Steven Burnard holds the position of Principal Viola of BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, having held Principal seats in BBC Symphony and BBC National Orchestra of Wales for a total of over 30 years. During this time he has performed most of the solo repertoire for viola with these orchestras, including concerti by Bartok, Walton, Martinu and Michael Berkeley, double concerti by Mozart, Bruch and Berio, and concert pieces such as Harold in Italy, Bax Phantasy, and Britten’s Lachrymae. In 1999 he performed the revised edition world premiere of Berio’s Alternatim for viola, clarinet and orchestra with Paul Meyer. And in 2005 Michael Berkeley wrote his piece Tristessa for Viola, Cor Anglais and Orchestra, for him, Celia Craig and BBCNOW, and was performed and subsequently recorded for Chandos.
He is also in demand as a Guest Principal Viola, having played with many of the UK’s symphony and chamber orchestras, most recently with the Halle Orchestra,Philharmonia, London Philharmonic Orchestra, and London Sinfonietta, and has in the past few years been a regular guest with the Oslo Philharmonic.
Steven is also a keen chamber musician having played as a member of the Duke Quartet and as a guest artist with the Vanbrugh and Bochmann Quartets, and The Young Piano Trio. He also collaborated on a recording of chamber music by Cilia Petridou with Jessica Burroughs on the Divine Arts label in 2012.
Teaching has become an increasingly enjoyable activity for him having been a professor at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, and Manchester University, and has directed orchestral coaching sessions at Royal Northern College of Music and Chethams School of Music, as well as a viola tutor for the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.
Steven plays on a modern copy of a Gaspar da Salo viola by David Rattray of London.