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 United States 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, 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. His performances, recordings, and commentary figure regularly on National Public Radio, where 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 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 BMG recording of Gershwin's complete works for piano and orchestra with the Eos Orchestra conducted by Jonathan Scheffer 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 (Music & Arts), Poulenc (Musical Heritage Society), Joplin (BMG, appearing on Crossover Charts in the U.K.), and Lou Harrison (Newport Classic), as well as concerti by Richard Danielpour and Edward Smaldone (Bridge and CRI, respectively).
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 30 years.
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 restored, longtime New York home. He has served 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 Kathryn Bache 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 (1999). 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 Guide, Symphony, Chamber Music, Stagebill, Piano and Keyboard, Clavier, The Piano Quarterly, and other publications, and he was a contributing author to the 1993 Schirmer book on Vladimir Horowitz.
He has had a long and extensive commitment to education, and has been affiliated over the years with the Mannes College of Music, Manhattan School of Music, City University of New York, University of California, and many other leading 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.