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Dave Burrell’s ‘Civilians During War Time’ to Premiere in Philadelphia

Pianist will perform new compositions inspired by Civil War research

Dave Burrell

Composer/pianist Dave Burrell will be premiering six new compositions in January at the Rosenbach Museum and Library in Philadelphia as part of his ongoing research into the Civil War. Burrell has been a Musician-in-Residence with the museum/library for several years, and he is currently creating music influenced by the writings of Civil War era civilians.

Performances at the Rosenbach will feature Burrell on piano with accompaniment by Philadelphia-based violinist Odessa Balan.

Burrell dug deep into the Rosenbach’s archive of Civil War materials to find inspiration for these bold new compositions that give voice to the thoughts and feelings of mothers, brothers, civilian spies and runaway slaves all living in the war but rarely seeing the battlefield. The pieces deliver a complementary perspective to Burrell’s 2011 work, Portraits of Civil War Heroes.

Civilians During War Time premieres at the Rosenbach Museum & Library, Jan. 18 (from 2-3:30 p.m.) and 21 (7-8:30 p.m.). The library is located at 2008-2010 Delancey Place, Philadelphia. The event is free with museum admission, but RSVP is required. To RSVP, call (215) 732-1600, ext. 123 or email [email protected]. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for seniors, $5 for students and free for children under 5. For more information visit

To read more about Burrell’s research, see Lee Mergner’s piece on the subject in JazzTimes.

Originally Published