Michael Boriskin, piano

Michael Boriskin sitting on steps with a maroon rug

MICHAEL BORISKIN has become recognized on five continents as one of the most imaginative and versatile American pianists of his generation. Whether the composer is Mozart or Beethoven, Brahms or Ravel, Copland or Gershwin, Perle or Lutoslawski, Mr. Boriskin offers “an adventure for the audience” (The New York Times). Each performance and recording attests to a vivid communicativeness, natural expressivity, and deeply musical virtuosity that have made him one of the most highly-regarded exponents of both old and new works.

Mr. Boriskin has performed throughout the U. S. and in over 30 countries. His extensive international itinerary includes the San Francisco, Seattle, and Utah Symphonies, New York Chamber Symphony, Polish National and Munich Radio Orchestras, American Composers Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic, and UNAM Philharmonic of Mexico City, among many other orchestras. He has performed at many of the world’s foremost concert venues, including Lincoln Center (on its Great Performers Series), the Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, BBC in London, South West German Radio, Theatre des Champs-Elysées in Paris, Vienna’s Arnold Schoenberg Center, Athens Festival of Music and Dance, Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires, Library of Congress, and Istanbul International Festival. He is a familiar figure on National Public Radio and on American Public Media as performer, commentator, and host, and he has been heard on Performance TodayStudio 360Marketplace, and many other programs. His innovative broadcast series CENTURYVIEW, celebrating piano works of the past hundred years, was enjoyed for three seasons by over one-million listeners on 200 NPR stations coast-to-coast. Mr. Boriskin is also a much sought-after guest with chamber ensembles worldwide, and has worked with the Borromeo, St. Petersburg, St. Lawrence, Penderecki, Ludwig, and Lark String Quartets, Dorian and Arioso Wind Quintets, and the New York Philharmonic Ensembles.

A prolific recording artist, Mr. Boriskin’s impressive discography on BMG/Conifer, New World, Koch International, Albany, and many other labels ranges widely from Brahms and Tchaikovsky through the present, and continues to grow in depth and breadth. His recording on SONY Classical of Gershwin’s complete works for piano and orchestra with the Eos Orchestra conducted by Jonathan Sheffer was awarded a coveted Rosette from Britain’s Penguin Guide to Recordings. He recorded five concerti for Newport Classic, including the rarely-heard Tchaikovsky Second and the Prokofiev First. He has four highly-acclaimed discs of postwar American piano works on New World Records, which have often appeared on “Best Recordings” lists of The New York Times and many other publications. On Bridge and Albany, he has recorded both of George Perle’s towering piano concerti (the second of which was written for Mr. Boriskin). Other solo discs have been devoted to Brahms, Poulenc, Joplin (which appeared on Crossover Charts in the U.K.), and Lou Harrison, as well as concerti by Richard Danielpour and Edward Smaldone.

As The Los Angeles Times noted, Mr. Boriskin’s lively programming is “a paragon of enlightenment,” and he actively seeks, through content and presentation, to refresh and broaden the concert experience. His vast repertoire reaches back to the works of Rameau, Scarlatti, Bach, and other Baroque masters, and he has also worked with virtually every major American composer of the past 35 years. Fanfare magazine has hailed him as “a brilliant pianist who has done as much as anyone for contemporary music.”

Long ago, Mr. Boriskin broke the constraints of a traditional performing career, with major institutions enlisting his many talents. As Artistic and Executive Director of Copland House, he has guided the national emergence of this unique creative center for American music based at Aaron Copland’s National Historic Landmark home. He has served over the years as an artistic advisor for programs and projects at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Tisch Center for the Arts at the 92nd Street Y, Columbia University’s Miller Theatre, New Line Cinema, and the fabled Arnold Schoenberg Institute in Los Angeles, and has traveled as an emissary for the U. S. Department of State and the U. S. Information Agency. For the New York Philharmonic, he played a significant role as piano soloist, chamber music collaborator, pre-concert lecturer, moderator, and program consultant at the orchestra’s Completely Copland Festival. As Music Director for three seasons of the White Oak Dance Project, his collaborations with Mikhail Baryshnikov were celebrated throughout the dance and music worlds, and Mr. Boriskin oversaw the musical preparations and production of nearly 250 performances on 10 national and international tours. An accomplished writer, his articles have appeared in American Record GuideSymphonyChamber MusicStagebillBallet ReviewPiano and KeyboardClavierThe Piano Quarterly, and other publications, and he was a contributing author to the Schirmer book on Vladimir Horowitz.

He has had a long and extensive commitment to education, and was been affiliated at various times with the Mannes College of Music, Manhattan School of Music, City University of New York, University of California, Purchase College Conservatory of Music, and many other important institutions. He has also brought music to life in master classes, residencies, workshops, and guest lectures at campuses around the world.

As The New York Observer noted, “Michael Boriskin is an American pianist who grew up in Long Beach, Long Island to become one of the world’s most valuable piano virtuosos.” He was born in New York City to a family long active in music and the visual arts. He attended public schools on Long Island, and pursued his musical studies at The Juilliard School and the City University of New York at Queens College.