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Dora Deliyska: I love the stage, making music is what matters to me most

Photo: личен архив

Having received a solid education in several different countries and earned numerous prestigious awards, Dora Deliyska quickly made a name for herself and is now a popular and sought-after musician. 

The young pianist has been living in Vienna for 18 years. She went there to study at the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst, Wien, but as time went by, she grew enraptured with the city.

“What impressed me most was the way people react to music and the work of musicians,” she says. “When strangers ask me what I do and I say I am a concert pianist, I see respect and admiration. Children there receive a very good music education, many of them play some instrument to broaden their horizons and, whatever profession they may choose, their bond with art remains for life.” 

Her young son does not go to school yet, but he listens to music all the time, and he knows that he must not make any noise or interrupt in the music room. That was the kind of childhood Dora herself had – when she was very young she would go to the rehearsals of the Pleven Opera where her mother, Vanya Deliyska sang. Later, Vanya was conductor of the Zvunika children’s choir, the choir Dora herself sang in for many years.

“That was something that influenced me greatly. Ever since I was a child the stage has made me feel comfortable. I love it and I have learnt not to be afraid of being onstage, and to express myself clearly. I was born in Pleven, I graduated the music school there with Eleonora Karamisheva,” the young pianist says. “At the music academy in Vienna I studied with different professors - Jürg von Vintschger, Stefan Vladar and Noel Flores. At the same time I specialized with Oxana Yablonskaya in Italy, and I studied in the Netherlands for one year… All this has enabled me to come in contact with different piano schools. But I was given the basics by Mrs. Karamisheva and Prof. Marina Kapatsinskaya with whom I took piano lessons. My work with them was exclusively in soundmaking. To this day as soon as I take a look at the score, I start thinking what colours of the instrument can be highlighted. Pianists always have so many things on their mind – harmony, memorizing… But soundmaking is a priority from the start, and that is something that is invariably there, in the way the work is ultimately interpreted.”

Dora’s repertoire includes composers of all periods – Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Liszt, Schumann, Bartok, Ligeti… She says the biggest successes in her career include her debut at the prestigious concert hall Musikverein Wien in 2011, after which she received numerous invitations to various events. She frequently plays at Konzerthaus and is actively involved in different conceptual programmes that take serious research work. In 2018 she presented her tenth album - the B-A-C-H Project – which she describes as the most important album in her professional development as a musician and an artist.

“It goes beyond a piano concept, it is, in fact, a philosophical concept that brings together, outside of time and space, Bach, Shostakovich and Chopin. Parallel with many other projects, I have been working on this one for years. I compared two piano cycles with preludes and fugues – The Well-Tempered Clavier by Johann Christian Bach and 24 Preludes and Fugues by Dmitri Shostakovich. In the final stage I added études by Frédéric Chopin. I made four “blocks” in the tonalities that correspond to Bach’s name in the German language – B flat, A, C, and H. In each one I included works composed by the three geniuses. After the premiere many people said they had perceived what they heard as one whole, complete cycle. Of all things I have created thus far, this is the project in which I see myself most clearly. To my mind this is the kind of artistic approach to art that gives freedom and breaks the mold. To sum up what matters to me most is making music. I love to be on stage, whether with a big symphony orchestra, with a chamber ensemble or solo, no matter.”

At the moment Dora is working on a programme dedicated to waltz in which she showcases some of the more surprising aspects of the dance. 

“It is more than just “Viennese” or “graceful”, as it is more often than not seen by the broad public,” she says. “Starting with Ligeti’s Musica Ricercata and Bartok’s Bagatelles, we show that there are “hidden” waltzes in the two cycles that treat the genre in a modern way. Through the works of Debussy and Ravel I present the impressionist ideas connected with waltz, and in the second part I have included a Viennese waltz – Schubert, and a virtuoso waltz – Liszt, and in the end, naturally – Strauss.”

Besides in Vienna, this programme will be presented in February at two concerts in France with the support of the Bulgarian cultural institute in Paris and Culture Bulgare à Strasbourg.

English version: Milena Daynova

Photo: courtesy of Dora Deliyska

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