Cole Burger is a pianist, teacher, scholar, and pupil.
As a pianist, he has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia, including Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, Rome’s Teatro di Marcello, the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest, the Goethe Institute in Bangkok, the American Cathedral in Paris, and the United States Ambassador’s Home in Malaysia. He taught applied piano as a guest professor at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, while a member of the Fulbright Specialist Roster, sponsored by the United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. He has won prizes at the American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition, Seattle International Piano Competition, the American Prize in Piano Performance, and the Janice K. Hodges Contemporary Piano Performance Competition. He has also organized and performed in various benefit recitals for non-profit organizations that have raised more than $60,000. The American Record Guide called his playing “both extraordinarily strong and achingly tender” in his solo CD Beyond the Traveler: Piano Music by Composers from Arkansas, available here and here.
As a teacher, Burger instructs class piano and piano pedagogy at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. He also teaches at Lutheran Summer Music and served for twelve summers on the faculty at Camp Encore/Coda. He has presented masterclasses to students of all ages at numerous institutions worldwide, including the University of Arkansas, the University of Alabama, the Piano Institute in Indonesia, Ionian University in Greece, and UCSI University in Malaysia.
As a scholar, Burger's writings on Olivier Messiaen’s Vingt Regards sur l’enfant-Jésus, elementary and early intermediate piano music by women, and the transformative impact of summer music camps appear in peer-reviewed publications of the College Music Society, The Piano Magazine: Clavier Companion, and American Music Teacher, respectively. He has also given pedagogical presentations on wide range of topics at the local, state, national, and international levels, including the MTNA Group Piano and Piano Pedagogy Forum, National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities, the Milan Conservatory (Italy), and the Greek chapter of the International Society for Music Education in Thessaloniki.
As a student, Dr. Burger holds degrees in piano performance and economics from Northwestern University and the University of Texas. He is grateful to the many piano instructors with whom he has studied, including his parents, Tanya Ellezian, Jane Chu-Harrington, Sylvia Wang, David Renner, and Anton Nel. He participated in masterclasses with Claude Frank, John Perry, and Douglas Humpherys. He also thanks Marcia Bostis, Sophia Gilmson, and Martha Hilley for their deep influence on his teaching.