Burt Mason currently serves as Principal Trombone of the Chamber Orchestra of New York. He performs frequently with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and New York Philharmonic, and has been featured as a guest artist of the New York Philharmonic Brass, the Metropolitan Opera Brass and Utah Symphony. Mr. Mason is on faculty at the Juilliard School serving as Trombone and Low Brass instructor for the Music Advancement Program.
He was formerly solo trombone for the Miami Music Project as well as Principal Trombone and soloist of the New York Staff Band of The Salvation Army. He has also appeared as soloist with numerous ensembles, performing throughout North America, the United Kingdom, Europe and Australia. Mr. Mason has performed under the baton of notable conductors such as James Levine, Alan Gilbert, Mstislav Rostropovich, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Skitch Henderson, Gustavo Dudamel, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin amongst others in world-renowned venues such as Royal Albert Hall, Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center and the Apollo Theater.
Mr. Mason began playing trombone at age 12 but did not receive any formal lessons until he entered college at the Crane School of Music (SUNY Potsdam). Despite this lack of formal training in his early stages, his natural skills as a trombonist placed him as a finalist in the first annual New York Philharmonic Young Performers Audition, selection for the esteemed NAfME/MENC All-Eastern Band, the NYSSMA All-State Band and Orchestra, as well as winning several local music contests during high school. While in college at the Crane School of Music, Mr. Mason won the school’s most prestigious performing contest, the annual Crane Concerto Competition, as a freshman.
As an advocate for diversity in the arts, Mr. Mason is founder and director of Ovation Concerts, an organization dedicated to balanced diversity in orchestral music. He appeared as a guest on WQXR’s “Conducting Business” with Naomi Lewin to discuss the history and future of classical music and diversity in symphony orchestras. In addition, he performs regularly with organizations and events that promote artistic diversity in classical music, including the Sphinx Competition and Symphony and the Gateways Music Festival.
As a recording artist, Mr. Mason has been featured as a soloist on a variety of recordings with the New York Staff Band on the Triumphonic label. He has also completed several recordings with the Chamber Orchestra of New York on the Naxos label.
Mr. Mason holds an MM in Orchestral Performance from the Manhattan School of Music studying with David Finlayson of the New York Philharmonic. He has had additional studies with Joseph Alessi of the New York Philharmonic, Weston Sprott of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and obtained his BA in Music as a student of Mark Hartman at the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. He also holds an MBA in Arts Administration from SUNY Binghamton University. Mr. Mason is a Yamaha Performing Artist and Clinician.