Borislav Strulev, cello
Russian-American cellist Borislav Strulev quickly gained a reputation as a musician of exceptional temperament, charismatic personality and virtuoso technique. The great American pianist Byron Janis said of Borislav Strulev: “He plays as if he were to the cello born. His sound, phrasing, coloring and technique already place him in position to follow the Russian tradition of cello playing. Watch this young man, and more importantly, listen to him.”
Since his U.S. debut at the Kennedy Center in 1993 Borislav Strulev’s career began to develop rapidly. Audiences on some of the world’s most prestigious stages have been fascinated by a “soloist … with a rich, singing tone” (The New York Times, the music critic wrote). Cello by French master Jean Baptiste Vuillaume, Paris, 1844 c. sounded in Сarnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall and David Geffen Hall, Merkin Hall — Lincoln Center (New York), Kennedy Center (Washington), Orchestra Hall (Chicago), Kravis Center and Van Wezel Hall (Florida), Auditorio de Madrid and Auditorio de Leon (Spain), Auditorio de Torino (Italy), Musikverein Wien Golden Hall (Vienna), Suntory Hall (Tokyo), Berliner Philharmonie (Berlin), Salle Gaveau (Paris), Tchaikovsky Concert Hall (Moscow), Big and Small Hall of The Moscow Conservatory, the Moscow International House of Music, Big Hall of St-Petersburg Academic Philharmonic named after D.D.Shostakovich, Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall (St-Petersburg).
The young cellist is popular in every corner of the globe. Borislav collaborates with orchestras such as: Detroit Symphony Orchestra, California Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Sinfonietta, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, The Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, RAI-Radiotelevisione Italiana, Sinfonieorchester Köln, Vienna Tonkünstler of the Music Society of Vienne, Antalya State Symphony Orchestra, Helsingborgs Symfoniorkeste, NorrlandsOperan Symphony Orchestra, Orquesta del Principado de Asturias, Symphony Orchestra of India, Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra, Moscow Philharmonic, Moscow Virtuosi, Moscow State Radio Symphony Orchestra, Mariinsky Theatre Symphony Orchestra, State Academic Symphony Orchestra of Russia named after. E.F. Svetlanov, Tatarstan National Symphony Orchestra, symphony orchestras of most South American capitals as well as of South Africa and more. Most notably Borislav collaborates with following conductors: Adrian Leaper, Neeme and Kristjan Järvi, Michael Stern, Miguel Harth-Bedoya, Jose Luis Gomez, George Pehlevanyan, Marco Parisotto, Rossen Milanov, Zdenek Macal, Sergiu Comissiona, Irwin Hoffman, Andres Mustonen, Antoni Wit, Paul Freeman, Arjan Tien, Tan Lihua, Arkady Leytush, Adrian Prabava, Sebastian Weigle, Eugene Kohn, Pavel Kogan, Alexander Vedernikov, Dmitry Liss, Alexander Sladkovsky, Yuri Simonov.
As chamber performer Borislav Strulev is known by collaboration with top artists from all over the world, such as:
Byron Janis, Rohan de Silva, Roger Kellaway, Tian Jiang, Per Tengstrand, Matt Herskowitz, Torleif Thedéen,Martin Fröst, Radovan Vlatkovic, Philippe Quint, Jean-Marc Phillips, Julian Rachlin, Richard Hyung-ki Joo, Alexander Markov, Randy Brecker, Lars Anders Tomter, Janine Jansen, Eldar, Regina Carter, Dorado, Amati & Samson Schmitt, Russell Malone, Franz Hackl, Eddie Daniels, Paquito D’Rivera, Michel Legrand, Roby Lakatos, Janoska Ensemble, Orosz Zoltán, Christian McBride, Marc Johnson, Brian Torff, Alex Blake, Lewis Nash, Jonathan Moffett, Joe Cocuzzo, Mia Farrow, Kathleen Battle, Eliane Elias, Denyce Greaves, Sean Lennon, Gene Pritsker, Dave Grusin, Bobby McFerrin, Sweet Plantain Quartet, St.Lawrence String Quartet, Denis Matsuev, Elena Obraztsova, Ildar Abdrazakov, Alexander Markovich, Ilya Itin, Sergei Dreznin, Leonid Ptashka, George Garanian, Sergei Yerokhin, Alexei Ogrintchouk, Dmitry Berlinsky, Aydar Gaynullin, Tamara Gverdtsiteli, Anzhelika Varum, Igor Krutoy, Arkady Shilkloper, Sergei Mazaev, Evgeniy Grishkovec, Igor Butman, Marimba+, Uma2rmaH, Lyasan Utiasheva, Diana Vishneva, Yulia Makhalina, Uliana Lopatkina and more.
Borislav Strulev had the honor of carrying the Olympic Torch for The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
Borislav Strulev is a multi-stylist, the Renaissance man in the music world, who extends the range of genres from classical and contemporary classical music to jazz and crossover. The musician is open to exploring new forms of music and to a unique creative experimentation. One of these rare projects — the New York premiere of «Svyati» for cello and chamber choir of the British composer Sir John Tavener with the Little Orchestra Society and Orpheon Chorale, a piece later performed before the 30-thousand-audience in the Day of Slavic Written Language and culture in Khanty-Mansiysk. With the California Symphony Borislav has performed the American premiere of Suite for Cello and String Orchestra of the legendary composer Lou Harrison.
Borislav is successfully working in film, television and radio. He regularly appears or performs in musical programs, talk shows and concerts on the main TV channels in Russia: 1st Channel, NTV, Russia, TVC, «Kultura». His recitals have been broadcasted live on WQXR, WBGO and WNYC in New York, WFMT in Chicago, France Musiques, and RAI (Radio televisione italiana). The Canadian motion picture “La Turbulence des Fluides” produced by Luc Besson, music composed by Simon Cloquet, on whose soundtrack Mr. Strulev is the featured artist has won three awards for best music at Festival International Musique et Cinéma – Auxerre — France and has been nominated for Canadian Academy Award (Genie) for best soundtrack. In 2007 with the same composer Borislav recorded new soundtrack for TF 1 to the new movie “La Taupe” directed by Vincenzo Marano. With Composer-Pianist Sergei Dreznin he recorded music for a complete restoration of a legendary 1927 Soviet silent film “Garden des Peches” (dir. by Olga Preobrazhenskaya) which was shown on ARTE twice in 2008.
Discography includes Borislav’s debut recording on French label LYRINX of Rachmaninov and Schostakovich sonatas. The same label released his debut orchestral recording of Arvo Pärt’s Pro et Contra, Erkki-Sven Tüür’s concerto, and Daniel Schnyer’s cello concerto (world premiere) with Norrlands Symphony Orchestra under direction of Kristjan Järvi. In 2011 on Naxos Label Borislav releases “Cello Lounge” with New York composer Gene Pritsker (Borislove & Noizepunk). As a special guest Borislav is on significant crossover recordings produced by Ettore Stratta with jazz violinist Regina Carter on “Paganini: after a dream” (Verve – Universal), with celebrated mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves and Brazilian jazz pianist Eliane Elias on “Lost Days” (RCA – Red Seal) with singer and actress Arielle Dombasle on “Extase” (SONY).
Musical and personal ties with Russia are fatidic and natural to Borislav Strulev. He was born in Moscow into a family of professional musicians and began playing the cello at age 8. He graduated from the Central Music School at the State Moscow Conservatory. Borislav has luck with the teachers. A huge influence on the development of the creative personality of the young musician has a composer Tikhon Khrennikov. In 1992, Borislav wins the All-Russia competition of young performers of the Assemblies of Music in Moscow, and the winner of the International Charity Foundation «New Names». With the support of James Wolfensohn, formerly World Bank president and at that moment director of Kennedy Center, prominent violinist Isaac Stern and pianist Byron Janis, Borislav gets a solo concert in the USA — debut in the famous Kennedy Center in 1993, and after that, an invitation from the president of Manhattan School of Music, the world-famous Marta Casals Istomin, accept a scholarship of the conservatory… Since 1994 he has been living in the United States. In the West, Borislav participates in master classes with such great artists as Mstislav Rostropovich, Yo-Yo-Ma, Lynn Harrell, David Geringas, Steven Isserlis, Philippe Muller, William Pleeth, Marta Casals Istomin, Marion Feldman and Valentin Berlinsky of the Borodin Quartet.
The spotlights of Borislav’s career after the arrival in the USA are: 1995 — South American debut as a soloist with the Orchestre National de Colombia, 1996 — performance with the Orchestre National de Chile. 1997 — South African debut with solo performances in Cape Town and Johannesburg. During the 1997-98 season — the first tour in 10 cities in Japan as a soloist in the JAL Young Artists Series, and the recognition of the Japanese audience after performing at Suntory Hall in Tokyo. Festivals – Ravinia in Chicago, Reims and Tours in France, Verbier и Lausanne in Switzeland. 1999 – debut with solo concert at Carnegie Hall with pianist Byron Janis with Frederic Chopin Sonata. 2001-2002 – solo tour in Sweden, concerts and master-classes in France, Spain and Finland. Performance of the concerto in A minor Saint-Saens with the National Symphony Orchestra of Italian Radio and Television under the baton of Kristjan Järvi, which was broadcast «RAI» on radio and television throughout Europe. Participation in the International Festival of Chamber Music Umea in Sweden, Scandinavian stations which aired live on television. Performance of the Concerto in A-minor by Saint-Saens with the National Symphony Orchestra of Italian Radio and Television under the direction of Kristjan Järvi, which was broadcasted by «RAI» on radio and television throughout Europe.
Participation in the International Festival of Chamber Music Umea in Sweden, which aired live on television by Scandinavian stations. Month tour of South Africa, recitals, and performance with the orchestra to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Johannesburg Musical Society. Performance with the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under Maestro Neeme Järvi, and Variations on a Rococo Theme Tchaikovsky and the Concerto in A-minor by Saint-Saens. Performance of Joseph Haydn Divertimento in Alice Tully Hall Lincoln Centre with «Orpheus» chamber orchestra. W. Walton Concerto performance with the Symphony Orchestra NorrlandsOperan in Sweden, Variations on a Rococo Theme by P.I. Tchaikovsky with the Orchestra del Principado de Asturias in Oviedo; Spain, under the direction of Juan Jose Mena, Don Quixote by Richard Strauss with the National Symphony Orchestra of Costa Rica, and Antonin Dvorak Concerto with the National Orchestra of Colombia and Panama.
2008 — he appears as a special guest at a Tribute to Oscar Peterson at Carnegie Hall among artists such as Roger Kellaway, Clark Terry, Wynton Marsalis and Dee Dee Bridgewater.
The last five years, Borislav lives and works between New York and Moscow. This has contributed not only to the intensity and tension in his life and career, but also led to the creation of interesting creative projects. In New York he founded a concert series «Borislav Strulev and Friends». In Moscow, together with Tamara Gverdtseteli created a new show, «And God Created Woman…,» which was a great success at the best venues in Russia, CIS and abroad. A notable phenomenon in the musical life of Moscow was a program of «Cello Tango» with orchestra «Paporotnik», which successfully mixed folk, rock, pop and jazz. The show was enthusiastically greeted by the spectators of «Usadba Jazz», Russia’s largest open-air jazz festival. There are new creative alliances — with Igor Butman, Arkady Shilkloper, Sergei Mazaev, groups and Uma2rmaH and Marimba +, Diana Vishneva, Laysan Utyasheva, and original music-theater projects with Eugene Grishkovets, Vladislav Malenko, Yevgeny Knyazev, Elina Bystritskaya.
Borislav is an active participant in the Denis Matsuev ‘s «star» festivals «Crescendo» and the «Stars on Baikal». With Denis he frequently tours in all corners of Russia.
The fame opens up exciting opportunities for creative plans and obtaining the highest recognition. Borislav has been privileged to play for the honor of political leaders as well as stars of show business, such as: Vladimir Putin, Dmitry Medvedev, Mikhail Gorbachev, Michael Bloomberg, Henry Kissinger, Bill Clinton, Silvio Berlusconi, Prince Alexis N. Obolensky, Natan Sharansky, Billy Joel, Michel Legrand, Sean Lennon, Lord Lloyd Webber, JAY-Z, U2’s Bono, Wanda Toscanini Horowitz, Leonardo DiCaprio. He has performed at the opening of the cultural program of the economic forum in Davos and the International Economic Forum in St. Petersburg in the presence of Vladimir Putin and «G8 leaders», in The 6th Russian Rhapsody Charity Gala in London, at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver representing Russia in the framework of Olympics cultural program.
The high authority of the musician, leader and experimentalist allowed Borislav to be appointed as the Music Director of: International BelgorodMusicFest — »Borislav Strulev and Friends», an annual event, «Day of Russia» in New York, the Guild of Russian financiers.
«Borislav Strulev» – is turning into the brand: » Borislav Strulev’s Lounge» on Radio »Russia» and in the House of Actors, a concert series «Borislav Strulev and Friends» at the Birdland, the legendary club in New York, which will soon make its debut in Moscow, «Cello Tango» with the “Paporotnik” Orchestra, «BasniCello» at the Taganka Theatre with Vladislav Malenko and Noizepunk & BorisLove with ‘’Cello Lounge’’ new CD and program.
Borislav Strulev was a nominee for The “Russian-American Person of the Year” 2014 Award in New York.
Borislav Strulev — Yamaha Artist and plays Yamaha Electric Cello SVC 110SK.
The public ambassador of the XIX World festival in Sochi of youth and students.