University of Pittsburgh
January 29, 2004

Pitt Doctoral Student in Music Wins $10,000 Cash Award from The Pittsburgh Foundation


Sharon Blake


Cell: 412-277-6926

PITTSBURGH—Burkhardt Reiter, a Pitt teaching fellow in music theory and composition, has received a $10,000 cash award from The Pittsburgh Foundation, which recognized him for "his outstanding achievement as an artist living and working in the Pittsburgh area."

Reiter, 31, plays trombone with the University of Pittsburgh Chamber Orchestra and has been composing since he was in junior high school.

"I think of myself as a composer before a trombone player," Reiter says, adding that he generally writes for classical instruments. The Regent Square resident says he was surprised when he received the award letter earlier this month, since recipients are nominated by community members who remain anonymous. The award is made possible through a donor who also wishes to remain anonymous.

Reiter received the Bachelor of Music degree in euphonium performance from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., in 1995, and the Master of Music degree in theory and composition from Duquesne University in 1999. He came to Pitt in 2000 and is working toward the Ph.D. degree, while serving as a teaching assistant or teaching fellow. He also is a mentor for other music department teaching assistants during the 2003-04 academic year.

"This is indeed an unprecedented honor for one of our graduate students," says Deane Root, professor and chair of the Department of Music and director of Pitt's Center for American Music. "It recognizes not only individual excellence and the remarkable achievement of Burkhardt's work but also reflects positively on the high quality of the department's graduate students and faculty."

Two other Pittsburgh artists also have received $10,000 awards this year: Heather McElwee, an instructor in glass at the Pittsburgh Glass Center, and Amy Hartman, a playwright and voice-over actor.