Daniel Burwasser, a composer, percussionist and teacher, was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Burwasser grew up in a musical family (his grandfather, Leo Burwasser, was an operatic basso, and sang on stage with the legendary Feodor Chailiapin in his native Russia). He began piano lessons at age five, and at eleven, he turned his interests to percussion instruments, which he began studying both in school and privately. While in high school, he won positions as first chair percussion in both the New Jersey Region I Band and New Jersey All-State Orchestra. Burwasser shifted his focus from performance to composition while working on his Bachelor of Music in percussion performance at Temple University. After graduating from Temple University, he went on to receive a Master of Arts degree in theory and composition from Rutgers University, where he studied with Charles Wuorinen, Robert Moevs, and Noel DaCosta . Burwasser went on to complete his Ph.D. in composition from the Graduate School of the City University of New York where he studied with David Olan and David Del Tredici. Burwasser has taught at Columbia Teacher’s College, New York City College of Technology, Queens College, and Hunter College. He is currently Director of Instrumental Music at Talent Unlimited High School of the Performing Arts in New York City. Burwasser is also currently Principal Conductor of the New York All-City High School Jazz Ensemble. He has also served as a panelist for the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Maryland State Arts Council, the Delaware Division of the Arts.
Burwasser's compositions have been performed throughout the U.S., as well as in South Korea, Armenia, Slovakia, and Russia and combines classical traditions with jazzy harmonies and lively rhythms. He has composed numerous soundtracks for children's stories and arranged for cable television. Burwasser has been the recipient of numerous ASCAP composer awards in addition to grants from The American Music Center and Meet the Composer. Burwasser was commissioned by five-string electric violist Martha Mooke for VOILA! which was premiered in early 2004. His orchestral music has been performed and recorded on the MMC label by the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Concordia Orchestra, and the Seattle Symphony. CATCHING FIREFLIES, was recorded by the Seattle Symphony, Gerard Schwarz conducting, and A WELL-TRAVELED ROAD and is part of a compilation of American orchestral music called Modern American Classics Volume 1. FLUX, conducted by Marin Alsop and the Concordia Orchestra was just released on CD by Navona Records. Burwasser’s music is published by Ensemble Publications and Imagine Music Publishing.
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