PROFILES IN PERCUSSION
Artist Spotlight with Michael Burritt
Zildjian Artist Michael Burritt is simultaneously one of the world's most accomplished percussion soloists, prolific composers, authors and influential music educators. In addition to having performed numerous solo concert tours and master classes across four continents, Michael is currently the President of the Percussive Arts Society and Professor of Percussion at the Eastman School of Music.
Keith Aleo caught up with Michael following his world premiere performance of Joseph Schwantner's "Fast Forward," along with the Eastman Percussion Ensemble. Keith and Michael discuss the history and legacy of the Eastman School of Music, their time in school together studying with the legendary John Beck and Michael's perspective from his impactful career in music education.
Having performed in four continents and more than forty states, Michael Burritt is one of his generation's most accomplished percussionists. He is in frequent demand performing concert tours and master classes throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia and Canada. Mr. Burritt has been soloist with the United States Air Force Band, Dallas Wind Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Nexus, Third Coast Percussion, Ju Percussion Group (Taiwan), Percussion Art Quartet (Germany) and the Amores Percussion Group (Spain). Mr. Burritt has three solo as well as numerous chamber recordings. In 2018 he recorded his Home Trilogy with the world renown percussion group Nexus and is soon to release a new recording of solo and chamber works by Alejandro Viñao with the Grammy Award winning Third Coast Percussion. In 2006 he recorded the Joseph Schwantner Percussion Concerto with the Calgary Wind Ensemble on the Albany label. Burritt just recently premiered Fast Forward, a new chamber concerto written expressly for him by Pulitzer Prize winning Composer Joseph Schwantner.
He has been a featured artist at nine Percussive Arts Society International Conventions. In 1992 he presented his New York solo debut in Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall and in 1998 performed his London debut in the Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall. Mr. Burritt has extensive chamber and orchestral experience and has performed with the Chicago Chamber Musicians, The Chicago Symphony, Nexus, Third Coast Percussion and The Peninsula Music Festival Orchestra.
Mr. Burritt is also active as a composer, with three concertos to his credit as well as numerous solo and chamber works for marimba and percussion. His works for solo marimba have become standard repertoire for the instrument and are frequently required repertoire on international competitions. Commissions include The World Marimba Competition in Stuttgart Germany, The Paris International Marimba Competition, Nexus and the Paris Percussion Group. Mr. Burritt is published with Keyboard Percussion Publications, C. Alan, Masters Music and Innovative Percussion. Burritt is also an artist/clinician and product design/consultant for Malletech, where he has developed his own line of marimba mallets and the MJB Signature Marimba. He is an artist/educational clinician with the Zildjian Company and Evans Drum Heads and Yamaha Drums. Mr. Burritt is currently the President of Percussive Arts Society, was a member of the Board of Directors from 1996 - 2008, was a contributing editor for Percussive Notes Magazine from 1991 - 2006 and was chairman of the PAS Keyboard Committee from 2004 – 2010.
Mr Burritt currently holds the Paul J. Burgett Distinguished Professorship and is Professor of Percussion at The Eastman School of Music where he is only the third person in the history of the school to hold this position. Prior to his appointment at Eastman, Mr. Burritt was Professor of Percussion at Northwestern University from 1995-2008 where he developed a program of international distinction. Mr. Burritt received his Bachelor and Master of Music Degrees, as well as the prestigious Performers Certificate from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York.
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