Daniel Burwasser, a composer, percussionist and teacher, was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Burwasser grew up in a musical family. 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. 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, and Queens College. He currently teaches at Hunter College CUNY. Burwasser is also the Principal Director of the New York All-City Jazz Ensemble. He has also served as a panelist for the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Maryland State Arts Council, and the Delaware Division of the Arts.
Burwasser’s music has been described as highly communicative, emotionally charged, actively engaging, refreshingly lyrical, and displaying a fine sense of balance and proportion. His work has 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 television. Burwasser has been the recipient of numerous ASCAP composer awards in addition to grants from The American Music Center and Meet the Composer. His orchestral music has been performed and recorded by the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Concordia Orchestra, and the Seattle Symphony. He has received commissions from Downtown Music Productions and electric violist, Martha Mooke. Burwasser’s work Flux for string orchestra and Catching Fireflies for orchestra are both released on Navona Records. Whirlwind for woodwind quintet was also recently released on Navona. Burwasser’s music is published by Imagine Music and Ensemble Publications.