Caleb Burhans

Violin, Viola, Voice, Guitar, Composer

I didn’t get started with music until I was nine. My dad used to play with Ray Charles and Kenny Rogers, but neither of my parents listened to classical music. My mother tried giving me flute lessons but I didn’t dig the flute that much. We moved to Wisconsin, where I started playing violin, viola, cello, bass, guitar, saxophone, percussion and piano.

When I was fourteen I quit the piano in order to focus on composing, jazz and my punk band. A few years later I discovered Ravi Shankar, Aphex Twin and Ligeti, which I found to be more punk than punk. I went to Interlochen Arts Academy, where I began working with composers, playing free jazz, and singing countertenor. I also began dating Martha Cluver, to whom I am now married.

After Interlochen I went to Eastman School of Music where I met some of the coolest and most influential people in my life. While at Eastman, I studied composition, violin, and viola focusing on new music, period performance-practice and free improvisation. I also got to work with some great composers like George Crumb, Lou Harrison, John Adams, Steve Reich, Philip Glass, La Monte Young and David Lang. I got to play my brains out with Ossia, the student-run new music ensemble, which is how I began playing with Alarm Will Sound. I also played in the Susie Kelly String Quartet, which was devoted to new music and student premieres.

Currently I’m living in New York City with my wife, where we both sing in the Trinity on Wall Street Choir. I primarily make a living as a freelance musician doing everything from playing with rock bands, orchestras and new music ensembles to singing with a number of church choirs. I’m still composing like mad and most of it is for my duo with Grey McMurray called, “it’s not you, it’s me.”