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Alla Borzova, Composer

“ Alla Borzova is an original. Every note she writes has an intensity and immediacy that is as startling as it is affecting. And she has a wonderful sense of humor, as her brilliant song cycle, Mother Said, attests. She is a force on the American musical scene.”
-American Academy of Arts and Letters

Alla Borzova is a composer whose music has been frequently commissioned and performed internationally. Born in Minsk, Belarus, she arrived in the U. S. in 1993 and has been living in New York since 1996. Two-time winner of the All-Union Composition Contest before her arrival in the U.S. in 1993, the winner of the 1998 Delius Composition Contest, she is the recipient of a number of prestigious awards, such as Goddard Lieberson Fellowship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and awards from various foundations (ASCAP, the Alice M. Ditson Fund of Columbia University, Copland Recording Program, New York Foundation for the Arts, American Music Center; Susan Rose Recording Award, bestowed by the National Foundation for Jewish Culture). She held residencies at the American Lyric Theatre, Yaddo and Brahmshaus (Baden-Baden, Germany) and served on the panel of New York State Council for the Arts.

Borzova’s compositions have been presented at Aspen, Cabrillo, Delius, and Sonic Boom music festivals in the U.S. and major festivals in Russia and Belarus, such as Moscow Musical Autumn, Sound Ways (St. Pertersburg) and Belarusian Musical Autumn (Minsk). Her music has also been commissioned and presented by Detroit Symphony Orchestra (Leonard Slatkin’s direction), Cabrillo Festival Orchestra (Marin Alsop’s direction), Guggenheim Museum, Cutting Edge concert series, Da Capo Chamber Players, St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, Cassatt String Quartet, Dale Warland Singers, New Amsterdam Singers, Central City Chorus, The New York Concert Singers, Gregg Smith Singers, National Symphony Orchestra of Belarus (Alexander Anissimov’s direction), Symphony Orchestra and Choirs of Belarusian Radio and Television (Anatoly Lapunov’s direction), as well as individual performers from all over the world.

Two all-Borzova compact disks include:
(1) cantata Songs for Lada and To The New World (“ American Classics”, Naxos 2012). Recorded by the Michigan State University Children’s Choir (Mary Alice Stollak, director), soloists, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra under Leonard Slatkin’s direction.
(2) “Pinsk & Blue” (Albany Records 2007) includes solo cantata Majnun Songs for tenor and ensemble (includes Arabic dancer), humorous song cycle Mother Said (tenor & ensemble), Images Françaises (violin and piano), Scherzo (clarinet and piano) and Pinsk & Blue (accordion and piano.) Recorded by the Da Capo Chamber Players and the distinguished American soloists. Features composer as a pianist and conductor.

Recent premieres include the first complete performance of the cantata Songs for Lada by the Michigan State University Children Choir, soloists, and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (Leonard Slatkin’s direction). To The New World was commissioned and premiered by the Brooklyn Conservatory Orchestra (composer’s direction), followed by the performances by the National Symphony Orchestra of Belarus (Alexander Anissimov), Cabrillo Festival Orchestra (Marin Alsop), and Detroit Symphony Orchestra (Leonard Slatkin). Merry Hour (poetry by Mikhail Lermontov) was premiered at Merkin Hall by tenor Steven Ebel and the Naumburg Award winning ensemble Da Capo Chamber Players under the composer’s direction. Gulliver’s Travels: A Voyage to Laputa was commissioned by Susan Rose through Meet the Composer and premiered in Savannah, Georgia, by the noted Russian-American pianist Vassily Primakov. Among other works are two award-winning compositions for tenor and ensemble- cantata Majnun Songs (poetry by Majnun, a 7th century Arabic poet; the performance includes Arabic dancer) and humorous and witty song cycle Mother Said (contemporary American poetry by Hal Sirowitz). Compositions for mixed choir include The Ballad of Barnaby (W.H Auden’s paraphrase of the medieval French legend Le Jongleur de Notre Dame) and cycle When The Wind Is Blowing (poetry by the Belarusian poet Maxim Tank). Among the theatrical works are one-act comic opera The Wedding Gift of Pirate Granny (libretto by David Johnston, first concert performance took place on 29 June of 2012 at the Symphony Space in New York City, followed by the staged performance by the Hartford Opera Theatre in November of 2012), When Reason Sleeps and Wakes: Goya images, a ballet inspired by Goya’s drawings, and The Animal That Drank Up Sound, a “musictelling” work, commissioned and toured by Tales & Scales. Other works include Symphony for symphony orchestra, compositions for voice/vocal ensembles and piano, instruments and piano, and piano solo.

Alla Borzova began piano studies and composing at the age of six. She holds a B.A., M.A, and D.M.A in Composition from the Moscow Conservatory, where she studied Composition with Alexander Pirumov and Orchestration with Nikolai Rakov and Yury Fortunatov. She has pursued additional doctoral studies at CUNY Graduate School with David Del Tredici. Her music was also championed by John Corigliano. Borzova has taught at Hunter and Lehman Colleges of the City University of New York and, in addition to composing, maintains an active career as a pianist, conductor, organist, and singer (soprano).

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Cover for Details

Laugh Regardless of Creed

Pinsk and Blue - Chamber Music of Alla Borzova

Songs for Lada/To The New World, the orchestral music by Alla Borzova

Audio Samples:Merry Hour: “Waves and People”     Mother Said: “At the Zoo” (excerpt)     
Mother Said: “Separated Seats” (excerpt)     Songs for Lada: "Lullaby" (excerpt)    
Songs for Lada: “Once There Were Three Sons and Their Father” (excerpt)     To The New World (excerpt)     

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