Guests

Marcin Dilla

Poland – concert, masterclass, jury

Hailed by Washington Post as “among the most gifted guitarists on the planet” Polish guitarist, Marcin Dylla is a rare phenomenon in the recent history of Classical Guitar. Many music critics, connoisseurs, and music lovers certify that Marcin Dylla is among the world’s elite of classical guitar players. He has earned this position, among others, to the unparalleled number of awards including 19 First Prizes from 1996-2007 at the most prestigious international music competitions around the world. His last triumph was the Gold Medal of the ‘2007 Guitar Foundation of America International Competition’ in Los Angeles known as the most prestigious guitar contest in the world.

Quatuor Eclisses

France – concert

Since 2012 Quartet Eclisses is part of the French musical landscape. These four guitarists give a new breathe to classical guitar. They make us rediscover the instrument, with ambitious and innovative transcriptions of the great piano and orchestra’s repertoire. In 2013, they won the first prize of the Chamber Music European Contest (FNAPEC), succeeding to the trio Wanderer or the quartet Ysaÿe. In 2014, they are laureates of the Banque Populaire’s foundation. It is composed of: Gabriel Bianco, Arkaitz Chambonnet, Pierre Lelievre, Benjamin Valette. Beside its artistic activity, Quatuor Eclisses meets students in conservatoires in order to share its experience and its passion to young guitarists, through MasterClasses.

Gabriel Bianco

France – concert, masterclass, jury

Born in Paris in 1988, Gabriel Bianco is one of the most active guitarists of his generation. Between 2007 and 2012, he won the First Prize of the most prestigious international competitions such as the “Guitar Foundation of America” in San Francisco, “Andrés Segovia” in Almuñécar, “Hubert Kappel” in Koblenz, “Guitarre Forum Wien” in Austria, “Foundation San Gredos” in Madrid. For the last ten years he is managing an international career that led him to perform at major concert halls (Moscow, Paris, Beijing, San Francisco…). He is also regularly invited to festivals in Europe (France, Germany, Holland, Italy, Spain, Czech Republic, Hungary, Switzerland, Austria, Poland, Serbia, Greece, Romania) and also worldwide, in the USA, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, as well as in Asia (Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, China).

Arkaïtz Chambonnet

France – concert, masterclass, jury

Arkaitz Chambonnet is part of the new generation of international soloists. Many times the greatest contest winner, he is regularly invited to play in France and abroad. His ease on stage impressed in his last recitals at the International Festival of Udine (Italy) at the Graduate School of Madrid and singing at the Palace of Fine Arts in Charleroi (Belgium). Constantly looking for new musical experiences, he has performed as soloist with orchestras of the Spanish “Marina Alta” and Castellon de la plana. Between 2009 and 2011, Arkaitz part in international competitions and won six awards including the first prize in the competition “Fernando Sor” in Rome, the 2nd prize of the “Spring of the Guitar” (Belgium) or the second prize in the competition ” Francisco Tarrega “(Spain), one of the most prestigious competitions in the world.

Pierre Lelièvre

France – concert, masterclass, jury

We have known this young French guitarist with Gabriel Bianco and its participation in the Eclisses QuartetHe belongs to the young generation of French very talented guitarists giving the French school of guitar world fame. Pierre Lelièvre released his first solo album “D’un continent, l’autre” in March 2016. With a diversify and perpetually evolving repertoire Pierre Lelièvre is regularly invited to play in Paris and in the provinces where he performs solo, with orchestra or in various chamber music ensembles. Pierre begins guitar at the age of 5 years with Jean-Yves Lemaire with whom he will stay until obtaining his prize. He chose to pursue his studies in Paris at the faculty of musicology of the Sorbonne (Paris 4). At the same time, he entered the Conservatoire de Créteil in the class of Jérôme Bénézet and was admitted to the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique in Paris in the class of Roland Dyens. He perfected himself under the guidance of the concertist Judicaël Perroy.

Benjamin Valette

France – concert, masterclass, jury

Benjamin Valette is a versatile musician. Peculiar in solo recitals (French Institute of Barcelona, ​​Valencia, Paris …), he defends a wide repertoire with revisions and transcriptions he accomplished. With Gabriel Bianco, Arkaitz Chambonnet and Pierre Lelièvre, he co-founded in 2012 the “Eclisses Quartet ” which offers a varied repertoire highlighting all such training resources.
They won in 2013 the European Chamber Music Competition of the FNAPEC and are winners of the Foundation Banque Populaire in 2014. They perform concerts in France and abroad (USA, Indonesia, Switzerland, Jordan, Algeria, Romania), and various programs on Radio (France Musique, Radio Classique, France Culture …).

Atanas Ourkouzounov

Bulgaria/France – concert, masterclass, jury

Atanas Ourkouzounov is one of most interesting personalities in the Bulgarian contemporary music. Guitar player and composer with a rich musical background, he is considered one of the main authors in the domain of the new generation’s music for guitar. Ourkouzounov has written over 80 works for guitar – solos, duos, trios, quartets, instrumental ensembles, and two concerti – a number of which have won important prizes, and a majority of which have been published by leading publishers (Doberman-Yppan , Henry Lemoine).

Mie Ogura

Japan – concert

Born in Japan in 1973, Mie Ogura started to play the piano when she was very young-only 3 years of age, and also flute at the age of 7. Mie Ogura is one of the few flutists in the world who can play different styles such as classical and contemporary music, jazz and traditional music. She has appeared regulary as soloist and chamber musician with many different ensembles and orchestras, invited at many festivals in Europe, the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia.

 

George Vassilev

Bulgaria/Switzerland – masterclass, jury

Considered as guitarist with unique artistry, musical approach and mastery on his instrument, George Vassilev was born in Bulgaria in 1966. He started his guitar studies with Lijuben Haralambiev in Varna. As a soloist, G. Vassilev has been invited to collaborate with concerts managers such as The Springboard Concert Trust, LACCS and IMG Artists in U.K., “Georg Horthagel’s Konzertdirektion” in Germany and has performed with orchestras, such as the National Symphony Orchestra of Italy, the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, the St. Petersburg Hermitage Chamber Orchestra, the Sofia State Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Danish Orchestra, the Australian Chamber Orchestra and others.

Stela Dinkova

Bulgaria – masterclass, jury

Born into a family of musicians, Stela Miteva-Dinkova began studying the guitar with her father, Blagoi Mitev. In 1984, she was accepted in the Music High School, Dobri Hristov, located in Varna (Bulgaria), to study guitar with Lyuben Haralambiev. In 1996, she graduated at the Academy of Music and Dance Art in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. She refine her performing skills in the master classes of Abel Carlevaro, Martin Renert, Nikita Koshkin, George Vassilev etc. A talented performer herself, she has won first prize at international music festivals in Dobrich, Albena (2002) and in Plovdiv (1994), where she was awarded for her classical guitar interpretation. At the national level, she twice won first prize at Chirpan’s national Young Musician Competition (1985 & 1987) etc.

Rossen Balkanski

Bulgaria – masterclass, jury

Rossen Balkanski was born in 1968. In 1995 he was admitted at the State Academy of Music in Sofia in the guitar class of Emil Saev. He worked as a teacher of guitar at a music school and as a teacher of classical guitar at the State Academy of Music. He had an intensive concert activity, giving solo concerts and concerts together with famous Bulgarian performers such as Professor Yossif Radionov or Professor Angel Stankov. He wrote lots of works for guitar, some of which were performed in concert and at competitions in Bulgaria and all over Europe. He composed chamber music for ensembles with guitar and others, as well as arrangements of classical works for the guitar orchestra Orpheus, conducted by Stefan Dimitrov, of which he had been soloist from the very beginning.

Niklas Johansen

Denmark – concert, masterclass, jury

Niklas Johansen is a classical guitarist born in 1989 in Copenhagen, Denmark. He has recently received international acclaim after winning several international competitions. His prizes include: 1st prize in the 3rd International Guitar Competition in Pleven (Bulgaria) 2017 1st prize in the 6th International Guitar Competition in Berlin (Germany) 2016, 1st prize in the 2016 China Shenyang International Guitar Competition, 1st prize in the 18th “Alirio Diaz” International Guitar Competition in Rust (Austria) 2016, 1st prize in the 21st International Guitar Competition in Mottola (Italy) 2015, 1st prize in the 3rd international guitar festival “Aachener Gitarrenpreis” (Germany) 2014, 1st prize in the 9th International Guitar Competition in Olsztyn (Poland) 2014 etc. Niklas started playing guitar at the age of 9, and began his studies in 2009 at The Royal Danish Academy of Music under Jesper Sivebæk. After finishing his bachelor exam attending the highest grade possible he went to Alicante in 2013 and finished a Master in Classical Guitar Performance with professors David Russell, Manuel Barrueco and others.

Nicola Montella

Italy – masterclass, jury

Born in 1987, Nicola Montella has been studying classical guitar since he was eight, under Master G. M. Fontanella’s guidance. He has attended, as actual apprentice, the International Master Classes held by the following Masters: Margarita Escarpa, Shin-Ichi Fukuda, Hubert Happel, Goran Krivokapic, Carlo Marchione, Lorenzo Micheli, Thomas Offerman, Arturo Tallini, Giulio Tampalini. Over the years, he has been awarded during several and important national and international guitar festivals and contests.His profitable concert activity has seen him playing an important role in famous musical shows in Italy and abroad.

Bozhana Pavlova

Bulgaria/Austria – masterclass, jury

Bozhana Pavlova was born in Pleven, Bulgaria. From 2003 to 2008 she studied guitar at the National Music School “Ljubomir Pipkov” in Sofia with Prof. Stolina Dobreva. Bozhana is a laureate of a number of guitar competitions in Italy, Croatia, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, Montenegro and Germany – 1st Prize at Pleven Guitar Festival 2015, 2nd Prize (1st not awarded) at Sarajevo International Guitar Festival, 2nd Prize at Niksic Guitar Festival 2014, 1st Prize at the international competition “Giovani Musicisti – Città di Treviso” 2013 in Italy for classical guitar and 3rd Prize in the category for contemporary music, 2nd Prize at Omis Guitar Fest 2013, 3rd Prize at International Guitar Competition, Tirana 2013 and 3rd Prize at International Guitar Competition in Niksic 2013

Liviu Georgescu

Romania – masterclass, jury

The most important guitar teacher in Romania. He introduced guitar as a classical instrument taught in the musical institutions of education and created in 1995 the Romanian Guitar Foundation where he is the president. Being considered the best Romanian guitarist and the best guitar teacher in the years of ’80es is the Director of the International Guitar Festivals in Sinaia and Bucharest. His students are now well known all over the world as some of the important guitarists of the young generation of musicians, wining over 300 national and international prizes.

Tzvetan Nedyalkov

Bulgaria – jury

Tzvetan Nedyalkov who plays with the successful Ku-Ku Band is one of the musicians that is responsible for their unique sound and appearance. They have released 19 albums and performed at more than 500 concerts on their 13 national tours.
Tzvetan Nedyalkov has played with many international groups such as: Manhattan Transfer, Mezzoforte, Incognito, Zuchero and Planet X.
At the moment he is teaching jazz and pop guitar at the National Music Academy: Pancho Vladigerov in Sofia.

Darko Bageski

Macedonia – masterclass, jury

Darko Bageski gained music education in Skopje, (professor Jane Pen), Zagreb (prof Xhevdet Sahatxhija) and graduated at Higher School of Music “Franz Liszt” in Weimar, Germany (prof. Jurgen Roste). He has performed many concerts and recitals in Germany, Greece, Croatia, Serbia, Macedonia, Sweden and the USA, and has participated in seminars and master classes with world-renowned guitarist

Stolina Dobreva

Bulgaria – jury

Stolina Dobreva (Phd) was born in 1970 in Bourgas, Bulgaria. She finished the National School of Music “Lyubomir Pipkov” in Sofia, Bulgaria and graduated guitar and pedagogy in the “Staatliche Hochschule für Musik”, Freiburg, Germany in the class of Professor Sonja Prunnbauer with excellent success. Stolina had won second and third prizes at the National Guitar Competition in Chirpan in 1985 and 1987, third prize at the International Guitar Competition in Hof, Germany, and third prize at the First National Competition “Apolonia” – Sozopol, Bulgaria. She participated in master classes of Alvaro Pieri, Robert Brightmore, Carlo Domeniconi, Alexander Frauchi etc.

Milena Valcheva

Bulgaria – jury

Milena Maneva-Valcheva was born in the city of Dobrich where she completed her secondary education and where she commenced her artistic and teaching career. In the year 1991 she graduated from the Academy of Music and Dance Arts – Plovdiv, with a Music Pedagogy major. In 2010 she earned a Doctor of Arts degree from the New Bulgarian University – Sofia. Since the autumn of 1991 and currently she has been working as a guitar teacher in the Dobrin Petkov National School of Music and Dance – Plovdiv. Since 1988 she has actively performed in a duo with her husband Valentin Valchev, giving concerts in Bulgaria, Denmark, England, Germany, Greece, Romania, Slovakia, France, Belgium, Turkey, Cyprus, Switzerland.

Sevdalin Stefanov

Bulgaria – jury

Filipos Manoloudis

Greece – concert

 

Filippos Manoloudis was born in 2001 in Kavala,Greece and is a distinguished student of Kavala’s Music High School. He started learning guitar at the age of seven in the Municipal Conservatory of Kavala where he now is an undergraduate student in Fotis Koutsothodoros’ classical guitar class. He has claimed a total of 16 prizes in national and international competitions. On February 27, 2015 he successfully performed his first recital at the 2nd International Guitar Festival of Thessaloniki. He has also participated in numerous masterclasses of world famous guitarists, such as Leo Brouwer, Ricardo Gallen, Marco Socias, Marcin Dylla, Aniello Desiderio, Hubert Käppel and Oscar Ghiglia. Apart from his musical activities, Filippos has also been distinguished in mathematical competitions of the Hellenic Mathematical Society (2015- 2017). At 2016 he was the only student from Kavala to successfully pass to the final stage of the National Mathematical Olympiad. At March 2015, he received a special award from the Rotary Foundation of Kavala for all of his accomplishments.

Boyan Doychev

Bulgaria – jury

First musical steps at mid school “Marin Drinov” in Stanimir’s Dikov guitar class (Varna).
Graduated in national, music school “Dobri Hristov” 1998-2007 in guitar classes of Liuben Haralambiev, Sevdalin Stefanov and Neli Nedeva.
2007-2013 graduated bachelor in National Musical Academy “Pancho Vladigerov” (Sofia) in Rossen Balkanski’s guitar class. Boyan is a laureate of a number of guitar competitions. Played with orchestra:
J.Rodrigo – Aranjuez
Rossen Balkanski – Fantasia Concertante ( Concert for 3 guitars and orchestra)

Victoria Tsvetkova

Bulgaria – jury

Victoria Tsvetkova was born in Silistra. She began studying classical guitar in her hometown at the age of 9 as Veselin Kolev’s student and later continued her education in Rositsa Dimitrova’s class. She obtained her higher education at the Lausanne Music Academy in Sion, Switzerland in the class of Georgi Vasilev. She is laureate of the following prizes: Second Prize at The International Classical Guitar Competition, Velingrad (2009); Third Prize (Second Prize was not given out) at The International Classical Guitar Festival, Gotse Delchev (2009); First Prize at The International Classical Guitar Competition, Kyustendil (2008); Special Prize at The International Classical Guitar Competition, Plovdiv (2008) as well as many others. Victoria began her teaching activity in 2012 in Sion, Monte and Montreux (Switzerland). In 2015 she started teaching in her hometown Silistra.

Stanimir Stanimirov

Bulgaria – jury

Stanimir Stanimirov was born on 8th of January, 1974 in Shumen. He studied guitar in Varna with teacher – Luben Haralambiev. From 1993 to 1997 he was a student at the Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts – Plovdiv, afterwards – in 2000 he specialized in prof. Stela Miteva – Dincova’s class. In the period between 2003-2014 he worked as an university assistant at the Faculty of Music Education – Konstantin Preslavsky University of Shumen, where he taught classical guitar and classical guitar teaching methodology. Currently he is a guitar teacher at the United School of Arts ” Anastas Stiyanov ” and “Sava Dobroplodni” Secondary School of Arts in Shumen.

Ekaterina Ikonomova

Bulgaria – jury

Ekaterina Vasseva-Ikonomova was born and lives in Sofia. She got involved with the classical guitar at the age of 11. For several years she played with the Orpheus Guitar Orchestra under the guidance of Stefan Vladimirov. In 2001, she was a finalist at the 8. International Classical Guitar Festival and Competition in Plovdiv. She pursued her development as a guitarist in Bulgaria and abroad in master classes with Eric Franceries, Prof. Aldo Lagrutta, Prof. Bernard Hebb, Scott Tenant, William Kanengiser, David Russell, Manuel Barrueco, and others. In 2007, she co-founded, together with Milena Valcheva, Valentin Valchev and Emanuel Ikonomov, the BalkaNota music publishing house.

Teodor Grozdanov

Bulgaria – jury

Teodor Grozdanov was born in 1991 in Etropole and started playing the guitar at age of 14. His first teacher is Simeon Simov. After he graduated National School of Finance and Business he attended in National Academy of Music “Prof.Pancho Vladigerov” where he studied classical guitar with Rossen Blakanski. He devoted himself actively to teaching and performing career.

Lubomir Anov

Bulgaria – jury

Pleven Philharmonic Orchestra

Bulgaria – concert

The Pleven Philharmonic was establish in 1953 from the famous bulgarian conductor and violinist – maestro Sasha Popov. In the period 1970-1994, the orchestra participated in the production of Pleven Opera Theater with more than 50 opera and ballet works. The chief conductor for more than 30 years of Pleven philharmony was maestro George Notev. The repertoire of Pleven philharmony includes all styles from barock to cotemporary compositions. also opera productions and new symphonic premiere. The orchestra has done a number of international tours, at a high artistic level in Italy, Spain, Greece, Romania, Austria, France, Belgium, Spain, Norway, Finland, Portugal and others.