His father, who was quite a musician, was of distinguished Polish stock. His mother was English and very accomplished in music. His father gave him his first instruction on the piano as well as on the violin. He was educated in London and at the Cologne Conservatory.
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His biggest claim-to-fame is a violin piece called Adoration. As I was preparing Adoration for my own recital in a couple weeks, I began to wonder who Borowski was. Where did he live? Who were his parents? Hope you enjoy! Borowski was born on March 10, in England, in the small town of Burton. Burton is a village with a modest population of around 1,, located on the southern-most edge of the modern county of Cumbria. Although Felix was born in England, he was half Polish.
His father, Bruno Borowski, was of Polish descent, while his mother was English. His father gave Felix his first music lessons on the piano and violin — unsurprisingly, these were the two instruments for which Felix would write the majority of his compositions.
An article published in a edition of Etude Magazine reports that Borowski was taught by Jensen in composition, Georg Japha in violin and Ernst Heuser in piano. It was around this time that he began to compose small works, mostly for piano and violin. In , Borowski was asked to become director of the composition department at the Chicago Musical College. He accepted the offer and immigrated to the United States, where he would spend the remainder of his life.
We see a continual flow of compositions between and — including Valsette, a catchy waltz tune published in A full 29 years later, he resigned his position as president to focus on composing and teaching. It should also be mentioned that Mr. Borowski was the program annotator of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for 48 years.
As program annotator, Borowski wrote articles about the pieces the orchestra were playing, which were then published in the programs. So there you have it, the biography of Felix Borowski. Felix was a man of virtuosity, who greatly contributed to the musical world, especially around the Chicago area. Bravo, Mr. But wait! The best is yet to come! For a piece as widely played as Adoration, little is known about the composition of the piece.
All we really know is the date of publication — — 2 years after Borowski immigrated to America. The first major recording of the piece was done in by Richard Czerwonky, a Polish violinist. I strongly encourage you to listen to the recording here. The melody starts out very simply, but gradually evolves into a long chain of complicated phrases. For what he meant was this — there are many tense phrases that could lead up to something, and you as the musician must make them seem semi-peaceful until they actually do lead up to something that magnificent crescendo and FFF original theme.
Finally, the piece does end in a very peaceful way with — the violinist climbing his way up to D7 3 octaves above middle D. After the exciting segments a few measures back, the high D echos, like a comforting ending to a good book. The biggest hurdle for me to overcome in this piece was the relationship between the violinist and pianist — a feeling of unanimity must be maintained throughout.
I hope you enjoyed the post. I certainly enjoyed researching and writing it!
Adoration (Borowski, Felix)
Felix Borowski and Adoration