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His ‘Sonatina’ for flute & piano is his best-known work - it’s an arrangement
of a piano piece written as an exercise on a Juilliard School composition
course. His flute concerto, written later, was never published and he seems to
have given up composing, so the sonatina is just about his only work still in
the repertoire nowadays.
Burton was a pianist who had ambitions as a composer, and took the first steps
by enrolling on a composition course at the Juilliard School in New York. The
flute sonatina (which was a re-arranged version of a piano piece) later won the
Composition Contest of the New York Flute CLub in 1948. Burton gave the first
performance with the flautist Samuel Baron, and as the contest’s first prize
was an offer of publication by Schirmer, the work survived in the repertory.
Burton later took a job with Schirmer and se
ems not have have composed very much more. He retired to Florida and died in