prof. Georgi Spasov – flute

For 30 years Georgi Spassov is the principal flute of the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra and Professor at the Bulgarian National Academy in Sofia. Many significant talents with international career are among his student. He has been the first and only Bulgarian ever invited to take part in First and Second Symposia of the flutists from all over the world, where his creative and pedagogic achievements were highly appreciated. He is an honored jury of the most prestigious National flute competitions as well as of many International ones.
He has assisted famous Professor Andras Adorjan during the master classes at the Varna Summer Music Festival and the March Music Days Music Festival in 1990 and 1992 and every year he has lead numerous master classes in Bulgaria, Cuba, Japan, Sought Korea and others.

prof. Anatoly Krastev – cello

Since 1972 he teaches at the National Music Academy “P. Vladigerov”, where he is a professor. He leads master classes in France, England, Belgium, The USA, Korea, Greece, Portugal, Brazil, Macedonia and many others.
His students are solo artists, concertmasters and orchestra members on the most celebrated and famous scenes, in prestigious orchestras as well as pedagogues in musical colleges and universities.
At the present, Prof. Anatoly Krastev is vice chancellor of the National Academy.

Chief Assistant professor Ph.D. 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 D. Geringas, Fr. Helmerson, A. Noras, N. Gutman, A. Meneses, L. Claret, Young-Chang Cho, T. Carroll, R. Cohen, D. Weis, M. Kliegel, R. Latzko, T. Demenga etc.
Currently he teaches cello at the NMA “Pancho Vladigerov” and NMS “Lyubomir Pipkov.” 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”).

Margarita Kalcheva – double bass

Margarita Kalcheva was born in Pleven,Bulgaria. She began her musical training in double bass class at High school of Music with Irina Petrova. As a student of Prof.Todor Toshev she received the B.M. degree in Preformance from National Academy of Music. She has attended masterclasses with Prof.Victor Chuchkov and Michel Veillon.
Margarita became a prinsipal double bassist of the National Radio Orchestra of Bulgaria since 1998 as well with Orchestra Ensemble Kanazawa -Japan since 2009. She maintains an international profile and career in a variety of roles as a soloist,chamber and orchestral double bassist all over the world.
Her repertoire includes Bottesini,Dittersdorf ,Kusevitzkii ,Tschaikovski,Goleminov,Tabakov.She made numerous records and first performances including solo concert in Japan (2012),Variations Rokoko-Tschaikovski ,Concert for doublebass –M. Goleminov, “Breavissimo” E.Morricone

Maria Prinz – piano

Maria Prinz has performed with leading orchestras throughout Europe, including several performances with the Vienna Philharmonic, collaborating with renowned conductors Riccardo Muti at the Salzburg Festival and Seiji Ozawa in Vienna,and with Neville Marriner in Bulgaria.
As a recitalist, she has appeared in the United States, throughout Europe and in Japan. Her chamber music collaborations include numerous performances with members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, including the flautists Dieter Flury and Wolfgang Schulz, and clarinetists Alfred Prinz and Peter Schmidl, among others.
Concerts in Weill Hall/Carnegie Hall in New York and Purcell Room/Queen Elizabeth Hall in London with flautist Patrick Gallois are currently scheduled.
Her recordings include Haydn and Mozart piano concertos with the Sofia Symphony Orchestra, Brahms Sonatas for clarinet and piano with Alfred Prinz, Poulenc, Martin? and Brahms Clarinet Sonatas with Petko Radev, a disc of chamber music of Beethoven, Glinka and Alfred Prinz, and a recording of songs by Giacomo Puccini with soprano Krassimira Stoyanova. A Naxos recording of Mozart Sonatas, arranged by Patrick Gallois for flute and piano will be released in February 2013 and a Chandos disc with rarities by Krenek, D’Indy and Schulhoff with the Academy of St.Martin in the fields under Sir Neville Marriner will appear in September 2013.
Maria Prinz was born in Sofia, Bulgaria, into a musical family. Her father is the famous Bulgarian conductor and composer Konstantin Iliev.
She studied at the Music University “Hanns Eisler” in Berlin with Rudolf Dunckel, in Vienna with J?rg Demus and in Paris with Yvonne Lef?bure.
In addition to her performing career, she has taught at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna since 1987.

Binka Dobreva, Ph.D – folk singing

Born in the region of Yambol, Bulgaria, Binka Dobreva was raised in a musical family and inherited her mother’s talent for singing. She graduated from the prestigious music high school “Filip Kutev” in Kotel and went on to successfully complete her college education at the “Academy of Music, Dance and Fine Arts” in Plovdiv. There she double-majored in “Traditional singing” and “Conducting folk music ensembles”. Meanwhile she was active as a vocalist in the Trakia Folk Ensemble, and later in the highly esteemed “Filip Kutev National Folk Ensemble”.
Since 1990 Binka has been part of the all-women vocal group “The Mystery Of The Bulgarian Voices” – the greatest ambassador of Bulgarian culture around the world. Alongside her career as a vocalist, Dobreva is active in the academic field – she teaches classes in folk singing at the South-Western University “Neofit Rilski” – Blagoevgrad, and at “Narodni Buditeli” High School in Sofia.
Binka has released a total of six albums, with arrangements and original songs beautifully crafted by her husband and musician Alexander Raychev. Among her most famous and beloved songs are: “Danyova Mama”, “Gergana”, “Ah, Merak”, “S Lyube Shega Ne Biva”, and many other.
In March 2013 Binka completed her doctoral dissertation, titled “Models for teaching traditional Bulgarian vocal music to children from 4 to 14 years old”.
Dobreva is a well-respected teacher and mentor. She has cultivated the vocal talents of children from all over Bulgaria. Her students have earned numerous awards, medals, and honors and are a valuable part of the Bulgarian folk music scene.

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Vyara Georgieva Nikolova – creative writing

I have been a teacher in Bulgarian Language and Literature for 18 years in a lot of public and private schools in Sofia.
I am also a member of a lot of educational institutions, also a member of the testing and evaluating commision of HBO, PISA commicion and PURLS commicion.
I am an author of a highly qualified system for specialized preparation for Bulgarian Language and Literature for 7th and 12th grade
I’m a chairman of “Aleko” foundation, whose main aims are in the fields of culture and edication.
For 3 years now I have been in a partnership with centre “Youngsters and Poetry” – Triuco, Italy and also with
the Bulgarian School in Milan. I strongly believe that the true teacher is ready to learn and to improve himself/herself
constantly in the pursuit of the most effective method towards the students. This method will turn the teacher into a mentor,
an inspirator, a partner for them. I am also very happy by doind the thinks I do be cause I have always dreamed of this and
I consider myself as a teacher with a mission. I am interested in the good teaching practices all over the world,
I follow the iniciatives of the National Network of the parents in Sofia, take part in conferences that are dedicated to
education’s free developement and other interesting seminars. In 2011 I founded school for creative thinking and writing
as a project for outclassroom activities for students from 2nd to the 7th grade.
I have the following aims: to develope childrens’ ability to read and comprehence. to master techniques for analysis,
interpretation and interpretation, and creating different types of text; to awaken the experiential spirit in children,
to stimulate their emotional intelligence and interests in universal values, acquiring important practical skills for
working with speech. I have developed innovative methods of work. Every class in that school has a global theme/topic that is connected
to relationships between people and universal human values (friendship, love, faith, hope, dreams, stubborness,Ingenuity, wisdom,
meaning of life, charity …) that are represented from many points of view through several short stories, fairytales or
parable, that we read and interprete thanks to different creative tasks. In our work there are some alternative activities
such as leading a questionnairs and gather the information from them, gathering and thinking on the information from different sources,
leading discussions, timetraveling, drawing, dancing, acting, practical assignments,participating in creative writing
competitions and childrens’creativeness competitions public appearences, experiments in the Lab for Poetry.
The effect of this is invaluable on the overall developemnt of children and contributes to turning them into
spiritually rich and fullfilling personalities who are capable of deep thinking, assertion and unfolding their creative talents.
As a result of this unusual work of thinking and writing for only five creative seasons, we have published books with children’s works,
won many awards from national and international literary competitions, received support and encouragement from various
institutions (MES, RIO – Sofia, Sofia Municipality, Ed. “Prosveta”, BNR, etc.), we have had many media appearances …

prof. Andrew Marriner – clarinet

“Few clarinettists of what ever generation pour forth such an even flow of warm, consistent sound . . . in the slow movement the peaches and cream sound of Marriner caresses the ear.”
Andrew became principal of the London Symphony Orchestra in 1986 following the footsteps of the late Jack Brymer. During his orchestral career he has also maintained his place on the worldwide solo concert platform alongside an active role in the field of chamber music. His professional musical career began at the age of 7 when he was a boy chorister at King’s College Cambridge. Joining the National Youth Orchestra in 1968 he studied briefly at Oxford University and then extensively in Hannover, Germany with Hans Deinzer.
He first played with the LSO in 1977 under Sergiu Celibidache and as guest principal on their 1983 world tour. He later also became principal clarinet of the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-fields, a position he held alongside his commitment to the LSO until 2008.
As a soloist Andrew has been a regular performer in London, both at the Barbican and the Royal Festival Hall. His extensive career abroad has taken him to La Scala, Milan; the Musikverein in Vienna; as far afield as the USA and Australia, and most points in between. These concerto performances have been in collaboration with Leonard Bernstein, Sir Colin Davis, Richard Hickox, Antonio Pappano, Andre Previn, Rostropovic, Michael Tilson Thomas, Valerie Gergiev and his father, Sir Neville Marriner. Andrew has also given world premieres of concertos written for him by Robin Holloway, Dominic Muldowney and John Tavener.
Andrew Marriner is a member of both the LSO and Academy chamber ensembles. He has enjoyed playing with many other international groups over the years: these include the Chilingirian, Lindsay, Endellion, Moscow, Warsaw, Orlando, Sine Nomine and Belcea string quartets. He has also worked with some of the most distinguished individuals in the world of chamber music such as Alfred Brendel, Andre Previn, Andras Schiff, Lynn Harrell, Stephen Isserlis, Emmanuel Ax and with the late Sandor Vegh, Manoug Parikian, Vlado Perlemuter and George Malcolm. He has shared recitals with renowned sopranos Sylvia McNair and Edita Gruberova.
Andrew has recorded the core solo and chamber clarinet repertoire with various record companies including Philips, EMI, Chandos and Collins Classics. His concerto appearances are regularly broadcast by the BBC. A second recording of the Mozart concerto was released in 2004.
Film sessions include Star Wars, Harry Potter, films for Phillippe Sarde, Georges Delerue, Elmer Bernstein as well as numerous for James Horner.
Andrew is in demand as a teacher and woodwind consultant and gives masterclasses, coaches orchestras and adjudicates competitions all around the world. He is visiting Prof. at the Royal Academy of Music and at the Academia della Musica, Rome.

prof. Peter Schmidl – clarinet
prof. Denitsa Lafchieva – clarinet

The British-Bulgarian clarinettist Denitsa Laffchieva studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London, at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna with Prof. Peter Schmidl and at the National Academy of Music in Sofia with Prof. Petko Radev.
Laffchieva won numerous International Competitions and awards among which the Herbert von Karajan Foundation Scholarship for Outstanding Musicianship in Vienna, Second prise at the Jeunesses Musicales Competition , Bucharest, First Prise at the Svetoslav Obretenov Competition in Bulgaria. She was awarded “Bulgarian Musician of the Year 2000”, the prise for “Debut” of the Bulgarian National Radio and the special award of the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture for Great Contribution for Introducing Bulgarian Culture Abroad.
Denitsa Laffchieva made her debut at the Wigmore Hall in 2007 with the pianist Viktoria Postnikova and at the Weil Recital Hall at the Carnegie Hall , New York with pianist Maria Prinz in 2008. She has performed as soloist also in the Queen Elizabeth Hall, the LSO St Luke’s, London, and the Musikverein , Glaeserne Saal in Vienna among others.
Laffchieva is an active solo and chamber musician and has performed at renowned festivals with fellow musicians such as Gordan Nikolitch, Jack Liebeck, Roman Simovic, Itamar Golan, Lise Berthaud, Alexander Zemtsov, Lars Anders Tomter, Ashley Wass, Zsolt-Tihamer Visontay, Patrick Gallois, Albena Danailova, Giovanni Gniocci, Dmitry Sitkovetsky and has appeared multiple times at the BBC Radio 3, InTune.
Laffchieva has recorded solo CDs and chamber music for BMG/Ricordi, Naxos, MMO New York and G7-Soloists in Concerts
In 2010 Denitsa Laffchieva was appointed co-principal clarinet at the Tmpere Philharmonic Orchestra in Finlnd and since 2011- principal clarinet at the Sinfonia Finlandia. In 2012 was appointed as clarinet professor at the Conservatory of Central Finland . From 2014 Laffchieva is appointed as clarinet professor at the Richard Wagner Conservatory in Vienna.
Denitsa Laffchieva is giving regularly master classes at the Academie Internationale d’Ete de Nice, Venice Music Masters, Sardinia Master Classes, Central School of Music Moscow, JAMK Jyvaskyla Finland, etc.