City of Residence: Toronto
A native of Toronto’s west side, cellist Roman Borys is one of the most active and respected artists in Canada’s thriving classical music scene. Early musical studies took place under the guidance of Chañta Holod and Marcus Adeney. Subsequently Roman took part in music programs at the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Banff Centre for the Arts and was a member of the Professor Kovaliv Chamber Orchestra. This was followed by studies at Indiana University with Janos Stacker and Menahem Pressler (pianist of the renowned Beaux Arts Trio) and Yale University with Aldo Parisot. Throughout his elementary and high school years Roman participated in PLAST Ukrainian Youth activities including summer camps, international jamborees, the Zolota Bulava leadership camp, and later volunteered with the New Haven Connecticut branch of PLAST during his years at Yale University.
A founding member of the two-time Juno Award-winning Gryphon Trio, Roman tours regularly throughout Canada, the United States and Europe, has released 17 celebrated recordings for the Analekm and Naxos labels, and commissioned over 70 works for piano trio, including new works by Ukrainian composers Valentin Silvestrov, Yehven Stankovich, Bohdana Frolyak, Gary Kulesha and Larysa Kuzmenko. The Gryphon Trio collaborates frequently with other musicians and artists from other disciplines, choirs such as the Vesnivka Women’s Choir, the Amadeus Choir, the Elmer Iseler Singers and the Elora Festival Choir and orchestras including the Toronto Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, Calgary Symphony, Thunder Bay Symphony, Hamilton Symphony, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony and the Wumemberg Chamber Orches
Artistic Director of the Ottawa Chamber Music Society since 2007, Roman oversees all aspects of artistic programming for the Society’s annual Chamberfest and fall/winter concert series. Working closely with Executive Director Glenn Hodgins, Roman has successfully developed the Society’s approach to administration and programming and has transformed the OCMS into one of the leading arts organizations of its type in the world. The OCMS’s annual Chamberfest is the largest festival of its kind in North America, features over 100 concerts and attracts over 70,000 visitors to the Ottawa area each summer.
Roman was the cellist in Trio Lyrika from 1985-1993, and a member of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra from 1994-2000. He has been an active Toronto studio and film musician since 1985, and has served on the cello and chamber music faculties of the Royal Conservatory (1993-2003) artd the University of Toronto Faculty of Music (2003-present).
As an independent producer, Roman oversaw the theatrical development of Christos Hatzis’ Constantinople. an 85-minute multi-media celebration of cultural diversity, featuring the Gryphon Trio together with two vocalists in a performance environment enhanced by projected visuals, lighting and staging. Premiered in 2004, Constantinopte has toured throughout Canada and the US, and to the Royal Opera House’s Linbiiry Studio in London, England, Other projects combine chamber music with projected images, including Chan Ka Nin’s And the masks evoke… and Landscapes fDr the End afTime, which pairs Messiaen’s classic Quartet for the End of Time with landscape painñngs by Canadian artist Stephen Hutchings.
Roman is a passionate advocate for audience development, having conceived and launched the Gryphon Trio‘s flagship outreach project Listen (Op’. A groundbreaking model for classical music education, Listen Up! is a9-month project that teaches middle school participants the skills needed for a lifetime appreciation of classical music through a hands-on workshop in basic musical composition. Since it’s launch in 2010, Listen tfpf projects have traveled to Midland, Hamilton, and Ottawa, ON; and future projects are planned in Powell River, BC (2013-14), Parry Sound, ON (2013-14), Yellowknife, NT (2014-
15) and Orcas Island Washington State (2014-15).