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In the past week in the hall of the Pancho Vladigerov Music Academy, lovers of organ music enjoyed the premiere of Bulgarian works. This was a jubilee concert with a special focus on renowned organ player Prof. Dr. Neva Krasteva. In addition to her, musicians Margarita Krasteva, Sestra Seraphima, Kiril Pavlov, Miroslav Dimov also took part in the concert. They presented contemporary works for organ and opuses by Johann Sebastian Bach and Dmitri Shostakovich. It was also reported that prof. Dr. Neva Krasteva would also receive the "Sts. Cyril and Methodius” award for outstanding merit in the development of art, culture and science.
Renowned lecturer, theorist and composer, Neva Krasteva is the founder of organ music school in Bulgaria. She graduated from the P. Tchaikovsky Conservatory in Moscow. She specialized in Prague and Zurich. Neva Krasteva has performed in hundreds of concerts in Europe and Asia. She started having concerts in Bulgaria only after the construction of the new organ in "Bulgaria" Hall as the old one was destroyed during bombing in World War II. The concert in this hall in 1974 was the first concert of a Bulgarian organist after 30 years of interruption. Neva Krasteva is daughter of prominent music historian and journalist Venelin Krastev and piano professor Luba Obretenova.
“I am a typical case of a musician coming from the family of musicians. I have loved playing Bach and Beethoven. Since I was a child I have had the desire to learn about the organ, because it sounds closer to my favorite music. My whole life has been under the influence of this instrument, which is linked to improvisation and spiritual music. It has its origins in ancient Greece and later reached Western Europe. Speaking about values in Europe, most important for me is music. If we can teach someone European values, it can be done precisely through the prism of music. The concert to a large extent represents my personality. I have chosen Bach’s Prelude and Fugue in B Minor, Toccata, Adagio and Fugue in C Major. I made a transcription of the Prelude and Fugue in D minor from "24 Preludes and Fugues" for piano by Shostakovich. There are my works too, as one of them is dedicated to my mother. I want people to listen to classical music as they would surely find something that resonates within them. It should not be forgotten that from ancient times music has been the clearest indicator of the processes going on in society."
Here is what Ralitsa Trifonova told us about her lecturer:
"This is the most precious person I had as a teacher. She has helped my formation as a thinking musician and showed me through music that the world is a much better place than it seems. I become extremely inspired when I listen to her performances. Her whole life is based on the spiritual charge of art."
"Neva Krasteva work is versatile and it goes beyond the music industry,” music historian Prof. Natasha Yapova says. “She has managed to perform twice all of Bach’s works for organ - a true creative feat. In Bulgaria organ music was not part of the cultural life for decades, so it is Neva Krasteva who is responsible for the presence of audience now. She has trained many musicologists, performers and composers. Neva Krasteva’s works are very deep and they have contributed to the development of Bulgarian music.”
Audio features the following performances of Neva Krasteva:
. Dmitri Shostakovich - Passacaglia
. Johann Sebastian Bach - Choral Prelude "Nun komm 'der Heiden Heiland"