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KUOW Presents

Dr. Glenna Burmer: Finding The Warrior-Poet Within

Dave Beck

Dr. Glenna Burmer is a physician and scientist who co–founded a medical research company in Seattle. In March of 2011 she was walking on a beach in Japan when she felt the ground shake. She wasn't sure what to make of the tremors since earthquakes are common in Japan. But when Glenna arrived back in her hotel room she heard sirens and frantic shouts of warning to retreat to higher ground. As she watched images of terrible destruction on every television channel she turned to, she realized that an earthquake had generated a tsunami that was destroying large coastal areas of Japan.

Dr.Burmer is the daughter of an American father and Japanese mother. She is focused, disciplined and highly driven. That's one side of her personality. Then there is the birdwatcher and nature lover — the Glenna who loves music, art and creativity. She tells KUOW's Dave Beck the story of how the earthquake and tsunami of March 2011 moved Glenna to create new music for symphony orchestra, "Love Song of the Japanese Cranes." Writing the piece helped Glenna reconcile her Japanese and Americans personas. And she's organized a concert benefiting Japanese musicians in the Sendai Philharmonic Orchestra. These players continued to perform in Japan last year in the wake of radiation danger and the destruction of their concert hall.

Dr. Glenna Burmer speaks with KUOW's Dave Beck.

Related Event

Dr. Glenna Burmer's "Love Song of the Japanese Cranes" is performed at the Symphonic Stories concert, Benaroya Hall, Seattle, Sunday, March 18 at 2:00 p.m.

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