The fast-rising Israeli pianist, BBC New Generation Artist and Murray Perahia protege Tom Borrow has been making some headlines during the last year or so, but the rave reviews that greeted his France debut last week — at the prestigious Festival Piano aux Jacobins in Toulouse — were 'raves' even by usual standards. The concert itself had gone extremely well, with a standing ovation from an audience who called him back for two encores, and after great reviews from Diapason and ResMusica, an unexpected invitation was extended. Borrow was at the airport in Paris, about to board his plane back to Israel, when he received an urgent call from the Orchester National du Capitole de Toulouse - the intended pianist for their concerts the very next week was unable to come, could Tom return to Toulouse to play a Mozart concerto with this leading French orchestra?
And so, a week later Tom headed back to the French city to play Mozart's Piano Concerto No 24 (a work he has already played this season with the Santa Cecilia Orchestra under Semyon Bychkov, and with the Israel Philharmonic under Daniel Cohen), conducted by Adrien Perruchon.
As for those reviews, Diapason magazine called him "A young master" and reported that "He already has everything of a great... he brought the audience to their knees... There is little doubt that Tom Borrow will be talked about". Meanwhile, ResMusica, calling him "the revelation of the Jacobins festival" went into detail in a long review. It observed that, "Tom Borrow has a distinction and a sense of musical line such as we rarely hear...Flexible yet precise of gesture, his Debussy passes from sound to silence, and from silence to sound, with an art of mystery and suggestion that reminds us of Gieseking's... What dazzling technique, what energy and what powerful sound, at the service of a constant narration and expressive mobility! An incredible force emanates... Tom Borrow: a name to remember!"
The next engagements for Borrow after Toulouse include a tour of the Brahms piano concertos with the Basque National Orchestra under Robert Trevino; the Ravel Piano Concerto in G Minor with the Cleveland Orchestra under Semyon Bychkov, Beethoven's Piano Concerto No 5 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Sakari Oramo, and a recital recording in London for BBC Radio 3. He was aksi recently named a BBC New Generation Artist for 2021-23.