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Remembering Emanuel Borok, And His 400-Year-Old Violin

by Anne Bothwell 6 Jan 2020 4:31 PM

The former DSO Concertmaster and renowned violinist died Friday. Watch him recount the history of his instrument.

Photo: Quin Mathews

Emanuel Borok, the former Concertmaster for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, died on Friday. He was 75. The renowned violinist performed in the Moscow Philharmonic early in his career after winning several Soviet violin competitions. He went on to be Associate Concertmaster of the Boston Symphony and Concertmaster of the Boston Pops before coming to Dallas in 1985. He retired in 2010. Borok also taught at SMU.

Borok performed on a rare Amati violin, more than 400 years old. In 2009, he sat down with Art&Seek’s Jerome Weeks and shared the fascinating history of his instrument. “Sometimes, when I play on it — and it’s an interactive process — I think it has a soul in it,” said Borok. “It does. It’s almost tangible.”

You can read Jerome’s piece here.  And check out this video that accompanied Jerome’s piece, where Borok explains a bit about what makes this violin so special.