An emerging tuba player, Sean Burke grew up in the city of the Redlands in South-East Queensland. Growing up in a family of folk musicians, Sean always enjoyed the quirky nature of music, and at nine years old, decided the quirkiest way he could be a musician was to be a professional trombonist. When tragedy struck at age thirteen in the form of a broken right collarbone (which rendered him unable to operate a trombone slide), and a little nudge from his high school music teacher, Sean fell in love with the world of valved low brass.
Since his accidental introduction to the euphonium and soon after, the tuba, Sean has enjoyed performing with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, West Australian Symphony Orchestra, Australian Youth Orchestra and the Queensland Wind Orchestra. He also loves playing chamber music in many different ensemble settings, progressing to the finals of the 4MBS/Sid Page Chamber Music Prize in 2016 and performing with Bank Street Brass, who travelled to New Zealand to work with renowned brass group Septura, and were the winners of the 2019 ANAM Chamber Music Competition.
As a soloist, Sean has premiered works for tuba and is always looking for new music to perform. In 2018, Sean was named the winner of the University of Queensland Wind and Brass Prize. A now semi-retired conductor, Sean also enjoys the title of Conductor Laureate of the Australian Anime Orchestra, an ensemble he co-founded, and has waved the baton for a number of youth ensembles across Brisbane.
Sean hopes to pursue a career as a tuba player and expand audience experience with the various musical capabilities of his instrument. When he isn't playing the tuba, Sean enjoys film photography, patting his dog Trixie, and watching highlights of Nathan Lyon’s first delivery in test cricket as well as Mitchell Johnson’s potent ‘13/’14 Ashes series.
Sean is currently training at the Australian National Academy of Music (ANAM) with Steve Rossé and Karina Filipi.
READ Sean's thoughts on why music education matters in this CutCommon interview.
Photo by Pia Johnson