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The festival opens on May 22 with a concert marking the 100th anniversary of the National Music Academy

Sofia Music Weeks 2021 – highlights and premieres

Photo: sofiaweeks.com

Regardless of the extraordinary circumstances in which the programme of the Sofia Music Weeks festival had to be prepared, it will be, as usual, varied and impressive. The forthcoming 52nd edition of this prestigious international festival starts on May 22nd and will last until July 1st. The festival playbill includes over 50 concerts and dozens of accompanying events, the participants are over 400, representatives of 13 countries, we learn from the festival’s artistic director Momchil Georgiev.


"We respect our mission to present young musicians, as well as to be a bridge between the foreign performers, composers and their Bulgarian colleagues”, explains Mr. Georgiev. “The program includes two original concerts – by Korean and Brazilian composers. Important for us is the new cycle "Descendants – Followers", for which we have invited Abisal Gergiev and Zaurbek Gugkaev (the son and nephew of one of the most influential conductors of our time Valery Gergiev), Evelyne Berezovsky and about twenty other Bulgarian musicians, no less known than their parents. We continue the presentation of Bulgarian orchestras.

This year we present the Orpheus Orchestra, the Vidin and Vratsa Sinfoniettas, the Varna and Ruse Philharmonic Orchestras, and our main "symphonic backbone", co-organizer and partner – the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as the Sofia Soloists Chamber Ensemble. We will present the South Korean school of composition, we have planned a concert dedicated to the work of Harry Crow (Brazil), as well as artists from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy, Germany, Finland, Russia and others”.

The opening of Sofia Music Weeks 2021 will be given on May 22 with a concert dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Pancho Vladigerov National Music Academy in Sofia.

"We always offer the stage also to our compatriots who have a successful career abroad, but do not perform in Bulgaria so often”,  continues Momchil Georgiev. “Pianist Plamena Mangova with whom we cooperate very successfully and thanks to whom we were visited by world artists, marks 30 years on stage this year. Also, we will hear works by Albena Vrachanska, conductor Pavel Balev will conduct the Varna Philharmonic, Ivan Yanakov will appear as a soloist of the Ruse Philharmonic. The programme of the Ruse Philharmonic also includes Beethoven's 10th Symphony – the premiere for Bulgaria. We will hear how out of 250 bars written by Beethoven, an English composer made two parts 30 years ago, which in the opinion of experts are very similar to the manner of composition and taste of Beethoven himself.

Vasilena Serafimova will present her latest CD, we will also hear Lyudmil Angelov and Svetlin Rusev. Trio SMS will arrive from Vienna, in which the violinist is Bulgarian, and some of the works in the new CD they present are with Balkan rhythms. Under the name Vienna Duo, we will welcome Desislava Dobreva – flute and Bozhana Pavlova – guitar, and their program is called "Danube Impressions". The brilliant finale of the strongest season of the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra will be also the finale of the festival."

As we know, due to the lockdown in 2020, the Sofia Music Weeks were postponed to September.

"Since last year, I haven't stopped saying that we need to talk about the impact of art and music on people, not about the impact of the virus and what has happened to our lives. It has become quite clear that musicians have an enormous need to be on stage and to engage in a live contact with the audience, not only financially, but above all psychologically. Just like the audience needs to be in the hall – not in front of the computer or TV. There are logistical problems, regardless of the serious organization we constantly expect surprises, but we would be happy for our audience to come without fear and to be filled with optimism and hope. This is essential for our mental purity and health.”

English Rositsa Petkova

Photo: Stanislava Pircheva, BNR

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