We had the good fortune of connecting with Boryana Popova and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Boryana, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
One of my all-time favourite musicians, Freddie Mercury, once said: “If I didn’t do this well, I just wouldn’t have anything to do… I can’t cook, and I’d be a terrible housewife.” Behind the obvious humor of this quote, there is a serious statement that, I’m sure a lot of musicians can relate to. At one point we all have asked ourselves what else we can possibly do, and very often nothing comes to mind, or at least nothing that can bring us the same level of excitement and happiness. Most of us have been doing this since very early age, spending many hours of struggle and perfecting the craft. That taught us a great deal of self-discipline and determination, which can be used in other fields. That being said, I’m sure Freddie would make a fantastic housewife, if he wanted to, but aren’t we all glad that he didn’t?
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I am a freelance violinist and violin teacher. I have a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from UCLA. My training is in Classical music, but I’m also familiar with other styles like Balkan folk, Tango, Klezmer, and Pop. As a classical violinist I have performed with many orchestras, opera companies, and chamber music groups. As a teacher, I am comfortable teaching people of all ages, levels, and background. I have also recorded for numerous film and television scores, video games, albums, commercials, etc. As a performer, some of my proudest moments include sharing the stage with John Williams, Kenny Burrell, Quincy Jones, BB King, Natalie Cole, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Arturo Sandoval, One Republic, John Cale, Gloria Trevi, and others. I was born in Bulgaria, so it’s been a long and difficult journey coming to LA, and being able to sustain myself throughout the years. I am fortunate to have a very supportive family and friends. I wouldn’t have made it without the help of some amazing people in my life. I also learned to be more selective of the people around me – not everyone has a good agenda. As a professional, I want to keep learning and getting better at what I do. Hopefully, through acquiring more knowledge and experience, I will be able to help future talented violinists to reach their goals. Our students are the key to successfully keeping this Art form alive as long as possible.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Starting with a nice car ride alongside the ocean – all the way from Malibu to Palos Verdes. To me, there is nothing more beautiful than the beach. Anyone would get blown away by the view. There will be a definite stop at the Universal Studios. Since food is a very important part of my life (always relating it to holidays and family gatherings), there will be a lot of dinning out. LA is so diverse in ethnic foods, there could be a different type of cuisine for each day – Japanese, Mexican, Thai, American, Indian, Ethiopian, Salvadorian… Next would be museums! LACMA, Getty, the Broad and the Griffith Observatory are a MUST. The rooftop of the Standard hotel in DTLA is certainly an amazing place to hang out and get a drink, surrounded by the skyscrapers. The Arclight movie theatre on Sunset is one of my favourite places to go for movies, and they have a wonderful restaurant, as well! As a musician, I’d love to take my guest to a concert at either Disney Hall, or the Hollywood Bowl. Some live music clubs like the Baked Potato, the Cinema Bar, or Hollywood Hotel Cafe can be a nice finale to a busy week in the City of Angels.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Skander Ladjimi, CEO of The French Conservatory of Music Pablo Hopenhayn, CEO of Esession Strings Josh Shaw, artistic director of Pacific Opera Project Stephen Karr, assistant conductor of Long Beach Opera and Lily Popova, concert pianist and piano teacher.