About Burmer Music

Music, art and story combined

If there is one unifying element in a Glenna Burmer project, it’s storytelling. Whether producing a symphonic concert or creating an animated short film, Burmer uses the language of music to connect with audiences, captivate the listener and create an original and compelling story.

For a decade, Burmer Music has presented emerging composers and their music. Concert ticket sales are often earmarked to support education or humanitarian causes. Partnering with scientists, university lecturers and others, Burmer creates educational programming that extends the music into the community, reaching a new generation of listeners.

Our history and philosophy

Burmer’s first concert, Symphonic Stories, grew from an unlikely beginning. In March 2011, Glenna was in Japan with her son when the devastating earthquake and tsunami struck. As a musician, she turned to music to express her feeling, and the symphonic piece, “Love Song of the Japanese Cranes,” resulted.

“An unexpected new presence in Seattle culture”
says the Seattle Times

Burmer then invited other composers to create short works in a musical genre of their choosing. The only caveat: The music had to tell a story. Each composer rose to the challenge, combining dynamic personal styles with highly imaginative narratives. The world-premiere concert at Benaroya Hall was critically acclaimed, and proceeds benefited the musicians of Sendai, Japan, who had lost everything in the disaster.

Commissioning original music written specifically for an event became the model for all subsequent Burmer Music productions. From the initial idea to the final performance, each concert represents one to two years of preparation by composers, soloists, dancers and musicians, culminating in critically acclaimed world-premiere performances.

Her work has featured combinations of world instruments such as kotos with orchestra (“Love Song of the Japanese Cranes” from Symphonic Stories), Flamenco dancers and guitarists accompanied by chamber orchestra (“Spanish Dances” from Celebrate World Music), an original ballet realizing the visual richness and horror of Dante’s Inferno, and an audiovisual concert that showcased 13.2 billion years of the universe compressed into 10 minutes and synchronized in real time with actual footage from NASA (“Big Bang” from Origins: Life and the Universe).

About Glenna Burmer

Glenna Burmer, composer

As president of Burmer Music LLC, Glenna Burmer has produced six contemporary classical music CDs or music compilations, including three concerts at Benaroya Hall in Seattle and a ballet at the Meydenbauer Center in Bellevue, Wash. Acclaimed by audience and critics alike, her productions have won awards including the 2014 Independent Music Vox Populi Award for tboth the best contemporary classical album and best instrumental (Celebrate World Music!).

Most recently, Burmer has turned to combining original music with animation to create short films. Her first is Nana korobi, released in 2021. Within months of its soft release, Nana korobi won top awards in both national and international film festivals.

With both an M.D. and Ph.D., she had an extensive career as a molecular pathologist and was a founder of LifeSpan BioSciences, Inc., a Seattle healthcare company that is a world leader in the antibody industry. In 2018, LifeSpace Biosciences was acquired by Thompson Street Capital Partners. In 2021, Burmer retired to devote her time to music, film and art.

Burmer Music LLC is powered by Shunpike. Shunpike is the 501(c)(3) non-profit agency that provides independent arts groups in Washington State with the services, resources, and opportunities they need to forge their own paths to sustainable success.