Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra
Nayden Todorov, Principal Conductor
Ivaylo Vassilev, Piano
Beethoven, Coriolanus Overture
Beethoven, Piano Concerto #5
Beethoven, Symphony #40
In 1945 the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra became the national orchestra of Bulgaria and has long established itself as one of the leading cultural institutions, representative of the overall contemporary musical culture of the country. The repertoire of the Sofia Philharmonic comprises works from the entire historically available range of music—from classical to contemporary opuses, including premiere performances of numerous works by Bulgarian composers. The orchestra has garnered substantial recognition all over the world. It has guest-performed with great success in the major musical centres across Europe, Asia, and North America, and has received acclaim even from the most demanding of audiences. The Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra was awarded many prestigious accolades including: “Musician of the Year,” “Golden Lyre,” “Golden Stave,” “Golden Quill,” “Crystal Lyre,” the Honorary Sign of Sofia, and the Honorary Sign of the President of Bulgaria. Maestro Nayden Todorov has been the general director of the Sofia Philharmonic since 2017.
Nayden Todorov studied orchestral conducting at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. In 1996 he made his U.S. debut and short after he was invited by the Israeli Leonard Bernstein Foundation to the Rubin Academy in Jerusalem, where he specialized under Mendi Rodan. In 1997 he founded the Thracian Summer Festival in Plovdiv. A year later, he received his first permanent international engagement in Haifa, Israel, with the North Israel Symphony Orchestra. From 2005-2017 Maestro Todorov was the director of the State Opera in Rousse. In 2006 he made his debut with the Berlin Symphony Orchestra and a year later he conducted the concerts of its tour to the largest cities in Japan. This was followed by debuts at the Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow and at the Vienna Volksoper. In 2001 he made his debut with the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra and was elected its director in 2017. Since 2018, as part of the educational policy of the Sofia Philharmonic, Todorov became the host of the classical music program of the Bulgarian National Television. In 2019, for his concerts with the Sofia Philharmonic, he was voted Musician of the Year for the second time by the listeners of the Bulgarian National Radio.
Ivaylo Vassilev was born in 2007 in Sofia and studied piano at the National Music School in Sofia with Professor Borislava Taneva, PhD. At the age of 16, he has earned an impressive collection of more than 30 prizes from international competitions from around the world. Vassilev has played in various piano festivals, amongst them 2023 Cliburn Junior Piano Festival (Dallas), Lancaster International Piano Festival (Lancaster, 2022), “Wunderkinder” (Toblach, Italy, 2018), “Musical Olympus” (St. Petersburg, 2019), and “Moscow Meets Friends” (Moscow, 2019). He has studied with world known pianists and pedagogues, including Konstantin Scherbakov, Dmitry Bashkirov, and Alexander Kobrin. He has performed at iconic halls around the world, such as the Great Hall and Rachmaninoff Hall of Moscow State Conservatory, Tchaikovsky Hall, the House of Music in Moscow, Symphonic Capella in St. Petersburg, and of course, Bulgaria Hall in Sofia. As a soloist he has performed with famous conductors, like Pavel Balev, Sascha Goetzel, Vyacheslav Valeev, Alexander Titov, Alexander Chernushenko, Mikhail Kirkhoff, Igor Lerman, and others, with many Bulgarian and Russian orchestras, including the four major Bulgarian ones—Sofia Philharmonic, Bulgarian National Radio Orchestra, Classic FM orchestra, and Varna Philharmonic, as well as with Russian Philharmonic Orchestra. His first album with Mozart and Shostakovich piano concertos was recorded and released in 2019 in St. Petersburg, as a special prize for winning the Golden Nutcracker Award.
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