MIRIAM BURNS has been on staff with the New York Philharmonic as one of their Cover Conductors from 1999-2007, having been appointed by Kurt Masur as a result of a competitive audition by-invitation-only. In this capacity, she accompanied the orchestra on tour to the Far East as the tour Assistant Conductor to then new Music Director, Lorin Maazel, and for eight years was entrusted as an assistant conductor on call for countless specific, fully prepared programs under many guest conductors of international repute.
Ms. Burns is in her third season as Music Director and Conductor of the McLean Orchestra (VA), continuing as the Music Director of the Orchestra of the Redeemer in New York City since 1995. Recent prior Music Directorships include the Tallahassee Symphony, where she was designated a Paul Harris Fellow for six years of outstanding contribution to the cultural life of Tallahassee, and the Kenosha (WI) Symphony (1996—2012). Additionally, she has been appointed to the role of Principal Conductor and Music Advisor for the popular multimedia orchestral show RePLAY: Symphony of Heroes, based on the symphonic music of videogames. As such, she recently conducted the world premiere with the Sydney Symphony at the Sydney Opera House in Australia, followed by performances with the Houston Symphony, members of the Toronto Symphony at the Sony Centre, and will conduct ensuing performances with other major orchestras across the US and abroad, to include London’s Royal Philharmonic at the Barbican.
This current season, Ms. Burns will debut as guest conductor in two performances with the Magdeburg Philharmonic in Germany and with the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra (NY). Prior international engagements have included conducting the Bournemouth Symphony (ENG); in Germany at the Stadthalle in Wuppertal: the First Ladies Symphony Orchestra of Poland, and the YinQi Symphony Orchestra in Taiwan. Highlights of prior guest conducting within the US include appearances with orchestras such as the Memphis Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Syracuse Symphony, South Carolina Philharmonic, Mansfield Symphony, Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, Woodstock Chamber Orchestra, MasterWorks Festival, Sewanee Music Festival, C.W. Post Music Festival, Skaneateles Festival, the NAfME All-National Honor Symphony Youth Orchestra and the All-State Orchestras of New York, Florida, Tennessee, East Tennessee and Ohio.
Versatile in all genres, she is active on operatic stages as well, having conducted opera at the MasterWorks Festival and having been Associate Music Director of the Bronx Opera Company – conducting opening nights – for nine years. Ms. Burns has performed with two-time Grammy winner Sylvia McNair, and is on the conducting roster of Broadway Pops International, Inc. through which she guest conducted two performances of an Elvis Tribute with the Memphis Symphony. Equally fluent in choral/orchestral repertoire, Ms. Burns has conducted major oratorio with prominent Metropolitan Opera soloists such as Ben Heppner, Heidi Grant Murphy, Angela Brown, Mark Delavan, Mark Oswald and others. Committed to the furthering of musical education of all generations, she recently guest conducted the NAfME All-National Youth Orchestra, is sought-after as an All-State conductor, has guest conducted at CelloSpeak and has twice served as a private coach / specialist on the faculty of Chorus America’s Choral/Orchestral Masterclasses for the orchestral conducting training of choral conductors.
Ms. Burns has received conducting awards from the Aspen Music Festival, studying with Paul Vermel, and the Conductors Guild, where she was unanimously presented with their prestigious biennial prize, the Thelma Robinson Scholarship, while still a student at Mannes College of Music (NY). Ms. Burns also received an Artist Diploma in Yale University’s eminent Conductor Apprentice Program on full scholarship and upon special invitation of Yale faculty. In this capacity, she regularly worked with noted mentor conductors such as Gunther Herbig, Lawrence Leighton Smith and Eleazar de Carvallho. She also participated in master classes under the tutelage of prominent guests such as Kurt Masur, Leopold Hager and Zdenek Macal. Ms. Burns completed her Masters degree and Professional Studies in Orchestral Conducting on full scholarship at the Mannes College, where she studied with Yakov Kreizberg and Michael Charry. Previously active as a violinist, she holds both Bachelors and Masters degrees in violin performance from Mannes, during which time she began preliminary conducting studies with Semyon Bychkov. Ms. Burns is an alumna of both the New York String Orchestra Seminar under Alexander Schneider, and The Quartet Program. An avid chamber musician, Ms. Burns was an original member of what is now the Chester String Quartet.