Berk Schneider, trombone, is a performer and educator living in the Houston area. Berk Schneider earned his M.M. from Rice University's Shepherd School of Music and a B.M. from Oberlin Conservatory where he studied with James DeSano. As a professional he has developed his goal to serve as an advocate for the arts through creative performances that resonate with a 21st century audience, interactive community outreach, and education that reflects both the time-honoured traditions of western classical music and the realities facing today’s young musicians. His musical experiences have taken him across the globe, from Saint Peters Basilica, Vatican City with the Youth Orchestra of the Americas performing a Mozart Mass under the direction of Helmuth Rilling, to Carnegie Hall with Maestro Valery Gergiev and Ravel's Bolero. Berk Schneider has toured the Western Hemisphere extensively, teaching and performing in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Uruguay with the Youth Orchestra of the Americas directed by Carlos Miguel Prieto. In the United States, Berk Schneider has performed with the Akron and Youngstown Symphony Orchestras in Ohio and the Aspen Festival Orchestra, directed by David Zinman and Robert Spano. He has also played bass trombone for Carl Topilow and the Firelands Symphony Orchestra during its 2009-2010 season. In the spring of 2010 he was selected as a finalist in the International Trombone Association Marsteller Competition. As an avid contemporary musician, Berk Schneider has commissioned and performed many new creative works. Collaborations include ›Catch‹ by Kevin Dee and ›Pink to Blue‹ by Ryan Lester (2010–2012). A grant awarded to him by the Hilda and Hershel Rich Family Endowment for Student Community Service funded the premiere of ›Procession‹, a trombone concerto by Seung-ah Oh, recipient of the Buma Toonzetters Prize. In addition he has composed and performed his own music in collaboration with Houston based Da Camera of Houston, Two Star Symphony, and the Shepherd School Composers Outside the Lines: An Un-Concert. Berk Schneider s an avid educator and supporter of creative teaching methods, maintaining a large studio of private low brass students in Houston. Many of his students have gone on to pursue music professionally. Berk Schneider plans on returning to Ecuador this summer to teach with the Sociedad Fondo Jovenes Talentos in Guayaquil and perform the Tomasi Trombone Concerto.
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