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Canadian Brass’s Josef Burgstaller honored by the School of Music

February 20, 2003

Josef Burgstaller, a member of the famed Canadian Brass and alumnus of the School of Music in the Herberger College of Fine Arts at ASU, is being honored by the school with its first Outstanding Alumnus Award.

The award will be presented at a reception following Burgstaller’s 5 p.m. mini-recital and question-and-answer session on (Thursday) March 6 in the Recital Hall in the Music Building. The event is free and open to the public. The Music Building is on the main ASU campus in Tempe at 40 E. Gammage Parkway.

Burgstaller tours worldwide with Canadian Brass, one of the world’s pre-eminent brass chamber groups now in its third decade. The ensemble performs up to 200 concerts annually and is in residence every summer at the Music Academy of the West, the Eastman School of Music and the Stratford Festival. Canadian Brass will perform in Tucson on Feb. 8 at the Convention Center’s Music Hall.

Beginning the cornet at age six, Burgstaller was a soloist with area bands and jazz clubs at age 12. By 15, he had been on national television and became the youngest professional member of the Virginia Opera Orchestra.

Burgstaller did his undergraduate and graduate studies at ASU with renowned soloists and Arizona Regents’ professor David R. Hickman. While at ASU, Burgstaller focused on solo and chamber music, including writing and arranging. While a member of the ASU-based Palo Verde Brassworks, he captured the Grand Prize at the Yamaha International Brass Ensemble Competition, as well as prizes two years running at the Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition. At ASU, Burgstaller also studied or coached with J. Samuel Pilafian, Gail Eugene Wilson, Anthony Plog, Daniel Perantoni and Henry Charles Smith.

He embarked on a solo career that saw him become one of the most requested solo artists at community concerts. His Rafael Mendez Project combined an educational residency and solo concert, was so successful that each of his first three seasons sold out with three weeks. During this time, worked with approximately 7,000 students every year, had solo stings with Summit Brass, Texas Bandmasters Association and the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, and became a Yamaha Performing Artist.

When Burgstaller joined the Canadian Brass in 2001, he was North America’s busiest trumpet soloist, performing more than 50 solo concerts every season. He has performed and taught in 48 states, 19 countries, and hundreds of cities throughout North, South and Central America, Europe and Asia. He has appeared at more than 60 universities, conservatories and colleges. Burgstaller has recorded for a dozen different labels, including his solo CD, The Virtuoso Trumpet and Canadian Brass’s recently released 69th recording, Amazing Brass.

Media Contact:
Mary Brennan