BIOGRAPHY/PRESS

Biography

Michael Borek was born 1963 in Lyon and grew up in France and Austria. He took his first piano lessons at the age of 6 and studied during his highschool years with a professor at the Conservatoire of Lyon. At the age of 12 he discovered the music of Keith Jarrett, and this encounter motivated him to compose and improvise himself on the piano. After a following period of particular interest in contemporary music (especially the piano works of Olivier Messiaen), he eventually returned more and more exclusively to jazz. There he could develop his own musical language, combining the sensibility and expressiveness of classical music with the possibilities of jazz harmonies. Michael Borek studied medicine in France, and after his graduation as MD in 1991 he began to work as a physician in the pharmaceutical industry. In 1994 he moved to Austria, where he lives since then with his wife and their 2 children.
Since his first concert in 1999 he had regular solo performances, including at the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation ORF in 2003 (this concert was broadcasted on ORF Radio Tirol in February 2003), at the jazz festival „Swingin‘ Kitzbühel“ (2006) and at the jazz clubs Treibhaus Innsbruck (2013 and 2014), Sunside Paris (2014) and Eremitage Schwaz (2014, 2015 and 2022).
In June 2006, he was portrayed on the local television Tirol TV in the series „Exceptional Tyrolians“.
His 2013 CD „Live At Treibhaus“ and his recently released album „It Happened In June“ were broadcasted on the national ORF Radio Ö1 (Jazz Night, respectively May 2013 and September 2022).
In April 2004 his contemporary compositions „images de l’aube“ (1993) for solo clarinet and „sonate pour violoncelle“ (1997) for solo cello were created at the ORF Landesstudio Tirol and broadcasted on ORF Radio Tirol (Ton für Ton, April 2004) and ORF Radio Ö1 (Lange Nacht der Neuen Musik, May 2004). Michael Borek is also member of the Austrian Composers‘ Society.

Biography

Michael Borek was born 1963 in Lyon and grew up in France and Austria. He took his first piano lessons at the age of 6 and studied during his highschool years with a professor at the Conservatoire of Lyon. At the age of 12 he discovered the music of Keith Jarrett, and this encounter motivated him to compose and improvise himself on the piano. After a following period of particular interest in contemporary music (especially the piano works of Olivier Messiaen), he eventually returned more and more exclusively to jazz. There he could develop his own musical language, combining the sensibility and expressiveness of classical music with the possibilities of jazz harmonies. Michael Borek studied medicine in France, and after his graduation as MD in 1991 he began to work as a physician in the pharmaceutical industry. In 1994 he moved to Austria, where he lives since then with his wife and their 2 children.
Since his first concert in 1999 he had regular solo performances, including at the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation ORF in 2003 (this concert was broadcasted on ORF Radio Tirol in February 2003), at the jazz festival „Swingin‘ Kitzbühel“ (2006) and at the jazz clubs Treibhaus Innsbruck (2013 and 2014), Sunside Paris (2014) and Eremitage Schwaz (2014, 2015 and 2022).
In June 2006, he was portrayed on the local television Tirol TV in the series „Exceptional Tyrolians“.
His 2013 CD „Live At Treibhaus“ and his recently released album „It Happened In June“ were broadcasted on the national ORF Radio Ö1 (Jazz Night, respectively May 2013 and September 2022).
In April 2004 his contemporary compositions „images de l’aube“ (1993) for solo clarinet and „sonate pour violoncelle“ (1997) for solo cello were created at the ORF Landesstudio Tirol and broadcasted on ORF Radio Tirol (Ton für Ton, April 2004) and ORF Radio Ö1 (Lange Nacht der Neuen Musik, May 2004). Michael Borek is also member of the Austrian Composers‘ Society.

PRESS
CD "IT HAPPENED IN JUNE"

(…) After “Beyond The Ocean” and “Meditations”, “It Happened In June” is Borek’s latest solo album. One can well recognize there that as a pianist he is mainly influenced by classical composers like Satie, Chopin and Bartók. Borek is a romantic through and through; besides elegiac personal compositions he also has in his repertoire Mercer’s „Once Upon A Summertime“, John Williams’ „Hatikva-Theme From Schindler’s List“ and Bill Evans’ „Peace Piece“, which are indeed a little closer to jazz, but without truly living the latter. In comparison: Keith Jarrett in his improvisations (with a few exceptions) challenges his listeners, but he also repeatedly creates in the great sea of free jazz short islands of well-being, to set out after that again in rougher seas. Borek’s music is an island, and as beautiful as it is, one would also wish excursions to this open sea of jazz. Concerto (A)

CD "Live At Treibhaus" (2013)

“The pianist Michael Borek has been fascinated by Keith Jarrett since the age of 12. Jarrett has also remained his great example up to now, as can obviously be heard from the touch of every single note (…)
Borek plays seven own compositions, in which he proves to be an accomplished pianist, who abandons himself completely to the spirit of beautiful music (…)
Harmony and melodiousness from the first to the last note.“ Concerto (A)

„Physician by education, [Michael Borek] has also a musical streak. The influence of Jarrett & Co is unmistakable: a reference that sometimes gives wings to these tastefully interpreted solo jewels.“ Tonart (D)

„A discovery! The piano solo album [of Michael Borek] transports us into a world of romantic melodiousness. [He] can be considered without limitation as a master of the solo piano. His play is influenced by Debussy, Ravel, Bartók and Chopin, and of course reminds of the great Keith Jarrett. With his clear and warm touch, Borek makes the piano sing and reaches the auditor with his emotionality. And so he celebrates the calmness in “Remembrance”, whereas “Homelands” bases on a grooving rhythm. The two standards “Summertime” and “Over The Rainbow” are sophistically arranged, and integrate perfectly in the overall concept. Borek plays his flowing sections in such a clean and impeccable manner, as if there wouldn’t be anything more natural. The songs are clearly structured and do not lose themselves in endless and erratic ostinatos, but are nourished by Borek’s fresh ideas and his discrete virtuosity. Somewhere between jazz and classic, this pianist, unknown in our country, gives us great moments of musical beauty and harmony. To listen to unconditionally!“ Jazz’N’More (CH)

CD "Meditations" (2009)

„In this new piano solo of Michael Borek one finds again the same qualities as in „Beyond The Ocean“, the touch of a romantic pianist, clear and soft accents, a phrasing that flows like a pure source, lyricism, reserve, everything one needs to let these “Meditations” reach the heart… Is it jazz? Why not? We are between Chopin and Keith Jarrett, and it is anyway great piano and beautiful music. A moment of beauty and serenity.“ Serge Baudot, Jazz Hot (F)

CD "Beyond The Ocean" (2000)

„In ten partly improvised pieces and three standards Borek lets revive the blessed time of the “Köln Concert“…“Concerto (A)

„A piano solo record that can be indeed recommended to every music lover who likes this genre… Own compositions that do not lose themselves in an improvisatory Nirvana, but which reach in their construction and development, as well as melodic richness, a remarkable level.“ Jazz Zeit (A)

„The compositions and improvisations of Michael Borek … put on jazz harmonies, an expressiveness and a lyrical elegance that could not be more classical. In other words the present CD gives us to listen to a pianist who has a splendid, precise and limpid touch, and a virtuosity that knows how to stay discrete and put itself fully to the service of his interpretations.“ Jazz Hot (F)