Biography: Burnett Thompson Band
BURNETT THOMPSON, pianist, composer, educator, lives near Washington, DC. He was educated at the Hochschule fuer Musik in Vienna, Austria, and the New England Conservatory of Music. Further studies included work with pianist William Masselos, and Jazz and Western theory with Steven Strunk.
In 1981 he founded the Foggy Bottom Chamber Music Society. Comprised of himself as pianist with members of the National Symphony Orchestra, the group was regularly coached by Mstislav Rostropovich and performed in a documentary about the eminent cellist.
At the same time, for 17 years, BURNETT THOMPSON hosted a well-known Washington, D.C. night club as the house pianist. Guest artists included Chris Vadala, Keter Betts, Louis Bellson, Pete Barenbregge, among countless others, and it was during this time that he developed his voice as a jazz performer and composer. In the mid 90's, he produced 4 recordings in the jazz and improvisational genre which were met with critical acclaim. He produced the Phillips Collections Musicales in 1994 and 1995 at the renowned Phillips Collection Museum in Washington, D.C. The Musicales featured dozens of the fine musicians for which Washington is known, jazz and classical alike.
Over the years BURNETT THOMPSON has performed as soloist with several orchestras, including the Washington Chamber Symphony, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, National Chamber Orchestra, Arlington Symphony, Greenville Symphony, Tallahassee Symphony, and the American Youth Philharmonic. Concert collaborations have included recitals with cellist Han Na Chang, Chinese erhu virtuoso Ma Xiao Hui, Arturo Sandoval, oboist Rudy Vrbsky, and the Manchester String Quartet. Additionally, he has performed as orchestral pianist with several orchestras, and dabbles at classical guitar, alto saxophone and double bass.
In the late 90's, BURNETT THOMPSON began a unique collaboration with Lorin Maazel. Mr. Thompson assisted Mr. Maazel in an educational enterprise, working with school children of all ages in a novel general music program. He also played chamber music with Mr. Maazel, arranged, produced and performed in several recording projects of Mr. Maazel's own compositions, in addition to production of an orchestral concert with tenor Jose Carreras.
In 2000, BURNETT THOMPSON was commissioned to write an orchestral work for the National Chamber Orchestra, for which he composed his Concerto for Orchestra and Improvised Piano. The work was trashed by the press, but remains much adored by the composer. During the same time period, he hosted performance tours of the Smithsonian's Piano 300 collection.
As a music educator, Mr. Thompson works with all ages of school children and prepares them to deal with any music that they may happen to prefer.
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