille Saint-Saens, being released on 5 CD volumes on the new Naxos Grand Piano label. Saint-Saens: Complete Piano Works 1:  Complete Piano Etudes, the inaugural release on the new label, Saint-Saens:  Complete Piano Works 2, Character Pieces (Vol. 3), and Dances & Souvenirs (Vol. 4) have all been released thus far,  and have met with high international acclaim from Gramophone, International Record Review, Diapason (France), and elsewhere, and has garnered International Piano Choice Awards from International Piano Magazine.   Other notable releases include Roy Harris-Complete Piano Music (Naxos), and Vincent Persichetti: Complete Piano Sonatas (New World Records), a 2-CD set on which all twelve of Persichetti's piano sonatas are united on one release for the first time. The Persichetti recording was accorded high acclaim from the BBC Music Magazine ("BBC Music Choice"; 5/5 stars), a laudatory feature review in Gramophone, and was listed among the best recordings released in 2008 by Fanfare and the American Record Guide. Another recent release is Odd Couple  (Oxingale Records), a duo CD of American works with cellist Matt Haimovitz, featuring the Barber and Carter Sonatas, as well as newer works by David Sanford and Augusta Read Thomas. 

Mr. Burleson was winner of the Silver Medal in the International Piano Recording Competition, and won Special Commendations in the Vienna Modern Masters International Performers Competition. He was also the recipient of a DAAD grant from the German government to support a residency at the Academy of Arts in Berlin. A graduate of the Peabody Conservatory, New England Conservatory, and Stony Brook University (D.M.A.), his principal teachers include Gilbert Kalish, Leonard Shure, Veronica Jochum, Lillian Freundlich, Tinka Knopf, and Audrey Bart Brown.

Mr. Burleson teaches piano at Princeton University, and is Professor of Music and Director of Piano Studies at Hunter College of The City University of New York.  He is also on the piano faculties of The Graduate Center of the City University of New York, the International Keyboard Institute & Festival (New York), and the Interharmony International Music Festival (Italy).