Various generations of Bulgarian stars take part in 50th edition of "Sofia Music Weeks"


The 50th edition of the Sofia Music Weeks International Festival will provide a stage to many renowned Bulgarian musicians living abroad, but also to the young people who are currently making their way with their talent.

On May 23, pianist Lyudmil Angelov, "Sofia Soloists" chamber ensemble and the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra with conductor Plamen Djouroff will open the festival with works by Chopin and Pancho Vladigerov. On the eve of the event, the soloist recalled of the great musicians he used to listen to during the Sofia Music Weeks back when he was a student.

“I would like to say what an incredible stimulus it was for us, young people, the opportunity to come to the Bulgaria Hall and listen to exceptional musicians," Lyudmil Angelov says. “It was a real school for us and an event we were expecting with great impatience every year. Afterwards, I myself started to participate in the festival, but the feeling of it being something special in the music life of Sofia has never left me.”

340 participants from 22 countries, new partnerships between soloists and chamber ensembles, world premieres of music and books, master classes - these are just some of the events included in this year's edition.

“Our anniversary program includes over sixty events," Momchil Georgiev, program coordinator of the festival, says. “The festival is of the type ‘Sofia Music Weeks and Friends’ as there are many Bulgarians working abroad who have come over the years to contribute to the development of the festival. They are a bridge between the East and West. This was the idea of the festival launched half a century ago by its founders Prof. Bogomil Starshenov, Pancho Vladigerov, Peter Stupel. We continue to keep the tradition, so we remain a festival of premieres and rich repertoire, not a festival of fake stars.”

Conductor and director of the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra Naiden Todorov expressed his satisfaction that Bulgarian musicians from different generations are participating in the festival.

“The role of a festival is not just to present concerts but to have something special in it. And there are a lot of special things at this festival. We open the festival with pianist Lyudmil Angelov and we close it with violinist Mincho Minchev; Conductor Uroš Lajovitz will surprise us with a different orchestration of ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’ by Mussorgsky made by Leo Funtek; the Frosh quartet will play together with pianist Evgeni Bozhanov and Japanese accordionist Mie Miki. We have young, but also experienced soloists of the Philharmonic Orchestra, such as violinists Bojidara Kuzmanova and Yana Deshkova, who will perform concerts by Bruch and Korngold respectively. There is also an outstanding concert of the radio orchestra in memory of Georgi Badev. Soloist will be violinist Svetlin Rusev. The festival will pay tribute to great Bulgarian performers, but it will also show that we have a future with the concert of the Pioneer Philharmonic, which is on May 24th.”

“With its first participation in Sofia Music Weeks, the Vanya Moneva Choir will celebrate its 25th anniversary. Do not think that we are singing only folk songs arranged by Bulgarian composers,” said conductor Mrs. Moneva, adding that the concert will present premieres by Bulgarian composers. For the first time the audience will hear Concerto piccolo non tanto grosso, performed by Atanas Atanassov, which is included in the concert "Mirrors - Baroque Meets Modernity" (on June 7),” conductor Virginia Atanasova told us. “The title suggests we will be looking for bridges between past and present,” she added.

As 2019 is a year dedicated to Pancho Vladigerov, his 120th anniversary will be honored with a number of events at the festival. The four grandchildren of the composer will perform well-known works and plays in new arrangements at the concert "Vladigerov's Family play works by Pancho Vladigerov ".

English: Alexander Markov

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