Music, art and story combined

Burmer Music concerts are unique. Not only do we present emerging talented composers who create lyrical orchestral music, but we also earmark ticket sales to support education or humanitarian causes. Working with scientists, university lecturers and others, we create educational programming that extends our music into the community, reaching a new generation of listeners.

Our history and philosophy

There are few opportunities locally for emerging composers to have their work performed live. At Burmer Music, we are changing that.  Our concerts bring the finest in contemporary orchestral music to Seattle audiences, and our CDs and DVDs allow this experience to be enjoyed worldwide.

“An unexpected new presence in Seattle culture”
says the Seattle Times

Our first concert, Symphonic Stories, grew from an unlikely beginning. In March 2011, producer Glenna Burmer was in Japan when the devastating earthquake and tsunami struck. As a musician, she turned to music to express her feeling, and the symphonic piece, “Love Song of the Japanese Cranes,” resulted.

Burmer then invited other composers to create short works in a musical genre of their choosing. The only caveat: The music had to tell a story. Each composer rose to the challenge, combining dynamic personal styles with highly imaginative narratives. The world-premiere concert at Benaroya Hall was critically acclaimed, and proceeds benefited the musicians of Sendai, Japan, who had lost everything in the disaster.

Commissioning original music written specifically for an event became the model for all subsequent Burmer Music productions. Concert ticket sales have supported causes such as scholarships for astrobiology graduate students.

About Glenna Burmer

Glenna Burmer, composerGlenna Burmer, M.D., Ph.D., is a physician-scientist, composer and entrepreneur who produces contemporary live classical concerts, music and dance. As president of Burmer Music LLC, she has produced four contemporary classical CDs, three concerts at Benaroya Hall in Seattle and a ballet at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, Wash. Her productions have showcased the finest musicians, choreographers, composers and dancers in the Pacific Northwest, and have won awards, including the 2014 Independent Music Vox Populi Award for the Celebrate World Music! album and one of its singles, “Tributum” by Nan Avant.

Her productions have been described as visionary, bringing together multicultural and multimedia experiences with a meld of music, art and story. Her work has featured combinations of world instruments such as kotos with orchestra (“Love Song of the Japanese Cranes”), Flamenco dancers and guitarists accompanied by chamber orchestra (“Spanish Dances”), a full original ballet realizing the visual richness and horror of Dante’s Inferno, and most recently, an audiovisual concert that showcased 13.2 billion years of the universe in a ten minutes (“Big Bang”, from Origins: Life and the Universe).

Glenna Burmer is president of Burmer Music, a music production company dedicated to creating music, live concerts and ballets featuring the best composers, musicians and dancers in the Pacific Northwest. Its mission is to create beautiful, lyrical contemporary classical music that can be enjoyed by audiences of all ages.

Burmer Music concerts are world premiere performances of orchestral music written specifically for the event. From the initial idea to the final performance, each concert or ballet represents one to two years of preparation by composers, soloists, dancers and musicians, culminating in critically acclaimed world-premiere performances.

Burmer Music premiered Symphonic Stories in 2012 to benefit the Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra after the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami. Celebrate World Music! was premiered in 2013, winning the IMA Vox Populi award for both best contemporary classical album and best instrumental. In 2014, three original ballets were created based on classical themes, and in 2015, Origins: Life and the Universe presented the works of eight composers that combined live music with original movies about astrobiology and astronomy. All of Burmer Music’s symphonic concerts and recordings have featured Grammy-award winning conductor David Sabee and his renowned orchestra, the Northwest Sinfonia.

Burmer Music is powered by Shunpike. Shunpike is the 501(c)(3) non-profit agency that provides independent arts groups in Washington State with the services, resources, and opportunities they need to forge their own paths to sustainable success.