Born in Kinderhook, NY, Brian Shank trained as a pianist from an early age, and later studied percussion and music history with John Antonio and Richard Albagli. He entered the Juilliard Pre-College at age 17 and graduated in 2010 with a Distinguished Graduate Award. That same year, he entered the Juilliard School under professors Daniel Druckman, Gordon Gottlieb, and Joseph Pereira. He received a Bachelor of Music in Percussion in 2014 and, while at Juilliard, began composing independently.
In 2012, Shank co-founded the jazz group the Joe Mohan Trio, playing drum set and composing for the ensemble; they will be releasing a studio recording later this year. He is also the vibraphonist in Andy Clausen’s Split Stream Big Band and percussionist with the Æon Chamber Ensemble.
While traditional concert performances make up much of Shank’s performing schedule, the creation and performance of new instrumental, electro-acoustic, theater, and multi-media works is central to his work. Recently, he was made an original member of Juilliard’s InterArts program which provides a platform for the development of new multi-media works by alumni. His piece with actor Marcus Guy, and video artist Sarah Outhwaite, “MAINTENANCE INSPECTION: Man Working,” an exploration of 21st Century narcissism, received it’s premier in March 2015 and is being expanded to create a half-evening length work. In March 2014 Shank, Guy, and director Alex Sharp produced a new stage production of A Clockwork Orange at the Stephanie McClelland Theatre in New York; he composed and performed a new score for the work with musician Jordan James. On May 1, he presented new music with Outhwaite at a gallery showing for the work of photographer Kathryn Parker Almanas. Much of 2015 is being spent recording Shank’s original works.
As a teacher he is also on faculty at the Brandeis School and is a teaching artist with the Learning Arts, a branch of Associated Solo Artists. Shank studies poetry with the poet Ron Price.