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Geoffrey Burleson

Office: Room 400h Hunter North

Geoffrey BurlesonProfessor of Music and Director of Piano Studies at Hunter College, 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 Prof. 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 featured soloist in many international festivals, including the Bard Music Festival, Santander Festival (Spain), Monadnock Music Festival, and the Talloires International Festival (France).


Currently, Prof. Burleson is recording the complete piano works of Camille Saint-Saëns, being released on 5 CD volumes on the new Naxos Grand Piano label.  Saint-Saëns: Complete Piano Works 1:  Complete Piano Études, the inaugural release on the new label, Complete Piano Works 2 and Complete Piano Works 3 were all released in 2012, and have met with high international acclaim, including an “International Piano Choice Award” from International Piano Magazine.  Other recent 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.   His extensive chamber music discography includes 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. 


Prof. Burleson made his New York City solo recital debut at Merkin Hall in 2000, sponsored by the League of Composers/ISCM.  Concerto appearances include the Buffalo Philharmonic, New England Philharmonic, Boston Musica Viva and the Holland Symfonia in the Netherlands, with repertoire ranging from Mozart, Weber and Saint-Saëns to Gershwin, Yehudi Wyner and Klaas de Vries.   Prof. Burleson is a core member of the American Modern Ensemble, Boston Musica Viva, The Tribeca New Music Festival, and David Sanford’s Pittsburgh Collective.  Recent touring projects include “Akoka:  Messiaen Remix”, a 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.  The AKOKA CD was nominated for a 2015 Juno Award for Classical Album Of The Year.  Prof. Burleson also performs with the Tango Project, a trio with accordionist William Schimmel and violinist Mary Rowell, and Impetus, an avant-cabaret trio with vocalist Maria Tegzes and guitarist David “Knife” Fabris.  He is additionally a member of Princeton University’s Richardson Chamber Players.  As a jazz pianist, Prof. 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.


A laureate of the International Piano Recording Competition (Silver Medal), and the Vienna Modern Masters International Performers’ Competition, Prof. Burleson was also the recipient of a DAAD Grant from the German government to support a residency at the Academy of Arts in Berlin.  Prof. Burleson received his B.Mus. from the Peabody Conservatory, an M.M. from the New England Conservatory, and his D.M.A. from Stony Brook University. His major teachers include Gilbert Kalish, Leonard Shure, Veronica Jochum, Lillian Freundlich, Tinka Knopf, and Audrey Bart Brown.


 For further information about Prof. Burleson's concert schedule, recordings, and for links to audio files and concert videos, please go to

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