Program for January 2020

45 INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL – Winter musical evenings
“PROF. IVAN SPASOV “- Pazardzhik
January 23 – 26, 2020

                   January 23, 2020 /thursday/   18.30 hours       Hall “M-Ro G.Atanasov”                         

                                                Conductor: GRIGOR PALIKAROV                                             



                     Gabriela Georgieva  – soprano                                                              Gergana Rusekova – mezzosoprano



                                                                        Mihail Mihaylov – tenor                                                   Ivaylo Dzhurov  – bass 




                  Mixed choir of the Bulgarian National Radio                                                            Lyubomira Alexandrova




Pancho Vladigerov – Bulgarian rhapsody “Vardar”

L. van Beethoven – Symphony No. 9,  in D minorq op.125



Grigor Palikarov (born in 1971 in Plovdiv) graduated the National School of Music and Dance Art “Dobrin Petkov” – Plovdiv with the specialty of piano with excellent grades and golden badge award in 1990 and then he graduated the Music Academy “Prof. Pancho Vladigerov” in Sofia with Master’s degrees in four majors: Opera and Symphony Conducting under Acad. V. Kazandzhiev and Prov. Iv. Vulpe; Composition under Prof. D. Tapkov, Piano – under Prof. Kr. Taskov and Choir Conducting under Prof. St. Kralev. He specialized in Composition within two summer courses in Austria with Prof. Erich Urbaner from Vienna University of Musical and Performing Arts.

His debut at the opera stage was when he was still a student (at the age of 22) and conducted Rigoletto in the opera theatres in Pleven and Stara Zagora.

His professional career as a conductor began in the Symphonic Orchestra of the Bulgarian Army Ensemble (1995 – 1997) and from 1997 to 1999 he was Chief Conductor of the Ensemble. In the meantime, he also took the position of conductor and chief artistic director of the renowned Youth Philharmonic “Pioneer” (1998 – 2003). His debut at the National Opera and Ballet Theatre – Sofia was in 1998 when he conducted a Gala Concerto of Gena Dimitrova by her personal request. Since 2001 he was appointed fulltime conductor of the opera and currently his repertoire includes more than 55 opera and ballet works. Since season 2005-2006 Grigor Palikarov is also the Chief Artistic Director and Conductor of the Symphonic-Opera Society at the National Music Academy “Prof. Pancho Vladigerov” – Sofia.

At present, Grigor Palikarov is a frequent visiting conductor of a number of orchestras and opera theatres among which are: Symphonic Orchestra of the Bulgarian National Radio, Classic FM Orchestra – Sofia, of which he is also a permanent conductor since season 2008-2009, Sofia Philharmonic, Festival Orchestra – Sofia, the national Operas in Plovdiv, Burgas, Varna, Ruse and Stara Zagora, the Pleven Philharmonic, etc. A special place among his multiple conducting performances is occupied by the numerous studio records of various works with the Symphonic Orchestra of the Bulgarian National Radio, along with his participations in prestigious national and international music festivals such as Sofia Music Weeks, March Music Days, Laureate Days “Katya Popova” – Pleven, Austrian Music Weeks, New Bulgarian Music, Winter Music Evenings – Pazardzhik, Opera and Ballet Festival – Varna, Contemporary Music Festival – Pula, Croatia, May Opera Nights – Skopje, Macedonia, Dyuni Festival – Matera, Italy, etc. In October 2014, Grigor Palikarov had two concertos with the orchestra of Classic FM Radio at the prestigious Alte Oper (Frankfurt am Mein) from the programme of the festival of European Culture Days organized by the European Central Bank.

Grigor Palikarov regularly performs abroad in countries like Germany, Austria, Belgium, France, Italy, Luxemburg, Russia, the USA, Slovenia, Greece, Poland, the Ukraine,  Taiwan, the Netherlands, Great Britain, Portugal, Mexico, Korea, Japan, Uruguay, etc. He has conducted the Royal Belgian Philharmonic – Brussels, the national Opera and Ballet – Ljubljana, Vienna Chamber Ensemble “New Tone”, Century Symphonic Orchestra – Taipei,   Cleveland Opera – the USA where his debut was marked as one of the most important music events for 2009 in the state of Ohio, the Krasnoyarsk Opera and Ballet – Russia, Yanacek Philharmonic – Czech Republic, Czestohowa Philharmonic and Varmino-Masuric Philharmonic – Poland, Symphonic Orchestra – Bari, national Orchestra (SODRE) and the National Choir of Uruguay, Magna Grecia Orchestra – Italy, Dnepropetrovsk Philharmonic, Yucatan Symphonic Orchestra and Monterey Symphonic Orchestra – Mexico, Thessaloniki Symphonic Orchestra, and many others.

Along with his activity as a conductor, Grigor Palikarov composes, performs in concerto playing the piano and teaches at the National Music Academy “Prof. Pancho Vladigerov” where he successfully pursued his Ph.D. degree in Music Studies and Music Art in 2017. Some of his works are being performed at a number of festivals and have been recorded many times. He has won many national and international awards for his successful performance as a composer and pianist at the competitions “Svetosalv Obretenov”, “Albert Roussel”, The Music of the Earth, etc. Three-time laureate of the prestigious award Crystal Lyre of the Union of Bulgarian Musicians and Dancers – 2002, 2012, and 2017, as well as of the ward the Golden Feather.

Within two mandates, Grigor Palikarov has been the Chair of Mensa-Bulgaria –  the branch of the worldwide organization of people with high IQ.


Gabriela Georgieva

Gabriela Georgieva graduated the “Pancho Vladigerov” State Academy of Music,Sofia in 1998. The same year she specialized singing at the Bulgarian Academy of Art and Culture ”Boris Christoff” in Rome, Italy.
Later she worked under the supervision of Kaludy Kaludow and Ghena Dimitrova who played a major role for the artistic growth of the singer.
Gabriela Georgieva begins her professional career in Varna, Bulgaria, performing Leonora in Verdi’s “Il Trovatore” in 2002 and soon after that is singing on the stage of the Sofia National Opera –Amelia in Verdi’s ”Un ballo in maschera”. All this is followed by a series of participations in “Il Trovatore” on the same prestigious stage.
Her debut as Maddalena in the lush staging of “Andrea Chenier” by Giordano at the Sofia National Opera leaves a lasting impression. This is followed by invitations for future engagements: a debut as Aida in Verdi’s “Aida” on the stage of the Rousse Opera and a guest artist performance in the same role at the First International Opera Festival in Cypres. In the autumn of 2004 she was invited for ten performances for the role of Amelia in ”Un ballo in maschera” by Verdi in Spain and France. At the very beginning of 2005 she is invited in Germany for the role of Leonora in Verdi’s “Il Trovatore”. Later she has participated in the “Peter Dvorsky” International Music Festival, the Czech Republic ”Europalia”,Belgium, as well as at the Bolshoi Theatre. She performed for the first time in Bulgaria the cycle of songs “Poemes pour Mi” by Olivier Messiaen.
The singer is laureated of number of national and international opera singing competitions: “Hristo Brambarov” Third National Competition (2002)-Second Prize; “Katia Popova” First National Competition (2003)-First Prize; “Boris Christoff”13th International Competition (2004)-Second Prize(First Prize was not awarded).
Gabriela Georgievas repertoire includes among others following parts:
Henry Purcell “Dido and Aeneas”;Verdis “Nabucco”-Abigaille; “Attila”-Odabella; “Il Trovatore”-Leonora; “Un ballo in maschera”-Amelia; “Don Carlo”-Elisabetta; “Aida”-Aida; Giordanos “Andrea Chenier”-Maddalena; Puccinis “Tosca”- Floria Tosca and Sour Angelica and Manon Lescaut title roles; Mascagnis “Cavalleria Rusticana”-Santuzza; Ponchiellis Gioconda; Dodo; Pergolesi “Stabat mater”-soprano part; Verdi “Requiem”-soprano part; Messiaen “Poemes pour Mi”-First and Second Books.
2009 after a great success as Turandot at the Nationa Opera House in Sofia, she has her debut as Abigaille/Nabucco at Oper Graz followed by Aida at Palau des Arts Barcelona and Auditorio Nacional Madrid. 2010-12 included among others the parts of Abigaille and Amelia at Opernhaus Zürich under the baton of Nello Santi ( stage director David Pountney), as well as Tosca at Bern Opera Turandot and Abigaille at Sofia National Opera and Aida at Opera di Roma under the baton of Asher Fish.
2013 returned to the Opernhaus Zürich as Amelia and debuted as Abigaille, together with Roberto Alagna, at the Wiener Staatsoper under the baton of Philippe Augin. 2014 performed among others Tosca and Aida and Elisabetta at the Sofia and Zagreb opera houses. 2015 projects include cover engagements at the MET as Aida and Lady Macbeth, as well as Tosca, Jaroslawna, Amelia and Elisabetta at Sofia State opera.


Gergana Rusekova

The mezzosoprano  Gergana Rusekova was born in Pazarzhik,Bulgaria.  She graduated opera singing at the “National Academy of Music “ Pancho Vladigerov” in Sofia, Bulgaria. Her studies continued with Associate professor Konstanza Vachkova Ms.Rusekova participated in Master Classes with:  Prof. Jeffrey Ghol-  The Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia,USA. Prof. Shetler – Chamber music Valery Rifkin – Conductor, Santa Barbara Opera Stefka Evstatieva , Martina Arroyo,Fiorenza Cosotto,Luciana D’Intino.
She studied at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, post graduate program with Prof. Claudia Pinza, Prof. Guenko Gueshev and Sussana Lemberskaya(Los Angeles Opera) , Joseph Lawson(Metropolitan Opera) as principal coaches. In 2007 Ms. Rusekova won a scholarship –EPCASO 2007.She worked with Enza Ferarri(La Scalla-coach),Maria Pavan( La Scalla-coach),Gianni Cappelletto(Teviso Opera-coach)Claudia Pinza (vocal teacher),Maurizio Arena(Conductor),Maria Chiara (Soprano).  In 2014 masterclass with Fiorenza Cosotto in Sofia National Opera and Ballet . In 2015 work shop with Luciana D’Intino-NDK-Darina Takova Fondation. Ms. Rusekova won various prizes at prestigious competitions: In 2005, International Competition for young operatic singers “Puldin”-Plovdiv, Bulgaria-A special award and scholarship for post graduate program at Duquesne University,USA. In 2006, National Operatic Competition “Hristo Brambarov “-Sofia,Bulgaria- laureate. In 2009, May, Eurpien Competition for young performers “The crown of Turnovgrad “-V.Turnovo, Bulgaria-Grad Prix and records in Bulgarian National Radio. In 2009, June, National Operatic Competition “Ghena Dimitrova”-Pleven,Bulgaria-3th award. In 2009,October , International Operatic Competition “Ritorna Vincitor “-Ercolano,Italy-3th award . In 2014,April, National Opera Competition”Viva Verdi”(Sofia National Opera) – 2th award.

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January 26, 2019 /sunday/   18.30 hours       Hall “M-Ro G.Atanasov”

               Conductor:  Yuri Medianik /Russia/                                                        Soloist: Yan “Francis” Fang–  piano /China/



P. Tchaikovsky – Piano Concerto No. 1

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                                            L. van Beethoven – Symphony No. 4, in B-flat major, Op. 60


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                                                                                                                                  Yuri Medianik

Conductor Yuri Medianik got his education in Russia (Moscow and Saint Petersburg). Over the years of education he gained a big success in performing arts: Yuri plays violin — graduated at Moscow Conservatory; he as well plays bayan (button accordion)— graduated from Gnessin Academy of Music; and also plays bandoneon — taking part in various TVshows and concerts. However, Yuri has chosen the conducting as his main direction in music. Yuri Medianik’s childhood was a bright kaleidoscope of concerts and tours — he’s been taught music since he was 2 years old. His first tour happened to be, when he was just 10. Yuri won 5 competitions as an accordionist and violinist. That’s an interesting fact, that his first record was made at his age of 14 years old, with Bochum Chamber orchestra (Germany). At his age of 15, he became an Honored member of Kaunas Conservatory (Lithuania). Yuri Medianik studied conducting under the leadership under the leadership of Vladimir Ponkin, for the Post-graduate education he was at the class of Honored Artist of Russia Yuri Simonov. And gratefully, Yuri had the internship with Kurt Mazur. Since 2014 Yuri Medianik has been conducting in Novaya Opera Moscow Theatre. There are more than 10 operas and concert programs in his repertoire. Concerts with Yuri’s participations are broadcasted on Russian TV-channels “Russia. Culture” and “Russia-1”. Such operas as «La Bohéme», «Madama Butterfly» by Puccini, «Lucia di Lammermoor» by Donizetti, «Romeo et
Juliette» by Gounod, “The Nutcracker Opera» by Tchaikovsky were performed under the leadership of Yuri Medianik. Yuri worked as an assistant conductor with Alexandru Samoilā (Moldova), Arthur Arnold (Netherlands), Jan Latham-Koenig (UK). In 2018 Yuri has become the Principal Guest Conductor of First International Vocal Competition in DPRK. Yuri collaborates with such orchestras as: Royal Bangkok Symphony Orchestra (Thailand), Israel Camerata Jerusalem, Ashdod Symphony Orchestra, Russian Philharmonic Orchestra, Rostov-on-Don Symphony Orchestra, Kaliningrad Symphony Orchestra, Volga Philharmonic, Samara Virtuosos orchestra, ‘Russian Camerata’ chamber orchestra, Taurida International Symphony Orchestra. The are various names of worldwide recognized musicians with whom Yuri collaborates, soloists such as: Vadim Repin (violin), Maxim Vengerov (violin), Erwin Schrott (baritone, Uruguay), Avi Avital (mandolin, Israel), Boris Berezovsky (piano), Olga Sheps (piano, Germany), Vanessa Benelli Mosel (piano, Italy). One of many of the talents inherent by Yuri – is his ability to unite famous musicians in orchestras and ensembles. In such way in 2007 he became the founder of Pluri Art Orchestra. At the same year orchestra was one of the guests in the festival “Opera Ischia” (Italy”, participated in the performance of operas «La Bohéme» by Puccini and «Il barbiere di Siviglia» by Rossini. In 2008 in Norway Pluri Art Orchestra performed the world-premiere of the composer Flint Joventino in Beppe. Since 2009 the orchestra has participated more than in 10 festivals in Moscow. In 2016 Yuri Medianik became a founder and conductor of the VGTRK Orchestra. Where the abbreviation “VGTRK” stands for All-Russian Broadcasting Television State Company. The unique compound of the orchestra combines academic Instruments with drum-sets, guitars, synthesizers and brass-section. The orchestra performs music of different periods and genres, from Baroque opera arias till jazz and cross-over music. At its first season the VGTRK Orchestra became the main orchestra of TV-competition “Blue Bird”. Until 2019 only this orchestra accompanies the participants. The VGTRK Orchestra has expanded its repertoire almost to 200 pieces. The audience reached almost 80 million people and it made this competition and orchestra one of the most famous on Russian Television. Besides all tremendous musical achievements, since 2017 Yuri Medianik is an ambassador of beneficial fund “Be the human”. The fund was created for the great purpose of helping children with heavy illnesses.


Yan “Francis” Fang

 Displaying special musical talent from an early age, Yan “Francis” Fang was able to sing Bach fugues after just one listen at a very early age. When Francis was 5 and a half years old, he began his musical journey with piano teacher, Ms. Xiaoyu Wang. When Francis was 8 years old (2005), he began his studies with Xiamen University Prof. Shuhua Chen. Before Francis moved to the United States, he also studied with Ms. Ni Fang, teacher at the Xiamen Music School and with Ms. Xiao Luo, teacher of Shanghai Conservatory of Music. Francis’s musical talent drew piano master Chengzong Yin’s attention, and became his student. At the end of 2013, when Francis was 15 years old, he decided to study music professionally. He moved to Boston, where he attended Walnut Hill school for the arts and the pre-college division of New England Conservatory of music, studying with pianist Alexander Korsantia. The following year, Francis moved to Los Angeles where he currently attends The Colburn School Music Academy studying with Dr. Myong-joo Lee. Francis’s performances have attracted audiences around the world. Recently, he was invited by Xiamen University to attend the 2nd Xiamen University International Piano Festival perform a solo recital as a guest pianist and successfully record a DVD. Francis was born in Xiamen, China and as a Xiamen citizen, he was invited by the Xiamen City Government to perform a solo concert to celebrate the city’s nomination as a “World Heritage” city by the UN. The former Vice Mayor of Xiamen Mr. Wanghuai Cai attended the National Heritage concert. Francis has been invited by Joe Coulombe, the founder of Trader Joe’s, to perform at his home, and was also chosen to perform at the California Club. Francis performed on the “Stars of Tomorrow” concert at Music Fest Perugia. Hailed as “an exceptionally gifted pianist” by pianist Boris Berman after a master class in The Colburn School. Francis has played at many masterclasses, teachers including Jean-Yves Thibaudet, Boris Berman, Stanislav Ioudenitch, Joseph Benowetz, Yafen Zhu, Weiming Li, Yingdi Sun, Shengjin Peng, Angela Cheng, Allen Chow, John O’ Conor, Sasha Starcevich. Daejin Kim, Sean Chen. Francis has won many prizes at many major national and international piano competitions, including, 3rd prize at the 2nd “KAWAI” National piano Competition, Silver Award at the 5th Gulangyu Piano Festival National Youth Piano Competition, 1st prize winner with outstanding award on Cheer Tainan International Music Competition. Gold medalist of the Chopin’s 200th Anniversary International Piano Competition, and recently a 2nd prize winner at the Steinway Concerto Piano Competition at The Colburn Music Academy Piano Festival. Yan “Francis” Fang was born on October 13th, 1997 in Xiamen, China.