Borislav Strulev, cello
World-renowned cellist Borislav Strulev has been fascinating audiences on some of the world’s most prestigious stages since his U.S. debut at the Kennedy Center in 1993 arranged on initiative of Isaac Stern, Former World Bank President James Wolfensohn and legendary pianist Byron Janis.
Critics call him a “soloist ... with a rich, singing tone” – The New York Times and The San Francisco Chronicle said that he “boasts an enormous, gripping sound, full of bright colors and effortless power; when he plays he commandeers the sonic spotlight with ease”. Associated Press wrote “cellist Borislav Strulev, channeling no one, or perhaps God”. “He plays as if born with a cello “.
Borislav Strulev – universal multi-stylist, Renaissance-man – has performed virtually all classical repertoire for cello and toured all corners of the world. Borislav presents today his vision of crossover, classical music, jazz, tango and even rap – a stylish, high-quality fusion, on the edge of shocking.
Borislav is the Music Director of: international BelgorodMusicFest – ''Borislav Strulev and Friends''.
Mr. Strulev has performed at Carnegie Hall, David Geffen Hall, Alice Tully Hall, Kennedy Center and all the major halls throughout the United States, as well as Auditorio de Madrid and Auditorio de Leon (Spain), Auditorio de Torino (Italy), Muzikverein (Vienna), Suntory Hall (Tokyo), Berlin Philharmonic (Berlin), Salle Gaveau (Paris), Mariinsky Theatre Concert Hall (St-Petersburg), The State Kremlin Palace, Tchaikovsky Hall, Bolshoi Theatre (Moscow), just to name a few, and beyond.
Mr. Strulev’s orchestral appearances include Detroit Symphony, Orpheus Chamber Ensemble, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Honolulu Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Nazionale della RAI, WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, NÖ Tonkünstler Orchestra, Helsingborg Symphony, Orquesta del Principado de Asturias, NorrlandsOperan Symphony Orchestra, Bolshoi Symphony Orchestra, Moscow Philharmonic, Moscow Virtuosi, Moscow State Radio Symphony Orchestra.
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, Zdeněk Mácal, 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, Denis Matsuev, Ilya Itin, Julian Rachlin, Janine Jansen, Rohan de Silva, Clark Terry, Bobby McFerrin, Michel Legrand, Elena Obraztsova, Ildar Abdrazakov, Roger Kellaway, Matt Herskowitz, Hyung-ki Joo, Alexander Markov, Randy Brecker, Regina Carter, Dorado, Amati & Samson Schmitt, Russell Malone, Eddie Daniels, Paquito D’Rivera, Roby Lakatos, Janoska Ensemble, Orosz Zoltán, Christian McBride, Lewis Nash, Jonathan Moffett, Mia Farrow, Kathleen Battle, Eliane Elias, Denyce Graves, Sean Lennon, Dave Grusin and others.
Borislav had his debut recital at Carnegie Hall – played Chopin's Sonata with legendary pianist Byron Janis and also was a special guest at the special gala dedicated to Oscar Peterson at Carnegie Hall.
Mr. Strulev had the honor of carrying the Olympic Torch for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. He was a nominee for the Russian-American Person of the Year Award in New York.
He is public ambassador of the XIX World festival in Sochi of youth and students.
In 2016 within BelgorodMusicFest Borislav Strulev became the champion of Russia (Russian Ginness) having played a concert in the KMAruda mine shaft for miners at a depth of 340 meters in memory of the died miners.
Mr. Strulev was a special guest along with Lynn Harrell to play for the 90th anniversary of Maestro Mstislav Rostropovich at the Kennedy Center, Washington. Borislav Strulev was nominated for the Annual Russian National Music Award Victoria 2017 and 2018 as Instrumentalist of the Year in Classical Music.
Borislav created an amazing competition ArtCelloLab for artists, where everyone can express themselves and have the opportunity to place their work inside Borislav's cello at the time of his playing – this is a unique synthesis and a huge step in modern Russian art.
Sergei Dreznin, piano
Sergei Dreznin is a Moscow-born, New York-based pianist and composer; trained in Russia’s finest music schools (Central Special Music School, Russian Academy of Music, Tchaikovsky Conservatory), he won prizes and critical recognition in Russia, Europe and the United States. Being a virtuoso pianist, he often includes improvisation to the themes suggested by the audience in his piano recitals, thus reviving XIX century tradition. The New York Times praised Mr. Dreznin’s “virtuosity… grace, pliancy and confidence” and “seemingly limitless reserves of volume”.
Catherine the Great – a Russian musical epic opened in May 2008 in Yekaterinburg, Russia, is still running to sold out houses and has won the Golden Mask, Russia’s national theatre award. YAMA, a whorehouse musical had its premiere on the same stage in December 2013.
His lyrical musical 24 heures de la vie d’une femme based on Stefan Zweig’s novella, had its premiere in Thonon les Bain, France and enjoyed 30 performances in Paris Theatre La Bruyère in July 2015. The Spanish version featuring Silvia Marso is currently touring Spain.
His New York credits include Just As If… Life and Cabaret from Paradise Ghetto Theresienstadt (78th Street Theater Lab), Roses in December (Urban Stages) starring James Naughton, Ophelia – opera in blue (Prospect Theater), and Moscow: Cherry Tree Towers, D. Shostakovich’s only musical comedy in Mr. Dreznin’s own new arrangement, staged by Francesca Zambello. Mr. Dreznin’s versions of Polka by Alftred Schnittke (performed by Gidon Kremer and Kremerata Baltica) and of D. Shostakovich’s song cycle From the Jewish Folk Poetry (performed by the violinist Levon Ambarstumyan) have enjoyed their premieres at the Carnegie Hall.
Mr. Dreznin’s film scores include Legend of Salieri (USSR), El Chicko (Austria) and WWII epic The Fallen (USA). In 2007 Mr. Dreznin has written a score for a silent film Peasant Women of Ryazan (Village du Peche) a 1927 Russian masterpiece which was broadcasted by ARTE in 2008-09 (DVD Edition Montparnasse).
The CD Sergei Dreznin. Franz Liszt: Live in Paris” was released by EXTRAPLATTE to mark Liszt’s Bicentennial. Mr. Dreznin collaborated with the violinist Gidon Kremer on such works as Mr. Dreznin’s own Circus Fantasy and Dante Concerto (after Franz Liszt), which Mr. Kremer performed extensively at such venues as Lincoln Center, Royal Albert Hall and Santa Cecilia. In October 2004 these two works came out on the Deutsche Grammophon CD Kremerland.
As a composer, Sergei strongly believes in music theatre as medium for the new Millenium. Married to a journalist, he finds inspiration in and is not afraid of writing shows based on real events of our tragic time. His musical scores include Requiem for the Victims of Nazis. His Shakespeare musical Romeo & Juliet in Sarajevo ran in Vienna in 1995–1997 and toured Bosnia and Croatia in 1996. In September 1999 Mr. Dreznin produced his biting musical satire 1000 Suns, or Dr. Jockel in Power, predicting the rise and the fall of Jörg Haider, leader of Austria’s right-wing Freedom Party. He also created a new score for 1913 Malevich futurist opera Victory Over the Sun (Vienna).
In 1992 Sergei was composer, pianist and musical director of Chansons und Satiren aus Teresienstadt in Theater am Rabenhof. This production is reviving the legendary cabaret written by the inmates of the infamous Jewish Ghetto Theresienstadt in 1942-1944. It toured around Germany, Austria and Switzerland and was recorded on CD by BMG Ariola. Since 2009, Cabaret Terezin ran successfully in Paris at Theatre Marigny and on tour in France.
During the 2000–2001 academic year Mr. Dreznin taught composition at New York University. He was also a guest lecturer at CUNY and Columbia University.
He is a welcomed guest at international music gatherings – Bard Festival, Julian Rachlin and Friends, BelgorodMusicFest – Borislav Strulev and Friends, Annecy classic.
In May 2002 Mr. Dreznin was privileged to perform his Circus Fantasy (in a duo with a cellist Borislav Strulev) in New York for celebrities including Bill Clinton, Mikhail Gorbachev and Bono (U2).