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 in 2002 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 has just been appointed Music Director of the McLean Orchestra (VA) and is currently also the Music Director of the Orchestra of the Redeemer in New York City. Recent prior Music Directorships include the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra (2006-12) and the Kenosha Symphony (1996-2011, now Music Director Emerita). 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 has conducted oratorio with prominent Metropolitan Opera soloists such as Ben Heppner, Heidi Grant Murphy, Angela Brown, Mark Delavan, Mark Oswald and others, and is committed to the furthering of musical education of all generations. She is currently on the conducting roster of Broadway Pops International, Inc. through which she recently guest conducted Broadway stars Austin Miller, Leah Hocking and Elvis Impersonator Shawn Klush in two performances with the Memphis Symphony during Elvis Week.
Increasingly in demand as a guest conductor throughout the United States and abroad, Ms. Burns’ international debut occurred with the Bournemouth Symphony, in three concerts throughout the south of England. Her debut in Germany in 2003 involved conducting at the Stadthalle in Wuppertal, the First Ladies Symphony Orchestra of Poland, and in 2006, Ms. Burns conducted performances with the YinQi Symphony Orchestra as well as the Shih-Chien University Orchestra of Taiwan. Highlights of 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, McLean Orchestra, Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic, Woodstock Chamber Orchestra, Billings Youth Orchestra, MasterWorks Festival, Sewanee Summer Music Festival, C.W. Post Summer Music Festival, Skaneateles Festival and the All-State Orchestras of New York, Florida, Tennessee and Ohio.
Ms. Burns has received conducting awards from the Aspen Music Festival, studying with Paul Vermel, and the Conductors Guild, where she was unanimously presented in 1989 with their prestigious biennial prize, the Robinson Scholarship. In addition to her professional affiliations, she completed the Artist Diploma Fellowship in Yale University’s eminent Conductor Apprentice Program 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 of Music (NY), 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.