Denison Artist-In-Residence Composer Creates Urban Classical Music Idiom
Posted: March 26, 2001
A composer, flautist and educator will join the Denison University department of music as a Vail Visiting Artist-in-Residence this spring. Leslie Burrs, a Philadelphia-based artist, will present his compositions in a lecture-performance at noon on Thursday (March 29) in Burke Recital Hall. The event is free and open to the public. Burrs will also discuss his plans for a Denison commissioned piece.
Burrs fuses classical, contemporary and African-American traditions to create a new idiom he defines as "Urban Classical Music." During his residency, which will continue next fall, Burrs has been commissioned by the University to compose a new work for the Gospel Choir and Orchestra. The choir, under the direction of Raymond Wise, will premiere the work with the Denison Orchestra on Dec. 2, 2001. The Orchestra is directed by Andrew Carlson.
Burrs has appeared as guest soloist and composer with the Philadelphia Orchestra, as well as the Baltimore, Atlanta, Louisville, New Jersey and Richmond symphonies. He also has appeared with the Duke Ellington Band, the Philly Pops and at the Moers Jazz Festival. His critically acclaimed opera,Vanqui, was commissioned and premiered by Opera Columbus in 1999 with a Lila Wallace grant.
His residency at Denison is sponsored by the Vail visiting artist fund, the Denison Lecture Series, the office of multicultural affairs and the department of music.
Denison University, founded in 1831, is an independent, residential liberal arts institution located in Granville, Ohio. A highly selective college enrolling 2,100 full-time undergraduate students from all 50 states and dozens of foreign countries, Denison is a place where innovative faculty and motivated students collaborate in rigorous scholarship, civic engagement and the cultivation of independent thinking.
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