Brian ShankBrian Shank is a composer and percussionist and a graduate of the Juilliard School (2014). He has appeared as a soloist at Bard’s Fisher Center and Troy Music Hall and his work spans a variety of styles to include contemporary-classical music, electronic and electro-acoustic music, and jazz.
June 2021 will see the European premier of a commission from the MAXXI National Gallery for 21st Century art in Rome, Italy and artist Alex Cecchetti; the work for acappella choir will be performed by the Rome Opera choir as part of Cecchetti's larger work “Come la luna si vede avvolte in pieno giorno" involving the music, choreography, and installation.
Shank’s first major orchestra premier came in July 2018 with David Robertson and the New Jersey Symphony. His work Into the Rose Garden selected as a winner of the prestigious Edward T. Cone Composition Institute held at Princeton University.
He has received commissions from The Juilliard Pre-College Percussion Ensemble, CreArt Box, Caroga Lake Music Festival, Tom Gold Dance modern ballet company and others. His work for theatre includes incidental music for A Clockwork Orange directed by Tony award-winning actor Alex Sharp in 2014 in New York.
As a performer, his playing has been called "valiant" by SF Classical Voice and with "tremendous technique - always in the service of expression" by Arts Alive Publications. He received first prize in the Percussive Arts Society’s Snare Drum Competition (Young Artists Division) in New York State in 2010 and performs with the Æon Chamber Ensemble and Andy Clausen’s Split Stream Big Band in New York City. Shank is also the drummer and co-founder of the jazz group Keystone Pipeline.
Brian can be heard on Rick Baitz's 2018 album Into Light (Innova Records) in the percussion quartet Hall of Mirrors (video below) and on the soundtrack for the 2017 film Flora which won best score at FilmQuest.
A native of Saratoga Springs, NY, his earliest musical training was in piano and percussion, studying the latter with John Antonio and Richard Albagli in Albany, New York. At the same time he undertook significant studies of music history with Albagli. At age seventeen he enrolled in the Juilliard Pre-College and was a recipient of a Distinguished Graduate Award. He now holds a degree from The Juilliard School in Percussion Performance (2014) where his primary teachers were Daniel Druckman, Gordon Gottlieb, and Joseph Pereira.
His primary composition teacher for many years has been Philip Lasser, with whom he studied harmony, counterpoint, and orchestration. In 2020 he graduated from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music with a Master of Music degree in composition. He with David Conte and was a Graduate Teaching Assistant lecturing in Music History for undergraduate courses.
His upcoming projects include percussion duo performances with Luke Rinderknecht and a Berlin-based electronic/electro-acoustic music duo 'Invisible Cassettes' with cellist Colin Stokes of the Symphoniacs.
A passionate educator, he was a faculty member at the Luzerne Music Center from 2015-2018 and was a teaching artist with the Bridge Arts Ensemble, an organization that brings music and art to public schools exclusively in the Adirondack, NY region 2015 to 2020.
Brian currently resides in Kinderhook, New York.