First published in the July 28 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.
President of the Fine Arts Club of Pasadena Jim Childs recently welcomed members and guests at the historic Athenaeum at Caltech for the finale of their 108th anniversary year. One of the highlights of the evening was the presentation of the inaugural Roman Andrew Borek Endowment Scholarship Award to Pasadena Conservatory of Music student, Eddie Zhou.
The Fine Arts Club of Pasadena established the scholarship to honor of the late Roman, a beloved member and board member of the organization for more than 40 years and the recipient of the Club’s Gold Crown Award. Edward Borek, Roman’s twin brother, flew out from Pennsylvania on behalf of the Borek family for the presentation of the prestigious award.
Roman Borek was always extremely generous with his time and resources. In addition to the Fine Arts Club of Pasadena, he was a member or board member of the Pasadena Conservatory of Music, Tournament of Roses Association, All Saints Church, Gamble House and Pasadena Arts Council.
An iron sculpture was commissioned by several of Roman Borek’s dear friends to honor his legacy. Renowned metal artist and blacksmith, Carter Conley created a stunning design that incorporated Roman Borek’s love of music, painting and theater arts intertwined with a singular rose to reflect his dedication to the fine arts in Pasadena.
Roman Borek served as the business house manager at the Ambassador Auditorium and was known as “Mr. Ambassador.” Throughout his time there, he hosted visits with numerous dignitaries, including Queen Sirikit of Thailand, former first lady of Egypt Jehan Sadat and Prince Phillip and Princess Anne of England during the 1984 Olympics.
Each year, the award will be given to an outstanding middle or high school student from the Pasadena Conservatory of Music. The first recipient of the scholarship was presented to Zhou, an accomplished 18-year-old violinist, who has been a student at PCM since 2005.
Zhou studies violin and chamber music with artist teacher, Aimee Kreston. He recently graduated from South Pasadena High School and plans to attend Northwestern University in the fall. He is one of only six violinists from the United States invited to participate in the Verbier festival in Switzerland this summer. The audience was enthralled by his performance of Dvorak’s “Romance” in F minor, Op. 11.
The evening also featured a visual art display featuring metal artist, Jim Marshall. He delighted the group with his creative and fanciful metal sculptures. The Performing Arts program showcased pianist Junko Garrett and cellist David Garrett. The married duo played a sonata for cello and piano by Cesar Franck.
The mission of the Fine Arts Club of Pasadena is grounded in the belief that the arts are vital to our culture and that artists deserve our support.
For more information about the Fine Arts Club of Pasadena, visit fineartsclubofpasadena.org.