On the invitation of a consortium of Cuban citizens representing social, cultural, and religious communities, the acclaimed Borowsky musical family toured Cuba in January 2016 to foster social, cultural, and religious relations between the people of Cuba and the USA.
This was the family’s third visit since 2010. Concerts and meetings under the motto, "Music: The Best Bridge for All People," were held in Havana and Cienfuegos Province. Concerts were well-attended and enthusiastically received. The Borowskys also conducted master classes and performed jointly with a community orchestra. A special composition by the American Virtuosi, “Hola Amigos, Hello My Friends,” dedicated to the people of Cuba and performed at each concert, became an instant hit.
Their visit also resulted in plans for jointly renovating the music center in Cumanayagua, Cienfuegos Province, as well as an intended revisit of the directors to the USA. Dr. Borowsky was also interviewed by the Cuban Radio and press about the American Virtuosi and the function of music in the age of globalization and in international relations.
This type of visit may become a model for future social and cultural relations between the USA and Cuba. As Dr. Charles H.Borowsky summarized this innovating experience, "Indeed, music is the best bridge for all people, as our performances in over 90 countries, including Germany, the Baltic States, China, and Cuba have demonstrated. I strongly believe that our contributions to foster peaceful, friendly, and mutual beneficial relations between the people of the USA and Cuba also matter."
Hernandez Utrilla Yasleidy wrote in the City of Cumanayagua Weekly Report:
"The world knows them. The people embrace them. The Borowsky Family/American Virtuosi are more than universal. These five members carry in their blood an abundance of love for the arts and people. Their music unites hearts, opens doors, and makes the sun shine for everyone…. I've seen them and still feel the rhythm and melody of their music. That's great music. That's the music of their souls which inspires, uplifts, and motivates for a happy and productive life."
During their visit and joint concerts, the American and Cuban flags were displayed side-by-side, and the town bands performed the American national anthem.
Responses from the Cuban people:
PRIME: The long-awaited album of original compositions for violin, cello, and piano by the American Virtuosi is finally here! This CD includes Postcards from Dilsberg, Music from Around the World, HARDY, In Memoriam, These Three Remain, and Northern Lights. Their compositions have been praised by audiences around the world for their fresh harmonies and powerful messages.
JEWISH JOYS AND SORROWS: Music of Jewish and Yiddish origin for voice, harmonica, violin, cello, and piano!
CDs and MP3 downloads (iTunes, Amazon.com, etc) of both recordings will be available June 2014 - details will be announced here.
The internationally-acclaimed musical Borowsky Family, known also as “The American Virtuosi” (www.TheAmericanVirtuosi.com) toured the Baltic States – Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania – in May and June 2013. The tour theme was “Music, The Best Bridge for All People” with 24 concerts in major performance venues, universities, churches, synagogues, and community centers. They were also received and honored by public officials, including mayors, ministers of culture, rabbis, archbishops, and representatives of cultural and social organizations.
Their composition, In Memoriam was premiered at Pažaislis Muzikos Festivalis in Kaunas, Lithuania (the foremost Lithuanian summer music festival) and repeated in several other Lithuanian cities. Audiences and critics praised The American Virtuosi for their powerful presentation in honor of the victims of the Soviet and Nazi oppressions in the Baltic States. The emotionally-stirring performance brought the audience from tears to spontaneous standing ovation, also holding hands in tribute to the famed Singing Revolution.
The President of the Lithuanian Jewish Community, Simonas Gurevičius, expressed his gratitude for the concert in Vilnius: “Indeed, music is the best bridge for all people. It was an absolute privilege and honor for me to meet all of you and listen to your wonderful performance. You – The American Virtuosi – have made a tremendous contribution to inspire people to overcome prejudice against each other.”
The tour was organized under the auspices of Intermuse Performing Artists Bureau and the International Friends of Music Association, together with the U.S. Embassy of Estonia, the Joint Baltic American National Committee, and respective universities, cities, churches, and synagogues.
The internationally acclaimed Borowsky Musical Family visited and performed in Cuba as part of a Central American tour entitled “Music: the Best Bridge for All People.”
The family ensemble spent most of their time in Cuba in and around Havana. Their concert itinerary was aimed at helping improve relations between the U.S. and Cuba. Performances were held in churches, schools, and community centers, including the Catedral de San Cristobal, Convent and Church of Our Lady of Belen (for for over 1000 senior citizens), and Instituto Superior de Arte. People of all walks of life filled the halls to maximum capacity and rewarded the American Virtuosi with standing ovations and long-lasting applause.
Pablo, a 20-year-old student from the ISA concluded, "Indeed, music is the best bridge for all people...what a masterful performance.” Clara, the owner of a small private restaurant added, “I hope that they will return soon!”
The Borowskys performed music by European, American, and Cuban composers as well as their own compositions. When performing their own medley, "Music from Around the World” the audience joined them, singing and clapping enthusiastically. Emmanuel Borowsky performed the first movement of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto leaving the audience dumbfounded by the musical fireworks.
At each performance Dr. Charles Borowsky proclaimed: "We hope and pray that our performances for the people of Cuba have been not only an aesthetic experience but also an inspiration that all of us share one world, one dream and one family.”
In addition to concert performances, each member of the Borowsky ensemble gave a masterclass for their respective instrument. Their serious dedication to music was apparent by the high level of play each student presented.
Recent years have seen an increase in cultural exchanges between the United States and Cuba, partially due to the Obama administration's encouragement of "people-to-people" contact between the two countries.
Annapolis, Maryland - (December 6, 2011) - Classical pianist, Brian Ganz and the musical Borowsky family are presenting a concert "Music for an Autumn Evening: Chamber Music with Brian Ganz, the Borowsky Family, and Friends." The Saturday, December 17th concert, featuring compositions of Johannes Brahms and Erno Dohnanyi, begins at 7:30 pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis, 333 Dubois Road. Tickets are $15 (available at the door) and the proceeds will benefit the programs and ministry of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Annapolis. Call 410-266-8044 for more information.
“The two major works we will perform are the luscious Trio in B Major, Op. 8 by Johannes Brahms, for piano, violin and cello, and the majestic Piano Quintet in C minor, Op. 1 by Erno Dohnanyi, for piano and string quartet.” said Ganz. "I will also perform three movements of Ma mere l'oye - a work I truly adore."
The Brahms composition will be performed by Blanka Bednarz, violin Cecylia Barczyk, cello and Brian Ganz, piano. The music of Dohnanyi will be played by Blanka Bednarz, violin I, Emmanuel Borowsky, violin II, Sharon Eng, viola, Frances Grace Borowsky, cello and Brian Ganz, piano. The Ravel will be performed with pianist Elizabeth Borowsky.
Ganz continued, “I have worked with the Borowsky family for years at the International Music Institute and Festival (IMIF) at Mt. St. Mary's University. Charles Borowsky created and runs the festival with his daughter, the marvelous pianist Elizabeth Borowsky. Charles' wife Cecylia Barczyk and their three children are all superb performers. This is an extraordinary family of gifted musicians and lovely people, deeply committed to educating youth in creative and passionate ways. The other concert musicians are faculty from IMIF as well.”
Annapolis based Brian Ganz is widely regarded as one of the leading pianists of his generation. He began his quest to perform all of Frédéric Chopin’s works in January 2010 at the Music Center at Strathmore. The soldout recital marked the start of Ganz’s ambitious endeavor to perform the approximately 250 works of Chopin over the next decade. The next concert in the series will take place at Strathmore on February 11.
Since his January 2011 Chopin recital, Ganz has performed the Grieg piano concerto with the National Philharmonic under the direction of Music Director and Conductor Piotr Gajewski and Beethoven’s first concerto with the National Symphony of Costa Rica under the baton of Mykola Diadiura. He has toured northern California with the Palomarin Chamber Music Foundation and played in Italy with the Alba Music Festival. In January, he will make his first appearances in South America as he takes part in the Cartagena Music Festival in Colombia.
Ganz has shared First Grand Prize in the Marguerite Long Jacques Thibaud International Piano Competition in Paris and won a silver medal (third prize) in the Queen Elisabeth of Belgium International Piano Competition. He has performed as a soloist with such orchestras as the St. Louis Symphony, the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, the City of London Sinfonia and Paris’s L’Orchestre Lamoureux and under the direction of conductors such as Leonard Slatkin and Mstislav Rostropovich. He is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Leon Fleisher. Ganz is a member of the piano faculty of Peabody and St. Mary’s College of Maryland.
Violinist Emmanuel Borowsky, 25, has been lauded as an engaging and communicative performer. He has performed recitals and concerts throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East and has frequently been featured on television and radio programs. His recordings for ICRecords have been enthusiastically received by the public as well as music critics. At the age of seventeen he received the Erick Friedman Prize for Outstanding Young Musicians and performed his New York Debut at Carnegie Hall. Emmanuel has frequently performed together with his sisters Elizabeth (piano) and Frances (cello). Together they are called The Young American Virtuosi.
Frances Grace Borowsky is a young, gifted cellist. She drew the attention of great cello masters as a highly gifted and expressive young musician at the age of seven. She has performed throughout the USA as well as around the world. Frances has performed as a soloist with orchestras including the Tianjin Symphony Orchestra, Young German Symphony Orchestra, and Towson University Orchestra with conductors such as Klaus Arp, Brenda Leach, and Juan-zi Yi.
Cecylia Barczyk, cellist, has achieved international recognition as a complete artist, successful teacher, and humanitarian. She is also the mother of Emmanuel, Frances Grace and Elizabeth Borowsky. She has given concerts, recitals, and master classes throughout Europe, Asia, North and South America and has appeared as a soloist with prominent orchestras including those of Amman, Baltimore, Beijing, Berlin, Boston, Berlin, Bucharest, Budapest, Jakarta, Leipzig, London, Moscow, New York, Prague, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Seoul, Shanghai, Sofia, St. Petersburg, Taiwan, Tel Aviv, Tianjin, Tokyo, and Warsaw. She has frequently performed on radio and television and has recorded much of the standard and new cello literature – as well as works composed especially for her – on the Muza, ICRecords, Melodya, and CRS labels.
Dr. Sharon Eng, viola, is a seasoned international strings educator, clinician, chamber recitalist and conductor. She has performed world premieres of solo viola works and has appeared as guest soloist, chamber musician and master class clinician in 11 countries on six continents. She completed her Bachelor and Master degrees in viola performance at the Juilliard School. She has performed with the New York City Opera, Kennedy Center Orchestra and Washington 20th Century Consort. She has performed solo viola and with orchestras at the Athens Opera House; New York Lincoln Center; and Washington D.C.’s National Cathedral.
Blanka Bednarz, violin, enjoys a versatile career as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, concertmaster and teacher. She has concertized in the USA, United Kingdom, Poland, Germany, Sweden, Finland, the Netherlands and Lithuania. She has performed at the Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York. As a soloist Bednarz has appeared with the Connecticut Virtuosi, the Georgia Southern Symphony, the Great Poland Symphony, Sinfonietta Polonia, the Gettysburg Chamber Orchestra and the New England Conservatory Honors Symphony and Chamber Orchestra.
The American Tribute to Chopin Consortium is pleased to announce special events in honor of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frederic Chopin (1810-1849). Planned events will focus on the importance of classical music in individual and social life and highlight Frederic Chopin's contributions to music and civilization. Conferences, workshops, concerts, recitals, and master classes will take place throughout 2010.
The Tribute is organized by a consortium of private and public cultural and social organizations and coordinated by Intermuse Performing Artists Bureau. The Board of Directors consists of representatives of important cultural, social, educational, and economic organizations and prominent individuals. Events will take place in Washington D.C. (Embassies of France and Poland), New York (Kosciuszko Foundation), Baltimore (Towson University), Bloomington (Indiana University), Philadelphia (German Society of Pennsylvania) and in many other venues around the USA. The central events – organized under the auspices of Senator Barbara Mikulski, the ambassadors of France and Poland to the USA, and other public officials – are scheduled for Spring and Fall 2010.
Internationally acclaimed artists and scholars, including Edward Auer, Cecylia Barczyk,Charles Borowsky, Brian Ganz, Teresa Kubiak, Reynaldo Reyes, Gerald Phillips, The American Virtuosi/Borowsky Family, and The Chopin Orchestra will be among principals in major events.
For more information, please visit www.americantributetochopin.org or call 410-426-6062.