Program in January 2019

44 INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL – Winter musical evenings
“PROF. IVAN SPASOV “- Pazardzhik
January 24 – 27, 2019


                   January 24, 2019 /wednesday/   18.30 hours       Hall “M-Ro G.Atanasov”                         

        Conductor:GRIGOR PALIKAROV                                              Soloist: Rostislav Yovchev – piano


Pancho Vladigerov – Bulgarian rhapsody “Vardar”

L. van Beethoven – Concerto No.4 For Piano and Orchestra in G Major, Op. 58

                                                                                                        Hindemith – Symphonic metamorphosis                                                                                                           Allegro; Turandot, Scherzo – Moderato;  Andantino;  Marsch



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.



            Born in Sofia in 1961, Rostislav Yovchev started learning to play the piano at the age of 6 with Margarita Hlebarova. Then he graduated the Secondary School of Music “L.Pipkov” in Lyudmila Stoyanova’s class. In 1984 he graduated the Bulgarian State Conservatory (today, National Music Academy “Pancho Vladigerov”) under Prof. Atanas Kurtev and after that he also completed the two-year master class.

Award-winner at a number of national and international competitions:

1st prize at the National Contest “Svetoslav Obretenov”,1980.

3rd prize at the Salerno International Contest in Italy, 1981.

1st prize and Honorary Award at the national competition “Karol Szymanowski”, 1982.

3rd prize at the International Competition “Pilar Bayona”, Spain, 1983.

Winner of the only prize at the competition for best performance of Spanish music at the course in Santiago de Compostela in 1984.

In the academic 1992-1993 year, the pianist specialized at the Royal conservatory in Brussels, in piano /piano concerto/, chamber music and accompaniment to solo singers. Rostislav Yovchev has been actively taking part in concerto activities as a soloist and chamber music performer not only in Bulgaria but also in Germany, Belgium, Spain, Poland, Romania, Croatia, Cyprus, Turkey, South Korea, Tunisia, etc. He has taken part in the most prestigious festivals at home and abroad – “Arts Hall”, ”Sofia Music Weeks”, „Varna Summer“, ”Hopes, Talents, Masters”,“Apollonia” (Bulgaria), ”Philharmonica”, “Musical October in Carthage” /Tunisia/, etc. He has given master classes in Bulgaria /Sozopol, Shumen and Pleven/, Korea /Seoul/, Romania /Iasi/, Turkey /Ankara/, Trieste /Italy/. He has numerous records for Sofia, Warsaw, Berlin, and Zaragoza Radios. He has released numerous CDs: solo performances of works of Andrey Stoyanov, performance in a chamber ensemble with the cellist Ventsislav Nikolov /for “Gega New”/, the flutist Ina Georgieva, the Korean clarinetist Yo Yangde, with the Turkish viola player Bediz Kanikli.

Award-winner of the Crystal Lyre of the Union of Bulgarian Musicians and Dancers in two categories –  “Instrumentalists” and “Music critic” for 2011.  During the same year he also won the Golden Lyre of the Union of Bulgarian Musicians and Dancers. In June 2013, the pianist was awarded the academic and scientific degree Philosophy Doctor with a theme in relation to Bulgarian piano music.

Rostislav Yovchev is an active journalist. He is the author of a number of materials in response to concerto life and events in Bulgaria and abroad, scientific publications, articles on the problems in the area of classical music in Bulgaria, etc. He is a piano professor at the National Music Academy “Pancho Vladigerov” – Sofia and since May 2008 – Head of Piano Department at the Faculty of Theory, Composing and Conducting.



January 27, 2019 /sunday/   18.30 hours       Hall “M-Ro G.Atanasov”

               Conductor:  Henry Cheng                                                  Soloist: Claudio Mansutti –  clarinet



Salvatore Frega – “A Ladies’man”

Piece, created specially for the Festival and a tribute to Mozart for his birthday on the day of the concert.

                                                                                J. Brahms / L. Berio – Sonata for Clarinet and orchestra, op. 120, No. 1                                                                                    Allegro appassionato; Andante un poco adagio; Allegretto grazioso; Vivace

* * *

                                                                                                F. Mendelssohn – Symphony No. 4, “Italian”, op.90                                                                                                                 Allegro vivace; Andante con moto; Con moto moderato; Saltarello. Still

* * *


Henry Cheng

First prize winner at both the Antal Dorati International Conducting Competition in November 2018 and 1st European Union Conductor’s Competition in January 2018, Henry Cheng has established himself as an internationally acclaimed young Asian­American Conductor.

The 2018­2019 season, Henry begins a three month Visiting Artist engagement at Cornell University and continues as Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Klangkraft Orchester. He makes his guest conducting debut with the MAV Symphony Orchestra, Nice Philharmonic Orchestra, Cameristi della Scala, Budapest Operetta Theater Orchestra, Kodaly Philharmonic, Pori Sinfonietta, Pazardzhik Symphony Orchestra, Ningbo Symphony Orchestra, Transylvania State Philharmonic Orchestra, National Moravian­Silesian Opera, Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, Teatro Carlo Felice, Slovak National Theatre, National Theatre “St. Petersburg Music Hall”, Estremadura Symphony Orchestra, the Moscow City Symphony ­ Russian Philharmonic and the Atlanta Festival Academy Orchestra.

In November 2017, Henry Cheng was appointed Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Klangkraft Orchester in Duisburg, Germany. With a “new rich orchestral sound full of energy and vitality,” he made his Klangkraft Orchester debut at the Duisburger Akzente Festival under the festival theme of “Nie wieder Krieg”(never again war), and program title “The World Dies Screaming”, a commentary of the humanistic responsibility of climate change.

Henry has been invited to the prestigious masterclasses of Bernard Haitink and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, Kurt Masur at the Aurora Music Festival, Tugan Sokhiev with the Deutsches Symphonie­Orchester, and Riccardo Muti at the Italian Opera Academy summer 2018.

As an educator and community outreach supporter, he has worked with and developed programs with the Metropolitan Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Bochumer Symphoniker, and the Indiana University Beethoven Project. He has also worked with many middle and high schools in his hometown of Atlanta, GA.

Henry has premiered more than forty new works of all sizes and mediums, collaborating with visual artists, choreographers, dancers, and singers. As an opera conductor and coach, he has conducted and played in productions of Candide, Die Fledermaus, Dialogues des Carmélites, La Boheme, Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni and Così fan tutte. .

Henry received his Bachelors in Piano at Eastman School of Music with Professor Thomas Schumacher. As a conductor, he has studied at Georgia State University, Indiana University and at the University of Arts Berlin under Maestros Michael Palmer, Arthur Fagen, David Efron, Harry Curtis and Steven Sloane.

                                                                                                                             Claudio Mansutti

Claudio Mansutti, graduated in clarinet with full marks from the conservatoire “J. Tomadini” in Udine under Maestro A. Pecile, and later studied with Maestros
P. Borali (RAI of Milan) and K. Leister (Berliner Philarmoniker). He has won 5 chamber music competitions of national and international level, and recorded for RAI and ORF. He has founded the Diapason Ensemble and the Accademia Ars Musicae Orchestra of Klagenfurt, where he was first clarinet, and reached the national finals for the European Youth Orchestra. He performed as a soloist with: Accademia Ars Musicae Orchestra, Zagreb Radio and Television Orchestra, Orchestra UECO in Sala Verdi (Milan), Diapason Chamber Orchestra, Virtuosi di Praga, Salzburger Solisten, Vienna Mahler Orchestra, Dolomiti Sinfonia, Budapest Chamber Orchestra, Moravian Philharmonic Orchestra, Zlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Hradec Kralove Philharmonic Orchestra, Radom Chamber Orchestra, FVG Mitteleuropea Orchestra, Orchestra Regionale Siciliana. Mansutti is an experienced music events organiser and artistic director. Since
1991, he is the artistic director of the Teatro Luigi Bon in Udine and of the Festival “Carniarmonie”. He collaborates on a regular basis with the Berliner Philarmoniker String Quintet, with the Janacek Quartet he has founded Ensemble Variabile (a chamber group with whom he performs regularly throughout Europe). In 2001 he received the “Moret d’aur” prize for Culture Personality of the Year in Friuli Venezia-Giulia.