Boris Brovtsyn and friends

The violinist will perform in three chamber concerts.

November 10, 2016 18:13
2 minute read.
Boris Brovtsyn

Boris Brovtsyn. (photo credit: PR)

Internationally acclaimed violinist Boris Brovtsyn returns to Israel for three concerts within the framework of the Tel Aviv Museum of Art series. He will perform with the Israeli Camerata under Stanley Sperber, as well as in chamber ensembles with his friends pianist Beatrice Berrut; violinists Guy Figer and Tali Goldberg; violist Shuli Waterman; cellist Zvi Plesser; and bassist Noam Massarik. The concerts will take place in Tel Aviv on November 15 and 19 and in Kibbutz Na’an on November 17.

Moscow-born Brovtsyn, who is 39, is the fourth generation of a musical family.

“My great-grandfather was a violinist and composer, the chief conductor of the Tashkent opera theater, where he moved to from Leningrad after escaping Stalin’s purges of the 1930s. My grandparents played violin for 30 years with the Bolshoi Theater Orchestra in Moscow, and my parents are pianists,” he says.

Speaking about his Jewish roots, Brovtsyn mentions his greatgrandfather Oscar Gruzenberg, a prominent Russian Jewish lawyer, known mainly for his role in defending victims of infamous blood libel trials in the Russian Empire.

“A street in Tel Aviv is named after him,” he adds.

After graduating from the Moscow Conservatory in 1999, Brovtsyn moved to England.

“At that time, the KGB returned to power in Russia, and I wanted to keep as far away from that place as possible,” he says.

He graduated from the Guildhall School of Music, and later taught there. Following Brexit, he moved to Vilnius, Lithuania.

“Now I don’t teach – I perform and conduct master classes,” he says in a phone interview from Vilnius.

What are his musical preferences? “Granted, you try to make the composer whose piece you are performing your favorite; otherwise, why should you play it? On the whole, I am attracted to German classics and Russian composers of the 20th century, such as Prokofiev, Shostakovich and Stravinsky, as well as Weinberg and Schnittke. From an ideological point of view, I was always interested in dissidence in music (the tradition that was always alive in our Moscow home) – be it a hidden dissidence like that of Shostakovich or Polish composers like Anjey Panufnik or Krzysztof Penderecki, as well as those who perished in the Holocaust like Krasa and Shulhoff or survived the camps like Messiaen. Then again, I have more than 50 violin concertos, and I am not going to stop,” he says.

Asked about the balance between being faithful to the composer’s ideas and the self-expression of a musician, Brovtsyn says he does not see it as a conflict.

“It is about personal, creative interpretation, and a soloist should not be afraid of it. What is important is to express the essence of the piece, and there numerous ways to do it. Just don’t forget what are you performing: a tragedy is to be a tragedy, a farce is still a farce,” he says.

Brovtsyn will play Jean Baptiste Vuillaume’s Ex Josef Suk.

“This is a huge responsibility, considering that once a prominent Czech violinist played it. But I believe that even the great instrument should not become an aim but rather a tool; otherwise, you turn into a museum worker who cares only about keeping an antique object safe,” he says.

For more details and reservations for the Tel Aviv Museum of Art:; (03)-6077070. For Kibbutz Na’an: 052-223-2556

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