Harlem NY-born Reynard Burns’ (b. 1946) prolific career includes work as a composer, arranger, and educator, as well as a bassist and guest conductor for several orchestra festivals. His compositions for full and string orchestra, wind ensemble, concert band, jazz ensemble, improvising strings, and other combinations have been performed throughout the United States and abroad, with his orchestral works receiving national recognition, most notably Flying, which was performed by the Long Island Philharmonic in a program honoring American composers. His jazz string quarter, Rey Burns’ Crossroad, has performed at various jazz festivals and has recorded two albums of Burns’ music, featuring notable jazz violinist John Blake Jr.

Studying and performing on piano played a decisive role on his future as a musician. Learning to play double bass provided opportunities and experiences that brought about entry into New York’s Music and Art High School.

His 34 years as a public school orchestra director provided the opportunity to compose and arrange music for various groups and styles. Keeping up to date with the changing music scene meant writing in multiple styles, including jazz and pop. Since retiring from public school teaching, Burns has continued composing and arranging for a wide variety of instrument combinations and styles. His efforts and achievements in such areas as jazz strings and string orchestra are representative of the focus of his publishing company, Reynard Burns Publishing, Inc. In addition, Burns often gives lectures and hosts workshops that focus on the classical music of composers of African descent.



Release Date: November 1, 2012
Catalog Number: NV5895
21st Century
String Orchestra
Throughout time, humankind has sought to provide explanation and justification for the pains, joys, and passions of life. With DIMENSIONS, Navona presents a collection of string orchestra works from seven composers (Gregory Hutter, Louis Babin, Reynard Burns, Andrew March, Claude Debussy, Rudy Kronfuss, Daniel Burwasser), whose music captures the fluidity of time and emotion and illustrates the impact of past experiences on the present and future.


Release Date: July 1, 2012
Catalog Number: NV5874
21st Century
Solo Instrumental
Wind Ensemble
Who says eclecticism isn't a wonderful thing? Certainly not us at Navona Records. SLICES is a carefully handpicked selection of new chamber works by contemporary composers designed to showcase the diversity of modern music-making, and these pieces by Sundin, Bakker, Sainsbury, Rusnak, Beeler, and Burns cut right through the oft-repeated misconception that classical music is dead on the vine.