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Dr. Burton Karson


Dr. Burton Karson, organist, pianist, harpsichordist and choral conductor

Dr. Karson taught music history and literature, piano, organ and harpsichord at Glendale College and, for 37 years, at California State University, Fullerton, where he is Professor of Music, Emeritus. Karson has also been an organist and choral conductor in several Southern California churches and currently serves as Organist-Choirmaster Emeritus at St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Corona del Mar.

An alumnus of the University of Southern California, Karson served on the Board of Governors of the General Alumni Association and as President of the School of Music Alumni Association. He served on the board and later, as President of Friends of Music, a program that created scholarships and honored distinguished alumni. In addition, he edited Festival Essays for Pauline Alderman, a Festschrift in honor of Professor Alderman (USC’s first music PhD, who chaired Music History & Literature).

Today, Karson is on the Board of Directors of Founders Plus and the Philharmonic Society of Orange County. Additionally, he is an original founder of the Orange County Performing Arts Center and the Corona del Mar Baroque Music Festival, where he served as Artistic Director and Conductor for thirty years.

Dr. Karson also continues to conduct pre-concert lectures in the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall. For decades prior, he has done such lectures which included world-famous orchestras such as: Los Angeles Philharmonic, Carmel Bach Festival, San Diego Symphony, San Diego Opera, Orange County Master Chorale, Opera Pacific, and Long Beach Symphony. He also continues to publicly perform as a pianist, particularly focusing on Romantic Lieder with vocal artists.