Pianist Ivo Varbanov – an interview

Photo: personal archive

Living, working and playing together at two pianos – Bulgarian pianist Ivo Varbanov and  his wife Fiametta Tarli talk to RB

The second edition of the London Festival of Bulgarian Culture that took place across the whole of November included musical offerings in the playbill, featuring Bulgarian musicians.

One of these was Bulgarian pianist Ivo Varbanov who has been living and working in the British capital for years now. Ivo Varbanov and his wife who is also a pianist, Italian Fiammetta Tarli, had a concert on November 12 including the world premiere of “Silent Light” – a two piano work of young Bulgarian composer Martin Georgiev, a work written especially for this piano duo.

Being a couple in life and a duo on the stage – an easy task or a daily challenge?

Assia Chaneva, a leading journalist in the Hristo Botev Channel of the BNR and host of the radio show ALARMA targeted at younger audiences, met with these two musicians in London after their concert in an interview for Radio Bulgaria where they talk about the pros and cons of being a pianist, about how classical musicians manage to survive in the commercialized musical industry of the 21st century, about the loneliness of the performer on the stage, about touring stages across the UK and Bulgaria, while at the same time bringing up their 3-year-old son Jacomo. Also, Fiammetta shares her first experiences of Bulgaria, getting to know an Eastern European country, and also some culinary inspiration she got from Bulgarian cuisine. 

Born in a family of musicians (his mother is a cellist, his aunt is a pianist and his grandfather was an excellent amateur pianist), Ivo Varbanov moved with his mother to Italy at an early age and studied in Milan. After his graduation he decided to move to England. He has released several CDs with various classical repertoire, including works of Mussorgsky, Ildebrando Pizzetti, Béla Bartók, Aleksandr Arutiunian, Gheorghi Arnaoudov, Ari Ben-Shabetai, Christo Yotzov, Jerzy Bauer and Johannes Brahms (the recordings on this show).

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