Sad death of a much-loved US concertmaster

Sad death of a much-loved US concertmaster


norman lebrecht

January 04, 2020

We regret to share news of the death of Emanuel Borok, concertmaster of the Moscow Philharmonic 1971-3, of the Israel Chamber Ensemble 1973-4, of the Boston Pops 1974-85 and enduringly of the Dallas Symphony, 1985-2010.

Manny was 75 and had been ill for the past year.

His daughter Sarah has posted: January 4th, 1:48am, 2020, my dad, Emanuel Borok, passed away, surrounded by his children and wife. Details on memorial service in Dallas, TX will follow soon. Please feel free to share memories, or any feelings on this post. Rest in Peace, Pap. You are larger than life, and I love you so very very much.

Manny with his wife a year ago

A superb musician, generous with his knowledge and his time, Manny was often in touch with Slipped Disc with wry observations on the state of the music world. He was a good man who will be greatly missed.


  • A huge loss for the music world, and for me personally–Manny will be missed by his many friends and admirers. Rest in peace, Maestro!

  • Manny was Assistant Concertmaster of the Boston Symphony for many years, sharing the first stand with Joey Silverstein. He was a very special player and a real mensch. My first meeting with him was memorable.

    • David K. Nelson says:

      Silverstein and Borok at the first desk – hard to imagine a more potent one/two punch in a violin section!

  • Robyn D Palmer says:

    I worked at the DSO as a teen and into my adulthood. Manny was the sweetest man. He always came by to say hello. He would bring little gifts here and there. There was something about him that just touched your heart and soul. He will forever be in my memories. I feel so blessed to have known him . What a wonderful, talented man. God truly welcomed an angel today. Thoughts and prayers for you all. Thank you for sharing him with all of us!

  • Larry W says:

    Sad news that the great violinist and teacher Emanuel Borok has passed away. His enduring legacy will be his countless talented students. RIP, Manny.

  • Vissi d’Arte says:

    Manny had recently immigrated from the Soviet Union over 40 years ago when I studied with him as virtually his first student – albeit as an “extra curricular” activity when I was a history major at Harvard. (He was only 33 at the time!) His amazing facility on the violin was marvelous to behold , and made him a joy to study with, matched only by his engaging personality (Okay, so he was a complete flirt, but no one could take offense at his style!) When I decided to make music my career after all, he coached me intensively for auditions, which was a very strange and novel process for me. He gets 100% credit for getting me into the finals of the NY Phil, Philadelphia, LA Phil, SF, and eventually into the Chicago Symphony, where I have been these past 36 years – all in the span of one year. With near zero orchestral experience and familiarity with the professional music world, I relied totally on “Mr Borok” to send me out into the world. I remember how excited he got when I got into the CSO and he could boast to his colleagues at the BSO! His advice for orchestral playing has stayed with me more than anyone else’s. What I remember most – he told me to think of repetitive tutti passages as if I were practicing etudes, and even stretches of time not playing during rehearsals could be spent silently working my left hand fingers to combat boredom and keep in shape. He told me to always conduct myself with respect and professionalism towards colleagues at work despite the seemingly casual atmosphere. I will never forget his wonderful vibrant presence. Thank you Mr. Borok!

  • Cindee and Andy Kueny says:

    It was a shock this morning to hear about Manny’s passing. We are so fortunate to have know him and to be friends with him and his wife. He was a great musician and a wonderful human being.

  • Dan Gorgoglione says:

    In 1977, l had the privilege to play 2 performances of the Liszt 1st Concerto with the Boston Pops Orchestra. Manny was the concert master, and his solos in the 1st movement were exquisite. Rest in peace, dear maestro.

  • I took some lessons with him when I was playing in the San Antonio Symphony, and knew him pretty well in Boston when my husband, Gordon was in the BSO. He was a marvelous player with a beautiful tone. RIP, Manny!

  • William R. Boone, MD says:

    Maestro Borok, I’ve listen to your fine music with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra for over 25 years and it was always an honor to have met you many years ago.