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Tradition and new trends at the International Festival Sofia Music Weeks 2022

Photo: sofiaweeks.com

ˮThe festival of classical masterpieces and repertory discoveries, of tradition and youth... Over a hundred shows with participants from 17 countries in six Music Weeks in Sofia- reads the announcement to the oldest music forum in Sofia. The opening ceremony of its fifty-third edition will take place on 23 May. The first concert is by the Pioneer Youth Philharmonic Orchestra and is dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the founding of the orchestra and the 110th anniversary of the birth of prof. Vladi Simeonov - the conductor who founded and led Pioneer for decades.

What else is there to anticipate?

First of all, there are the concerts dedicated to the anniversaries that we celebrate and that are very important for us - replies Prof. Momchil Georgiev, artistic director of the festival. - Apart from those of Franz Schubert (225th anniversary) and César Franck (200th anniversary), there are the Bulgarian anniversaries: the 100th anniversaries of composers Alexander Raichev and Lazar Nikolov, the anniversaries of Atanas Atanasov, Angel Kotev, Alexander Tekeliev, Assen Avramov, etc.

The second module is the showcase of the Bulgarian orchestras, which we have been doing for the third, now with the participation of "Dianopolis" from Yambol, the chamber orchestra from Dobrich, the Plovdiv Philharmonic (with Mahler - Fourth Symphony, soloist Vera Girginova). Together with the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra, which is our main co-organiser, the Sofia Soloists Chamber Ensemble and Pioneer, we get a panorama of chamber and symphony orchestras."

Traditional partners of Sofia Music Weeks are The National Music Academy “Prof. Pancho Vladigerov” and New Bulgarian University, who are dedicated to another very important part of the programme - the presentation of young talents.

ˮIt is through this partnership that we give a first time performance on professional stage, a first recording, and sometimes a first review to the future stars... It is also the very reason why the festival is so important - says Prof. Georgiev. - Some of the young performers come from abroad where they are pursuing successful careers. Among them are the pianist Asen Tanchev, the percussionist Vivi Vassileva. We will also have a chance to listen to many other Bulgarian musicians who rarely come to Bulgaria, like Stefan Popov, the doyen of our cello school, several violin and piano duos - Liliya Boyadjieva and Angelina Abadjieva (who came together as a duo for the first time, especially for the festival), and Yana Burova and Sibila Konstantinova.

The premieres are also very important - for example, Vasil Kazandjiev for the first time wrote a ballet whose premiere is on the festival poster. During these two years the choirs suffered the heaviest losses - they could not rehearse and perform. That's why we pay special attention to the choral and vocal concerts."

At the press conference held days before the opening, there were comments about the small budget allocated by the cultural institutions. "Anyone can do it with money", joked Momchil Georgiev, although it is no joke that his team has encountered many obstacles in the preparations.

It is tough everywhere in the world - plane tickets have gone up, flights are being delayed. But, anyway, we expect musicians from 17 countries. Maria João Pires, the world-famous pianist, will play in our country for the first time, together with the Sofia Philharmonic.

The Country in Focus will be Brazil. We will also have performers from Turkey, Tunisia, Morocco, Japan, China, and for the second time we have a concert of South Korean contemporary music. We are expecting seven South Korean performers of traditional instruments recognized as national treasures of their country."

Editor: Elena Karkalanova

English: Elizabeth Radkova

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