Dr. Sasha Burdin

D.M.A – University of Iowa
M.M. – Bowling Green State University

Biography

Sasha Burdin (also known as Alexander Ponomarchuk) is a concert and jazz pianist, composer, bandleader, and a piano teacher. He has prepared and presented concert programs in Russia, Europe, and the US.

He holds Master of Music degrees from Bowling Green State University, Ohio and Maimonides State Classical Academy in Moscow, Russia. He is currently completing his doctorate in piano performance at the University of Iowa under the tutelage of Dr. Uriel Tsachor. Earlier he studied with Naum Shtarkman, Victor Derevianko, Irina Podmetina, Anna Mazarskaya, Elena Petrova, Thomas Rosenkranz.

Sasha Burdin is an experienced piano teacher and music educator. He worked with students of different ages and backgrounds.

Here are some of the students’ reactions after studying with Mr. Burdin:

“Not only lessons are applicable to the piano but other areas of use, both inside and outside the classroom”

“The piano lessons go so in depth! And he has taught me many new things in music”

Sasha was a piano teaching assistant (2010-2012) and jazz studies teaching assistant (2015-2016) at the School of Music of the University of Iowa. He held a piano faculty positions at Iowa Wesleyan College, Mt. Pleasant, IA (2013-2016), and Indian Hills Community College, Ottumwa, IA (2014-2017).

A big part of Burdin’s performing career is dedicated to the legacy of Nikolai Medtner (1880-1951). The aim of this project is to explore and promote music and aesthetic principles of the composer, to bring public awareness and recognition among musicians. A recording project “Rediscovering Medtner: vocal works +” with Rachel Joselson and Scott Conklin is in the progress to be released in Fall 2017 on Albany Records, NY. Another recording project is dedicated to Medtner’s solo piano works.

Jazz is another Sasha’s strong passion. In 2015 -16 he was a principal pianist at Johnson County Landmark jazz band under the direction of Pr. John Rapson and had an opportunity to perform with Carmen Bradford and Melvin Butler. In the summer of 2016, Sasha Burdin has formed The Sasha Burdin Quartet – a jazz group, focusing on Burdin’s original compositions and compositions by jazz legends, such as Sonny Rollins, Herbie Hancock, John Coltrane and others. The Quartet’s project – Jazz@Beyond is launched in in the Spring of 2017. A series of concerts taken place in various concert venues of Iowa.

Teaching Philosophy

I firmly believe, that regular piano studies help with a balanced and harmonious development of a human being. It stimulates imagination, analytical skills, logical thinking, concentration, physical awareness and coordination, emotional intelligence and many other aspects.

My main goal – to encourage students’ creativity by working on the core musical skills.

In my method I propose learning through playing, hearing oneself, practical use of the elements of music language, legato and cantilena in the piano performance, principle of “singing on the piano”, attention to the emotional and dramatic content of each piece, sensitivity to a musical phrase, ability to see a big picture, careful preparation and execution of all the the details of a musical piece, physical comfort, economy of the movement, healthy practice habits. In my lessons, students also exercise in improvisation, transcription, in-depth listening, and comprehensive self-review sessions.

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