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.

Burt has been very active both domestically and internationally as a performing artist. He graduated from the Crane School of music and immediately dived into studies at Binghamton University, completing his Masters in Business Administration with a concentration in Arts Administration two years later. Musically, this was a challenging time for him as the rigorous MBA course work prevented him from touching his trombone for nearly two years.  During this time he fine-tuned his business skills and undertook an internship with Mid-America Productions, Carnegie Hall’s largest independent concert producer.

After Binghamton University, Burt worked very briefly in the NYC public school system as a Junior High School band director and then a Project Scheduler for Level (3) Communications.During this time, he began to rebuild his skills on the trombone.  He performed with several brass bands and was able to find a balance with business and music when he won the position of Principal Trombone and soloist of the world renowned New York Staff Band. Soon after he landed a position as Director of The Salvation Army’s Centennial Hall (a 1400-seat theater/concert hall).

With the New York Staff Band,Burt toured extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Great Britain, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. Throughout his performing career, he has been fortunate to perform with “top-notch” ensembles, traveling to Europe and Australia to play on some of the world’s greatest stages including Royal Albert Hall and frequently in Carnegie Hall.

He has also had the opportunity to work with several of the world’s leading conductors such as Eso-pekka Salonen  and Mstislav Rostropovich. This inspired him to further his studies and complete his Master of Music in Orchestral Performance on scholarship at the Manhattan School of Music under the direction of the New York Philharmonic’s David Finlayson. During this time he won the position of Principal Trombone of the Chamber Orchestra of New York in 2007.

One of the most inspirational and momentous occasions for Burt, was a collaboration with the New York Staff Band and the New York Philharmonic for the New York Premier of Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of the Mnenske District under the baton of Maestro Rostropovich.  “Having a chance to personally witness the level of passion, pride and devotion Maestro Rostropovich had for this work, was something I had never witnessed to this point”.

In 2009, he won the position of Principal Trombone and Soloist with the Miami Music Project, a position he held for two seasons. His time with the Miami Music Project is something he treasures as “one of the most fulfilling experiences” of his performing career. He has gone on to perform several times with the New York Philharmonic, and as a guest artist the New York Philharmonic Brass and the Metropolitan Opera Brass.

As an advocate for diversity in the arts, Burt was invited to appear as a guest on WQXR’s Conducting Business with Naomi Lewin to discuss the history and future of classical music and American orchestras. In addition, he performs regularly with organizations and events that promote artistic diversity in classical music, including the Sphinx Competition and Symphony, Gateways Music Festival. He is currently collaborating on Ovation Concerts (www.ovationconcerts.org), a new initiative to promote diversity in the arts in educational institutions, through its Untold Legacies of Black Composers series and Prestige Performances, performance opportunities for emerging artist in its NYC concert series.