8 years ago

Volume 14 - Issue 4 - December 2008

Burashko's mind, the

Burashko's mind, the dividends pay off "inspades. Most of these people live in the commercialworld. For them to have an opportunityto create something completely of theirown without limitations or guidelines, is athrill. They are coming up with really interestingthings, way more interesting than anypop music that I've heard. So it's not just acase of classical musicians accompanying thepop people, but it a much richer collaboration."Casting and commissioning aside, thereare always other wild cards in producing anArt of Time concert. "So much of it is justan intuitive balancing act - inside it feels likeit should work - but there's no way to calculateor know until you actually experience ityourself. Sometimes the best elements aresurprises that weren't part of what I imagined."Aside from two years in Vancouver, and afew years commuting to New York for studies,Toronto has been Burashko's home forthe past three decades. He is single (thefather of a sixteen-year-old daughter whodreams of becoming an opera star), and helives with his grand piano in a downtowncondo just off of Yonge Street. Burashko8came to Canada from Russia via Israel withhis family at the age of eight. His father wasa businessman, and his mother a MoscowConservatory-trained choral conductor. InCanada, Mrs. Burashko taught solfege at theRoyal Conservatory of Music. Burashko'sfirst foray into theworld of musiccame at the tenderage of five. It was afalse start, and helater returned tostudy the instrumentin earnest the age ofnine, at his parent'sbidding.Although he wasclearly gifted, hequit at the age ofeighteen, afterhaving performed the Mendelssohn G minoronstage at Roy Thomson Hall with the TorontoSymphony Orchestra, under the baton ofSir Andrew Davis. Burashko was on his wayto the Manhattan School of Music when heopted out of a music career. "It was compli-;iffilason & T!)amlinDiscover why 1.lMason & Hamlin pianos l;,-;are referred to as d,1"The World's Finest'~,R1.'~~; -t -;..,)RESTRICTED TOLimited Production built by handusing only the finest materialsFor an appointment to see and play Canada's largest selection(all models !) of new Mason & Hamlin grand pianos you are invitedto call 1-866-631-6696 or email willem@masonhamlin.cawww.masonhamlin.caWWW. THEWHOLENOTE.COMcated, ... you're doing it because it's whatpeople expect of you - your sense of selfworth is wrapped up in it - but it was totallyovershadowed by having to sacrifice fun. Ijust couldn't do it. " The 'big fish small pond,small fish big pond' reality of what he wasabout to do hit hard."If you're not serious,and willing tosacrifice everything,then there'sno point. So Ithought, fine - beinga doctor was a noble"' ffi way to go." This5 love-hate relationzship with his owns talent continued to~ play out. Then, theiE following summer,long-time friend and fellow musician, RomanBorys, convinced a somewhat disillusionedBurashko to join him at the Banff Centre.That summer, Burashko met piano teacher Imentor, Marek Jablonski, and ultimatelywent back to music on his own terms.The next decade was consumed by "thegrind" of chasing a solo concert pianist career.Buraskho found himself ripping throughrepertoire, learning ten times more music ina year than he'd ever learned before. Hisearly successes stood him in good stead. Heleveraged a considerable amount of unprocessedraw talent. "I never could bring myselfto do the competitions, I did the solo thing, Iworked hard. I really had to rewire and relearn.Until then I hadn't really thought aboutwhat I did. I was like a trained monkey - Iwas talented, I was able to absorb what peoplewere telling me. One of the great thingsabout music is that you can pull it off as aprodigy - unlike painting or writing - eventhough it comes from a very visceral place."By 1990, Burashko was ready to pack it inagain. He was getting two or three gigs ayear. Then he met celebrated modern dancerPeggy Baker. Baker recalls their first meeting."He just arrived business-like, briefcasein hand. He had a metronome, he took it outand put it on the piano, and he started askingabout metronome markings. I just said tohim, 'We will not be using a metronomewhatsoever. We're going to get a feel forwhat you're playing and what I'm doing, andwe're doing and find a meeting place somewherein between.'" At the beginning,Burashko was so focused on being a concertpianist he had no idea of the impact Bakerwould have in shaping his future . Eighteenyears of collaborations have bred a deepsense of mutual respect and admiration betweenboth artists. Burashko credits much ofhis world-view in terms of experimentation toBaker. "As far as Art of Time goes, it wasthat relationship - the understanding it gaveme of experimentation and the worlds associatedwith it - that'was huge."Burashko talks about making the quantumshift in thinking about programming in twoCON TINUES ON PAGE 1 QDECEMB ER 1 2008 - F EBR U ARY 7 2009

The Dance Accompanist-A Special MusicianTo hone your skills as a dance accompanist, join NBS'sPrincipal Pianist, Marina Surgan, and her colleagues fora week-long Musicians' Mentoring Program.You will:• Discover the secrets to developing your craft• Enjoy one-on-one guidance from NBS's highly skilledand experienced musicians• Learn to choose the most appropriate accompanimentfor each section of the dance class• Enhance your communication and collaboration skillsby working alongside developing teachers in NBS'sTeacher Training Program• Experience a variety of dance classes, includingprofessional, recreational and adult ballet,modern/contemporary and creative dance• Tap into NBS's network of dance studios seekingaccompanistsFee: 0 CAD(payable in advance of the first day of the course)For further information and how to apply,please visit our website: www.nbs-enb.caD ECEMBER 1 2008 - FEBR UARY 7 2009WWW. TH EWH O LEN OTE.COM 9

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