I have been completely smitten by the young guitarist Zsófia Boros. On the Hungarian guitarist’s 2013 ECM album, En Otra Parte (Elsewhere), she celebrates the music of Cuban, Brazilian, and Argentine composers. Her subtle touch on the acoustic guitar seduces the listener. The guitar, already a very personal instrument, never sounded so intimate or beautiful. She plays with a quiet passion and clearly loves the music she chooses. She has a distinct way of phrasing. You can detect that she plays it all with unbounded pleasure.
Boros’ second album, Local Objects, has just been released. On this new recording, the artist, who is now based in Vienna, plays repertoire from French, Italian, Argentine, Brazilian, Austrian, and Azerbaijani composers. As on the first record, her touch on this new album is exquisite, and the pristine quality of ECM’s recording makes you feel like she is giving a house concert in your living room. Both albums create a meditative mood.
What I love about Boros’ sound and repertoire is that she is not stuck in any one idiom; she celebrates many different composers from both the classical and popular music worlds. The repertoire is both varied and approachable. On En Otra Parte she plays works by flamenco guitarist Vicente Amigo and Cuban popular composer Leo Brouwer; the new CD features work by Brazilian Egberto Gismonti as well as Azerbaijani composer Franghiz Ali-Zadeh. Plus her playing never sounds stiff or academic. On the new album, I particularly like her version of Egberto Gismonti’s 1976 composition “Celebraçao de Núpcias,” originally heard on the Brazilian guitarist/pianist’s 1976 album Danças das Cabeças.
Zsofia Boros was born in Prague in 1980 and studied in Bratislava, Budapest, at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna and at the Francisco Tárrega Guitar Academy in Pordenone, Italy. She’s received numerous honors and awards, including a first prize at the North London Music Festival, and a number of Italian competitions, such as the Concorso Internationale Val Tidone, the Paganini Competition in Parma, and the Premio Enrico Mercatali in Gorizia.
Here, Boros plays Leo Brouwer’s “Un Dia de Noviembre,” from En Otra Parte:
And here she plays in her Vienna studio with tap dancer Sabine Hasicka: