Israel Borouchoff, international orchestral solo flutist, chamber musician, and soloist; university professor; photographer; Israeli army veteran; and Holocaust survivor, died May 26, 2015. He was a charter member of the NFA, attending the first convention in Anaheim in 1973, and served as president two years later (1975–1976).  “I remember how kind and encouraging Israel Borouchoff was to me when I was just starting out in the profession,” said Paula Robison, international soloist, chamber musician, and recording artist. “His words were strong and full of humor, and discerning; he heard the music I was trying to make and let me know that I should stay the course. at meant so much to me!” Israel Borouchoff was born in Kiustendil, Bulgaria. In 1943, in World War II’s wake, he escaped from that country, making his way to Palestine; he returned to Bulgaria in 1946. Aer completing high school and study at the Music Conservatory of Sofia (Bulgaria’s capital), he immigrated to Israel in 1949, where he joined the Israeli Army as solo flutist of the Army Symphony and Band. He also played and recorded with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Borouchoff came to the United States in 1955, attending the Juilliard School of Music on a scholarship provided by the America-Israel Cultural Foundation. He also joined the Little Orchestra of New York, freelanced extensively, and recorded for the Book-of-the-Month Club. In 1958, he accepted the position of solo flutist with the St. Louis Symphony, where he spent eight seasons. In 1966, he took the same position with the Chamber Symphony of Philadelphia, staying for two years before joining the faculty of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. While in Milwaukee, he made a recording of Prokofiev’s Sonata, Op. 94, and Reinecke’s Undine Sonata and performed with the Woodwind Arts Quintet. In 1974, he became professor of flute at Michigan State University and a member of the school’s Richards Quintet. He held those positions until he retired in 1992. Borouchoff performed in Europe, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Israel, China, and throughout the United States, including a performance at the White House for President Jimmy Carter. Following his retirement from Michigan State University, he and his wife, Sharon Borouchoff, moved to Colorado Springs, where Borouchoff pursued his passion for photography. He was a photographer from a very early age and learned how to use a camera before he learned how to play the flute.
While performing and recording as principal flutist with some of the greatest conductors and composers of our time—Leopold Stokowski, Aaron Copland, Igor Stravinsky, Georg Solti, Pierre Monteux, Zubin Mehta, Charles Munch, Christoph von Dohnanyi, Pablo Casals, Leonard Bernstein, and many others—he frequently had his camera next to his music stand during rehearsals to capture decisive moments when the opportunity arose. His photographs have won numerous awards and been displayed at galleries and photo shows in Colorado and New Mexico. ey have also appeared in prestigious publications such as Leica Fotografie, Nikon International Photo Contest Annual, Philadelphia Inquirer, St. Louis Globe Democrat, Milwaukee Journal, and Detroit Free Press. One of Borouchoff’s most important projects following his retirement from Michigan State University was the completion of an English translation of Italian journalist Gabriel M. Nissim’s 1998 book, The Man Who Stopped Hitler. Dimitar Peshev, the deputy chairman of the Bulgarian National Assembly during WWII, was the subject of this book. Borouchoff’s father, Yako Baruch, was a successful lawyer, Zionist activist, and Peshev’s childhood friend and law school class-mate. In 1935, the family moved to Sofia, where Baruch started a new law practice, and Israel attended the prestigious American Grade School. Life changed drastically at the end of 1941. The school closed, Bulgaria’s anti-Semitic Laws for the Defense of the Nation went into effect, and the family was forced to move first to Sofia’s ghetto, then later back to Kiustendil. In 1943, Yako Baruch was instrumental in convincing Dimitar Peshev to prepare a letter of protest to Prime Minister Bogdan Filov, signed by 42 of his colleagues, against the deportation of Bulgarian Jews. In spite of great personal and professional risk to Peshev, the lives of 48,000 Bulgarian Jews were saved by the reversal of the orders to deport them to concentration camps. In 2003, Borouchoff was the keynote speaker at the 10th Annual Holocaust Remembrance Program in Washington, D.C. The perspective of this special program was the experience of Jews in Bulgaria during World War II. His translation of The Man Who Stopped Hitler was recently submitted to the University of Indiana Press for its consideration. Israel Borouchoff lived an interesting, multifaceted life. His example, insight, and artistry influenced the lives and careers of his many former students. “Israel’s outstanding musicianship, keen intellect, and proven ability to guide others toward musical discovery had a profound affect on my development as a flute player,” said Larry Krantz, founder of the FLUTE list and former student at Michigan State University. “The direction that my career eventually took was largely set by his guidance.” Excerpt from: FALL 2015 THE FLUTIST QUARTERLY

Israel Borouchoff: 1929–2015

Sonatina in D Op 94 - Prokofiev Allegro con brio Israel Borouchoff flute Lucy Green piano
Larry Krantz Digital Playground