Cole Burger teaches class piano and piano pedagogy in the College of Musical Arts at Bowling Green State University. He also teaches applied piano, chamber music, music theory, and related subjects at Lutheran Summer Music and served for twelve summers on the faculty at Camp Encore/Coda. He was also a guest professor at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, while a member of the Fulbright Specialist Roster, sponsored by the United States Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.
As a solo and collaborative pianist, he has performed throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia, including Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall, Rome’s Teatro di Marcello, the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest, the Goethe Institute in Bangkok, the American Cathedral in Paris, and the United States Ambassador’s Home in Malaysia. The American Record Guide calls his playing “both extraordinarily strong and achingly tender” in his CD, Beyond the Traveler: Piano Music by Composers from Arkansas. He has won prizes at the American Protégé International Piano and Strings Competition, Seattle International Piano Competition, the American Prize in Piano Performance, and the Janice K. Hodges Contemporary Piano Performance Competition. He has also organized and performed in various benefit recitals for non-profit organizations that have raised more than $60,000.
Burger has given lectures, presentations, and master classes at the local, state, national, and international levels, including the National Conference on Keyboard Pedagogy, MTNA Group Piano and Piano Pedagogy Forum, Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities, the Milan Conservatory (Italy), UCSI University in Malaysia, and the Greek chapter of the International Society for Music Education in Thessaloniki. His peer-reviewed journal publications appear in the College Music Society Symposium and American Music Teacher.
Dr. Burger holds degrees in piano performance and economics from Northwestern University and the University of Texas. His primary studies were with Anton Nel, David Renner, and Sylvia Wang, as well as masterclasses with Claude Frank, John Perry, and Douglas Humpherys. He also gratefully acknowledges Marcia Bostis, Sophia Gilmson, and Martha Hilley for their deep influence on his teaching.