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The Golden Key Music Festival receives consistently high praise from its many participants. Here is a just a small sample of their reactions:

“We greatly appreciate how you and your staff organized the Carnegie Hall Recital on May 05, 2013. Our granddaughter is Deanna Neff who participated as a Silver Medal Winner. Even though Deanna previously played in Carnegie Hall as a winner of other competitions, the Golden Key Musical Festival recital … was the best. We really enjoyed… the music, performers, and set up by your organization. Especially great was the idea to juxtapose students’ performances with the professional pianist Stephanie Franke. Her stage appearance was just wonderful. We look forward to Deanna playing in the next year’s competition and possibly to seeing you again. Once again, thank you for the music!”

Lena and Leonid Russinov, Boston, Massachusetts

“We really enjoyed the festival and all the music programs that you put together. Which is why we’d like to submit for competition again – who knows? It’s almost 2 months since the Vienna tour, but Phoebe and I are still talking about the Festival, and we have lots and lots of wonderful memories. Phoebe would like to participate again next year.”

Leong Family, Singapore

“Being in Vienna and experiencing the Golden Key program was truly an experience that has had an explosive impact on our family. Every aspect of the program is interconnected with other aspects of the program. The organization of the program was truly a stroke of genius and well thought out by Dr. Borisov. My only regrets are that at some point the program ended and we had to come home. Major thanks to Dr. Borisov for the experience and the memories. If you have the opportunity to attend Vienna with Dr. Borisov and the Golden Key, take it! You will not regret it. Vienna waits for you.”

John A. Patti, Esq.

“We would like to thank you for your warmest welcome during the concert of the Golden Key Festival in New York. You are so kind and we appreciate so very much your best hospitality and we enjoyed your marvelous concert so much. The artists were all so gorgeous and performed so well…. Congratulations on your successful Concert. Yovela was so happy to have your cerificate and your beautiful medals. It’s our honour to have your kindness. We are so proud of you and all of the young artists and your special Guest artist, Maestro Stephan Miller. Thank you so very very much.”

Santoso Tanzil, Jakarta, Indonesia

“The [Vienna] tour was truly incredible. You succeeded in putting together such an interesting, lively, and enriching program, and every element fit perfectly into the overall theme of Viennese music and each event complemented the others. It was truly amazing, and a real success. It is this cohesion that distinguishes your program from other similar ones. It seems to me, that you created a great rhythm in the program through the fast-paced schedule and thematic unity; it gave each day a great energy. We all felt suddenly immersed in a world of music. …My students, for one, have not stopped talking about their experience. Not a lesson goes by that they do not remember something about Vienna …. Their eyes light up; they grin at the colorful and beautiful memories. You truly created a one-of-a-kind world, a one-of-a-kind atmosphere that engulfed us. It was both very productive and professional, and also friendly, casual, and warm. Thank you again, and congratulations!”

Marina Strakovsky
Cecilian Music Club, NJ

“… Golden Key International Music Festivals are designed to educate and inspire student musicians […] by offering them opportunities to perform in the most prestigious concert halls, like Carnegie Hall in New York City, Ehrbar Hall in Vienna, and Theatre Champs-Elysees in Paris. This year’s festival in Vienna did just that.

Participants from Monmouth County in this year’s festival included Campbell Lee, Alexandra Siwulec of Rumson, Natalie Pugliese of Middletown, and Lisa Frost-Goodall of Red Bank.

The festival was held in Vienna, Austria from August 4-11 and attracted young musicians from China, Estonia, Russia, Greece, Australia, Mexico, Canada, and the United States.

The event opened with the Gala Concert for winners of the Golden Key Music Festival Vienna Piano Competition and guest artists, followed by the World Composers’ Concert for winners of the Golden Key Piano Composition Competition. Both recitals were held in the world-famous Ehrbar Hall at the Prayner Conservatory, where renowned musicians such as Johannes Brahms, Anton Bruckner, and Gustav Mahler have performed.

Other musical opportunities for students included Master Classes with professors Carol Morgan and Stephan Moller, a “Mozart in Context” musical exposition at the Bosendorfer Saal at Mozarthaus, and “A Tribute to Vienna”, a monster concert at Kaiser Hall inspired by the Cecilian Music Club of Freehold.

Young musicians were able to fully immerse themselves in the Viennese musical culture with tours of the Esterhazy Palace with its famous Haydn Hall in Eisenstaedt, Mozart’s birthplace of Salzburg, and the Johann Strauss Museum in Vienna. Students were also encouraged to attend nightly musical expositions, such as an organ concert at Saint Michael’s Church, also known as Mozart’s Church.

Festival participants were ecstatic about their experience in Vienna. Viviana Liao, a performer from West Windsor, NJ, said, “The Golden Key Festival in Vienna was amazing, from the stunning concerts we attended and played in to the great friends we made. Though we’d only been there a week, it was hard to say goodbye to Vienna and all the friends we made.” Another performer, Anthony Low from California, called it “the best time of his life.” A Winner of the Piano Composition Competition, Kevin Su from Boyds, Maryland stated, “The Golden Key festival was both entertaining and educating.”

(extract from “Middletown Patch“, NJ 9/18/2014)

“Serina has been going to the Golden key Festival for a few years now. I need to let you know that every time I attend the Golden Key Festival at Carnegie Hall, I enjoy it so much…. But this year, it was really fantastic! All the kids were so talented. The guests were just great, especially Mr. Stephan Möller. Thank you again for such a wonderful evening.”

Alissar Deeba

“I just wanted to say thank you for managing the trip to Vienna. It was spectacular, I loved it! It’s definitely one of my favorite places of Europe and I hope to visit there again. I especially liked the House of Music and the trip to Salzburg. It was beautiful there. Mozart was lucky to have lived in such a beautiful city. Thanks again for the amazing trip!”

Sarah Qi

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank you and Marina sincerely for hosting the Golden Key Piano Festival, Vienna. The festival was wonderfully organized, and we really enjoyed ourselves in Austria. Abhik had a great time. Going to Vienna had been his dream for a long time, and we think the reality was better than the dream.”

Sandip, Srirupa, and Abhik Mazumder

“Congratulations on planning, organizing and pulling off another fantastic festival! Each year our students look forward to the event and the performances in New York and Philadelphia. It is very positive and encouraging event that brings out the best in the students who participate.”

Paul Sallee, Director, Music University of New Jersey

“My son Raymond Zhang is Ms. Ingrid Clarfield’s student and have performed in Carnegie Hall, NYC today. We are very happy and we enjoyed the concert a lot. Thank you so much for successfully organized festival.”

Mary Wang, Princeton, New Jersey

“Thank you so much for organizing the Golden Key Music Festival and for giving the children the opportunity to play at the Carnegie Hall and other prominent concert halls of New York and Philadelphia. My family had a wonderful time and enjoyed the recital very much. It is amazing to see how many children participate in the Festival and devote their time and effort to music.”

Joanne Yeung, Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania

“Thank you very much for the Barnes & Noble gift card and my Diploma at the Kimmel Center. I enjoyed playing in the Festival recital and hope to do it again.”

Ary Swaminathan, 9 years old

“My daughter Anne Shen won silver prize. She was delighted to be given the chance to perform at Merkin Hall.”

Chunhong Liu, Paoli, Pennsylvania

“I’d like to say thank you so much for having such a wonderful organization to give those young artists a chance to perform, to explore, and have more self-confidence about their achievements. After my son knew he won the Gold Medal, he said to me he’ll work hard; he felt so happy, and has more confidence now. There is nothing could make a mother happier than hearing her son saying those words to her. Thank you so much to Golden Key Music Festival.”

Angela Fan, Livingston, New Jersey

“It was just wonderful! Thank you for this amazing festival, for all you are doing for children and their teachers.”

Tatiana Vetrinskaya, Director, New Mexico Music School, Albuquerque, NM

“My son Michael feels very happy to be a winner of the Golden Key Music Festival and perform at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity for him and for all our family. See you in New York.”

Christophe Pantillon, Vienna, Austria

“…I wanted to thank you for the wonderful opportunity that the Golden Key Festival represented for my son Ulises Cordova Chavez. The experience went truly beyond his expectation, especially the opportunity to meet and share time with so many talented kids from different part of the world and also having such a fine audience appreciating his composition. My parents were delighted as well. They were also very impressed with you, Mr.Borisov. Thank you again,”

Rosa Aurora Chavez-Eakle, MD, Ph.D., Mexico

“…I can’t wait to tell you that Golden Key Gold night in New York was excellent, beautiful recital! All students did great job. The ending Trio brought the audience spirit up to the roof top. Everyone clapped hands with the ending marching!!! I so proud of my children”

Aihung Iris Cheng, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA

“…Saturday’s recital was incredible experience for Maura, and she was honored and thrilled to be among such incredibly talented young musicians. What a proud for parents and teacher as well! The Golden Key is so well organized from audition to recital. We are looking forward toward the 2011 season!”

Jennifer Tuffy, New Jersey, USA

“…We wanted to write a quick note thanking you for all of your efforts with the Vienna trip and Golden Key recital concerts. We had a meaningful and spectacular time, and learned a lot. Overall it was a wonderful trip, and we are grateful for everything you put into this. I am including a link to a photo gallery we put together. Thanks again, and looking forward to future Golden Key International Festivals!

Frank, Marjorie, Noah Silvestry, Philadelphia, USA

“…Thank you for opening my piano experience. Before Golden Key I didn’t appreciate my talent as much as I do now. Through the wonderful trip in Vienna I was able to meet other piano students around the globe who play, and this was truly inspirational. Thank you again for everything. Sincerely,

Andrius Radzevicius, Connecticut, USA

“…It was just fantastic experience to perform among musicians from the United States and Austria at finest Viennese Boesendorfer Concert Hall, to attend the Festivals brilliant concerts. And Vienna… What a wonderful place to be! Our excursions to memorials for such great composers as Mozart, Beethoven, Strauss (especially tour to Salzburg!) I will remember forever. Thank you”

Katarina Polyushkina, Russia


Yuki Schwab, New Jersey, USA