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patrick burke

Patrick Burke

Assistant Professor, Composition
Mary Pappert School of Music

School of Music 222
Phone: 412.396.6077


D.M.A., Composition, Yale University School of Music, 2009
M.M.A., Composition, Yale University School of Music, 2004
M.M., Composition, University of Texas at Austin, 2004
B.M., Music Technology/Composition, Duquesne University, 1996

Dr. Patrick Burke works as a composer and educator in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, with frequent performances in the Mid-Atlantic region, New York, and throughout North America. Patrick's direction as a composer may be likened to that of the writer David Foster Wallace and others of the "New Sincerity": out of the cultural background of postmodern pastiche and irony, his music has moved toward an earnest, ecstatic expression of the fullness of human experience, embracing popular, folk, and classical traditions. Patrick's current focus is on intercultural collaboration, which will be on full display in the upcoming recording of Rounder Songs, co-composed with his wife, Dr. Emily Pinkerton, and performed by Emily and NOW Ensemble.

Patrick was commissioned in 2014 to compose Flourish for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, which the PSO has performed several times. He has also been commissioned by the Albany Symphony, the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble, Michael Mizrahi, IonSound Project, Alia Musica, Trillium Ensemble, Citywater Ensemble, and others. In 2004, Patrick and his colleagues at the Yale School of Music and the Julliard School cofounded NOW Ensemble, dedicated to realizing the post-genre music of his generation. Patrick contributed the title track to their second album, Awake, reaching the #2 position on Amazon's classical album charts, and #1 on iTunes. He has several pieces on albums released by New Amsterdam Records, called "the focal point of the post-classical scene" by Time Out New York. Patrick's music continues to be performed throughout North America, and has been performed in Europe and Oceania.

His recent music has been called "indie-classical at its finest" (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette), and "glittering fun...at once very sophisticated and instantly accessible" (Third Coast Digest). Patrick currently serves as Assistant Professor of Musicianship and Music Technology at Duquesne University, and brings his experience as a composer and entrepreneur into the classroom.