Program for January 2021

46 INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL – Winter musical evenings
“PROF. IVAN SPASOV “- Pazardzhik
January 28 – 31, 2021

                   January 28, 2021 /thursday/   18.30 hours       Hall “M-Ro G.Atanasov”                         

                                                           Conductor: GRIGOR PALIKAROV                                             




 Soloist: Zornitsa Ilarionova – violin



Pancho Vladigerov  – ”Sarabande” from “Classical and Romantic”

Felix Mendelssohn – Violin Concerto in E пinor, Op.64

L. van Beethoven – Symphony No. 7, A major, op.92



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.


Zornitsa Ilarionova

Zornitsa Ilarionova is daughter of the prominent Bulgarian music teacher Blagorodna Taneva, winner of the 2007 Crystal Lyre award given for outstanding contributions to violin teaching. This is what Zornitsa says about her first steps into the art of violin playing:
“Since I was two-years-old I would follow the lessons my mother had with her students. I was impressed by their playing and one day I said I wanted to try the violin myself. My parents found me a small violin and this was how I started taking lessons with my mother. I am grateful to her for everything she did for me – she made not only a worthy person but also a musician. I developed my ambition to fight and to win. All the successes that I’ve so far have built up my self-confidence. Despite them, I keep on learning especially from the big ones like Svetlin Rusev – a violinist of a global renown. I admire him and that’s why I attended his master class. In September I attended master classes in Hamburg, Germany. I met excellent teachers and violinists there. Such meetings inspire me and make me proud that I have learn violin playing in Bulgaria.”
Zornistsa Ilarionova has studies for three years in New Bulgarian University in the class of Prof. Mincho Minchev – another Bulgarian violinist who is world famous. Listen next to the final part of ‘Gypsy chanting’ by Pablo Sarasate and performed by Zornitsa Ilarionova and Mariana Kapitanova, piano.
‘Gypsy chanting’ by Pablo Sarasate was performed by Zornitsa Ilarionova at the gala concert of the 2008 Prof. Nedyalka Simeonova competition for young violinists held in the town of Haskovo in southern Bulgaria. Then she won the top prize. Zornitsa has also received an award for the Culture Ministry for her participations in numerous international competitions. Here is more from Zornitsa:
“All my prizes are dear to me and I have won them with a lot of hard work. I cherish most the first prize from the national competition for pianists and violinists Pancho Wladigeroff held in the town of Shumen. I also won a third prize at the Caneti competition in Antalia, Turkey.”
You’ve just listened to the final part of ‘Introduction and Rondo capriccioso’ composed by Camille Saint-Saens and performed by Zornitsa Ilarionova and Mariana Kapitanova. Until the end of the year, Zornitsa has a lot of concerts with the philharmonics in the towns of Pazardzik and Pleven. Currently she is attending a master class of Prof. Stefan Kamilarov, lecturer in the Music University of Vienna. In mid-November, she will take part in the Dobrin Petkov competition in the town of Plovdiv in southern Bulgaria. On 27th November she will perform in the prestigious Gaveau Hall in Paris. Listen next to a fragment from part III of the concert for violin and orchestra N4 by Mozart. Soloist is Zornitsa Ilarionova accompanied by the Schumen Philharmonics.

* * *


January 31, 2021 /sunday/   18.30 hours       Hall “M-Ro G.Atanasov”

               Conductor: Nayden Todorov

  Soloist: Atanas Krastev – cello



* * *

W.A. Mozart – Overture “The Wedding of Figaro”

P.I. Tchaikovsky – Variations on a Rococo Theme for Cello and Orchestra in A major, Op.33               

  L. van Beethoven – Symphony No. 2, in D major, Op.36                   




Nayden Todorov

Born in 1974 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, he received his first piano lessons at the age of five and at sixteen made his conducting debut. Alexander Vladigerov in Bulgaria and Professor Karl Österreicher in Vienna were great influences on his formation as a conductor. As a student, he won awards from Bulgarian national and international competitions, and in 1990 founded a youth orchestra of his own, with which he performed for more than ten years in Bulgaria, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany, and recorded several compact-discs. At that time, he began to study conducting with Krastyu Marev, the long-time principal conductor of Opera Plovdiv.
From 2000 to 2003 he was music director of the Opera and Philharmonic Society in Plovdiv, later he worked consecutively as artistic director of the symphony orchestra in Burgas and director of the Ruse Opera. In 2001 he made his debut with the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra, where from the 2004/2005 season he became chief guest conductor and from the beginning of 2017 he was also elected its director. He has made numerous recordings for various radio and television stations, as well as over 130 CD released in Austria, Great Britain, Denmark, Israel, the United States and Hungary.
He has worked with artists such as Raina Kabaivanska, Sara Chang, Maxim Vengerov, Sharon Kam, Midori, Gena Dimitrova, Anna Tomova-Sintova, Nikola Gyuzelev, Angela Georgiou, Joshua Bell, Yuri Bashmet, Ivo Pogorelic, Vadim Repin and others.

  Atanas Krastev

In 2012 he made his Master Degree in Prof. Anatoli Krastev’s class – National Academy of Music, Sofia. From 2011 to 2014 Krastev studied in Escuela de Música Rejna Sofia, Madrid, specializing with Prof. Natalia Shakhovskaia. He attended masterclases with David Geringas, Frans Helmerson, Arto Noras, Natalia Gutman, Antonio Meneses, Lluis Claret, Young-Chang Cho, Tomas Carroll, Robert Cohen, Daniel Weis, Maria Kliegel, Reinhard Latzko, Thomas Demenga etc. Currently he teaches cello at the NMA “Pancho Vladigerov” – Ph.D from 2016, assistant professor from 2016 and Chief assistant professor from 2017. From 2001 to 2015, Atanas Krastev won 16 First and Special Prizes at national and international competitions (Bulgaria, Austria, Czech Republic, Serbia, Spain), including: Award for Chamber Music in Madrid (bestowed by Queen Sofia), the International Competition for cellists “Liezen” (Austria, 2014), International Competition “Jeunesses musicale”, Belgrade (Serbia, 2015). He was awarded the Diploma and Award of the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture, the Title of the Academy of Young Talents, the Golden Muse Award for the performance of Russian music, and the Crystal Lyre of the UBMD (2007 and 2012). Atanas Krastev has performed in Austria, Brazil, France, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, the Czech Republic, Greece, Serbia, Slovakia, Russia, and at all important Bulgarian stages and festivals. Since 2002, he is a member of the ‘Cellissimo’ cello еnsemble with Anatoli Krastev and Kalina Krusteva. Atanas Krastev has performed over 40 concerts as a soloist of Bulgarian and foreign orchestras. His repertoire includes works from the Baroque to contemporary music. He has taken part in numerous concerts filmed live by the Bulgarian National TV, Nova TV, the Belgrade National TV, TV Globo (Brazil), in music documentaries and studio recordings at the Bulgarian National Radio, etc.; DVD by BsB, CD with the ‘Sofia Soloists’ Chamber Orchestra and Plamen Djouroff, CD with “Oscar Esplá de Asisa” piano trio etc. He made edits for the violoncello parts in J. Krushev’s transcriptions of works by Mendelssohn, Grieg and Rachmaninoff (ed. “Musica”).