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Aglika Genova and Liuben Dimitrov about the art of sharing, breathing and performing in sync

БНР Новини
Photo: library

This year Aglika Genova and Liuben Dimitrov celebrated the 20th anniversary of their piano duo. To mark the occasion CPO Records released a CD of their performances through the years. Another album - Bartok & Babin – Concertos for Two Pianos was recorded with the Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra with conductor Yordan Kamdzhalov.

Снимка“How did the Genova & Dimitrov duo come about – spontaneously and as God planned it,” Aglika says. “We were tutored by the remarkable pedagogues Julia and Konstantin Ganev, we were students of theirs from a very early age – 9 and 11. We started performing as a duo when we completed our education in Bulgaria – it was born in room No. 142 of the Hannover University of Music. There, we studied with Prof. Vladimir Krainev who had brought together talented pianists from all over the world. While we were waiting, we sat down to play a piece by Chopin. At that precise moment Prof. Krainev came in and said he was impressed by our perfect synchronization, down to the smallest detail. And he started enumerating piano duo works and advised us to start preparing for a competition in Hannover which was to take place exactly one month later. We did so and won first prize. Our tutor invariably helped us with sound advice.”

Within a mere two years the duo won first prizes at several prestigious international forums in Germany (ARD), in USA (Dranoff), in Japan, in Italy. They have performed on the biggest concert stages in the world under the baton of foremost conductors. In 2002 Aglika Genova and Liuben Dimitrov took part in the concerts at the opening of the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City where they played a crystal grand piano. If you log onto their website you will be able to read all about their performances at numerous festivals and the concerts they have given on all continents. Since 2009 they have headed the piano duo section at the Hannover University of Music.

“As a duo we have been balancing on the borderline between solo and chamber music,” Liuben says. “That is what we teach our students. We have duos that are formed as ensembles and need to polish up their performance. The other direction we have been working in are duos of young pianists who want to branch out as solo performers. Pianists start playing at a very early age and that gives them a huge ego of being “suns” with the world revolving around them. When you have a piano duo, you have two such “suns”. We try to show them that a piano duo is not merely two people performing together, but two people breathing, experiencing life in sync.”

“Whatever the profession we may be talking about, what is most important and distinguishable to the public are the major world forums,” says Aglika Genova. “That is why playing at Expo 2000 in Hannover or at some other big forum are talked about so much. We value them very much. But the most memorable times for us have been the concerts which our tutor, the late Vladimir Krainev has attended. Or the times when we were reading music scores by Vladigerov – 500 pages of manuscripts, copies of unpublished museum exhibits.”

Aglika says the most important thing in her life is her meeting with Liuben Dimitrov at the University of Music. “It all began with some sheet music he lent me,” she says and adds: “The most worthwhile thing we have is being together, sharing every moment of the day, in music and in life.”

The audio features:

- Ballet from Petite Suite for Piano Four-Hands by Debussy;

- Brasileira from "Scaramouche" Suite for 2 Pianos;

- Concerto for Two Pianos, Percussion and Orchestra by Bela Bartok, Part Three, percussion – Dobri Plaiev III and Plamen Todorov;

- Prelude No.1 by Gershwin;

- Concerto from Quartet for 2 Pianos by Poulenc.

English version: Milena Daynova

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