Crane Presents Michael Burritt & Friends in Concert


Guest artist Michael Burritt will present an exciting and unique percussion concert showcasing some of his own compositions at SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music this weekend, with a performance on Saturday, Oct. 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the Sara M. Snell Music Theater.

The program features two works by Johannes Sebastian Bach performed entirely on percussion, including an Adagio from the Sonata for Violin in G-Minor, and the chorale cantata “Wer nur den lieben Gott lasst walten.”

The concert will continue with a recently completed work by Alejandro Viñao, “The Burritt Variations,” a set of seven variations with a Latin theme, which was commissioned by the artist. In addition, a work that was dedicated to Burritt, “Into The Air,” by Ivan Trevino, will also be presented.

The guest artist concert will conclude with three of Burritt’s original compositions, including “The Offering,” “Prelude No. 5” and “Rounders,” which he will perform alongside members of the Potsdam Percussion Ensemble.

Burritt described his work “Rounders” this way: “I have often thought that performing and amusement park rides hold much in common. For me, there are two distinct sensations that we experience in both scenarios that entice us to take the ‘ride’ time and time again. The physical sensation of the movements of sudden meter change and rhythmic syncopation creates the feeling of ‘rounding’ the corners of a rollercoaster ride, where centripetal force pulls our body in all directions. The mental sensation—like that of a game where chance and gambling are involved—is not dissimilar from taking the stage and performing this piece or any other.”

This concert is free, and the public is invited to attend.

About the artist:

Having performed on four continents and nearly 40 states, Michael Burritt is one of the world's leading percussion soloists. He is in frequent demand performing concert tours and masterclasses throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, Australia and Canada. He has been a soloist with the Dallas Wind Symphony, Omaha Symphony, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Richmond Symphony Orchestra and the Tempus Fugit Percussion Ensemble, based in Pittsburgh, Penn. In addition, he has performed with the Ju Percussion Group in Taiwan, the Percussion Art Quartet in Germany, the Amores Percussion Group in Spain and Peaux in Sweden. Burritt has three solo recordings, including “Perpetual,” “Shadow Chasers” and “Waking Dreams,” as well as numerous collaborative recordings. He has been a featured artist at seven Percussive Arts Society International Conventions. In 1992, he presented his New York solo debut in Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall and in 1998, performed his London debut in the Purcell Room at Queen Elizabeth Hall. Burritt has extensive chamber and orchestral experience and has performed with the Chicago Chamber Musicians, the Chicago Symphony, the Rembrandt Players and the Peninsula Music Festival Orchestra.

He is also active as a composer, with three concertos to his credit, plus numerous solo and chamber works for marimba and percussion, as well as two books of etudes. His works for solo marimba have become standard repertoire for the instrument and are frequently required repertoire on international competitions. Burritt has been commissioned by the World Marimba Competition in Stuttgart, Germany, the Paris International Marimba Competition and the Nexus Percussion Ensemble, to name a few. His works have been published by Keyboard Percussion Publications, Innovative Percussion, C. Alan and Ludwig Music.

Burritt is also an artist/clinician and product design consultant for Malletech, where he has developed his own line of marimba mallets and has just recently designed his signature model marimba with Leigh Stevens. He is also an artist/ educational clinician with the Zildjian Company and Evans Drum Heads. Burritt served as a member of the Percussive Arts Society Board of Directors from 1996 to 2008. He is a contributing editor for Percussive Notes Magazine.

Burritt is a professor of percussion and head of the department at The Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., and only the third person in the history of the school to hold this position. Prior to his appointment at Eastman, Burritt was professor of percussion at Northwestern University from 1995 to 2008, where he developed a program of international distinction. He received his bachelor’s and Master of Music degrees, as well as the prestigious performer’s certificate from Eastman.

For more information about SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music, visit

Founded in 1886, SUNY Potsdam’s Crane School of Music has a long legacy of excellence in music education and performance. Life at Crane includes an incredible array of more than 300 recitals, lectures and concerts presented by faculty, students and guests each year. The Crane School of Music is the State University of New York’s only All-Steinway institution.