Born in Vienna , specialized in piano, song, choral direction and composition. From 1975 to 1979 he was Chorus Director at the Wiener Sängerknaben in Vienna, performing numerous tours all over of the world and many recordings for radio and television. Later on he was appointed Chorus Director at Augsburg’s Opera House.
In 1984 he conducted Convent Garden Chorus in London, where he worked as a Chorus Teacher. Together with this company he performed tours across Athens, Tokyo and Seoul and he has collaborated with conductors like Carlos Kleiber, Bernard Haitink and Sir Georg Solti.
In 1988 he was named Chorus Director of the Bregenz Festival and at that time he formed a new Chorus at Flandes Opera House, where he conducted the Flemish Symphonic Orchestra. From 1990 on he also worked as Chorus Master at the Salzburg Festival, where he collaborated with conductors like Ricardo Muti or Christoph von Dohnányi, among others. In the period comprised between 1991 and 1995 he directed the Vienna’s Staatsoper Chorus with Claudio Abbado as Musical Director.
He has been guest chorus director at the Orchestra of South Africa (Johannesburg), Philarmonia of London, Chorus of the Dutch Radio, WDR in Stuttgart, Flemish Radio, Prague Chamber Chorus and in 1998 he was guest Chorus director at the Gran Teatre del Liceu. From 2002 to 2008 he was Chorus Director of the Paris National Opera where he collaborated with conductors like Valery Gergiev, Peka Salonen, Kent George Nagano and Jesús López Cobos, among others. In 2007 he was guest Chorus director in Tokyo (Tannhaüser) and Matsumoto Festival (Pikovaya Dama), both with Seiji Ozawa. From 2008 to 2010 he was Chorus Director at Madrid’s Teatro Real.
Burian has composed the opera Colombe and several choral works, he has given masterclasses and he was piano accompanist in Flandes, Vienna and Moscow. In 2009 he was awarded the Gold Medal of the Republic of Austria for his merits in the arts as composer and musical director.
From 2010 to July 2014 he was Chorus Director at Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires (Argentina). He is actually Chorus Director at Barcelona’s Opera House- Gran Teatre del Liceu.