The work of a conductor requires dedication. He spends hours above the score, but in addition he has to find an approach to each member of the orchestra too. A conductor needs charisma, he has to be able to attract the attention of both the musicians on stage and the audience. It takes years to become a good conductor. We will introduce a Bulgarian that has been a very successful conductor both in this country and abroad. Dian Chobanov was born in the city of Plovdiv. He graduated the music school there as a pianist. He then continued with his studies at the Pancho Vladigerov National Academy of Music with Prof. Vassil Kazandjiev. Later on he graduated the University of Music and Performing Art – Vienna with Prof. Uros Lajovic. He worked with many orchestras and in many countries.
“I spent a long time in Vienna, both as a student and conductor”, Dian Chobanov says. “I worked 6 years with the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra and then I became a chief conductor in the town of Stara Zagora, where I still work. My history in Zagreb started back in 2003. I won the second award at the Lovro fon Matacic International Contest for Young Conductors. I started to work there from time to time, but since 2009 I have been a conductor of the State Opera Zagreb. The latest news is that I will be a chief conductor of the Croatian Chamber Orchestra Zagreb as of season 2012 – 2013. I am a Bulgarian, who lives in Austria. Croatia is the border between these two cultures, as its people is an interesting mixture – a Balkan nation that used to be a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. There is nothing new here for me, I learned the language easily. Zagreb is a very nice place that lives a rich musical life.”
In March 2012 Dian Chobanov conducted the Love Potion opera by Donizetti, staged by the National Theatre for Opera and Ballet in Sofia. Thus he debuted on this stage.
“I was happy with the invitation. That is one of my favorite operas that obviously chases me in my artistic biography. Love Potion is among the works, most often conducted by me. I worked for a first time with director Vera Nemirova. She a really extravagant person, her work was provocative too, I had to face challenges as a conductor. It was a positive communication.”
Bulgarian conductor Dian Chobanov enjoys the invitations he receives from different parts of the globe.
“Besides being a full-time conductor I am also a freelancer. I have periodical engagements in Hungary, I often pay visits to the Dohnany orchestra in Budapest. Now my Brazilian debut is forthcoming. I have also been to Israel, the USA, with local orchestras… However, this will be the first time that I will conduct in Latin America, where I was invited as an expert in Viennese music.”
A master class for conductors takes place June 10-27 in Stara Zagora under the leadership of Dian Chobanov. This is its 6th edition, but the sea capital of Varna used to host it before. This year the master class will take place with the cooperation of tutors from the opera theatre with the Stetson University, Florida, USA. It will end up with Puccini’s masterpieces Gianni Schicchi and Sister Angelica. Prof. Russel Franks, a director of Stetson’s opera theatre directs the stage productions. The operas will be performed on the stage of Stara Zagora’s State Opera.