Governing board

Honorary chairman:
Academician Vassil Kazandjiev

Academician Vassil Kazandjiev is famous Bulgarian composer, conductor and pedagogue. He was born on 10th of September 1934 in town of Ruse. When he is 7 years old he begins to play a guitar and two years later he begins to play a piano. When hi is 9 years old he begins to compose. In 1957 he graduates in State Conservatory of Music. Vassil Kazandjiev studies conducting with Professor Valdi Simeonov and compostion with Professor Pancho Vladigierov. Vassil Kazandjiev combines high professionalism with wide musical culture and developed creative intuition. He has recorded for Bulgarian radio, Balkanton, Harmonia Mundi – France, Kibaton – Japan and for other recording studios in different countries. He is an author of many symphonic and chamber works – five symphonies, a lot of senates for various instruments and instrumental concerts. In 2005 Vassil Kazandjiev is elected for member of correspondence of Bulgarian Academy of Sciences. At 12th of December 2009 the Governing board of Bulgarian Academy of Sciences elects member of correspondence Vassil Kazandjiev for Academician in direction “Creators of Art”.

Stefan Galabov

Stefan Galabov graduated Business Administration in Paris and is entrepreneur in various fields. In May 2005 Stefan Galabov, Yosif Melamed and Ilia Mihaylov have established Bulgarian Musical Society with the clear idea of supporting and keeping traditional Bulgarian musical culture. From then till now Stefan Galabov is fully committed to the aims and causes of Bulgarian Musical Society, assisting and supporting unconditionally the work in the organization. From 2007 up to now Stefan Galabov is a chairman of Bulgarian Musical Society.

Dr. Vitan Vlahov, DMA

Dr. Vitan Vlahov is a trombonist and longtime lecturer at the National Music Academy “Prof. Pancho Vladigerov” in Sofia, Bulgaria. In recent years he is actively involved in the implementation of various Bulgarian and international musical projects and concerts, festivals and cultural events as a Director of the foundation for music, science and art “Encore”. In 2007 he defended a thesis: “Interpretation and instrumental problems associated with the implementation of modern chamber works for brass instruments” at the NMA “Prof. Pancho Vladigerov ” and he received the university degree “Doctor” of musical arts. During the period 1997-2000, he specializes in world-renowned trombonist, conductor and teacher, Prof. Dr. Per Brevig at the prestigious “Manes” college of music in New York, USA. There, he completed additional course in conducting with Maestro Michael Cherry (the only assistant conductor of George Szell in Cleveland Symphony Orchestra in 1997). At the time of his specialization, he gave many recitals and performances with orchestras in New York and around the United States. His international activity includes numerous concerts in many cities in Bulgaria and Europe as well. One of his recent recitals in duo with piano sonata are with: Iliana Yotova, Iva Vodenicharova Ivan Yanakov, Elena Dikova, Katherina Tangarova in Sofia, Vidin, Vratsa, the American University in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria and others. Most of them are recorded and broadcast by Bulgarian national radio, which also owns dozens of his records including: Sonata for trombone and piano by Paul Hindemith, Elegy for trombone and piano by Angel Zaberski with the pianist Ivan Yanakov, “Five Pieces in the style” by Robert Schumann, Sonata №7 by Arcangelo Corelli with the pianist Iva Vodenicharova, as well as several recordings with music for brass ensembles like: George Gershwin – Selected out of “Porgy and Bess”, Antonin Dvorak – Humoresque, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – Overture to The Marriage of Figaro, Turkish march and many others. In 1996, after passing a competition, he was elected as a member of the Sofia Philharmonic on a permanent basis, where he even today is a member of the philharmonic quartet “Trombones” with the current members of the Sofia orchestra, with whom they delivered a series of concerts around. In 2003, he played at the Vienna chamber music festival “Wien modern” (which founder and longtime director was Italian conductor maestro Claudio Abbado) at the Wiener Musikverein concert hall on a gala night dedicated to the new contemporary Bulgarian composers. In 2001 he graduated “Finance” at the University of National and World Economy (UNSS) in Sofia, Bulgaria.

Art director:
Ilia Mihaylov

Chorus master and orchestral conductor Ilia Mihaylov has worked professionally with some of the world’s preeminent artists, including the conductors Claudio Abbado, Bernard Haitink,Pierre Boulez, Seiji Ozawa, Kurt Mazur, Ivan Fisher, Danielle Gatti, Jean-Claude Casadesus, Jesús López Cobos, Jean-Bernard Pommier, Uroš Lajovic, the tenor José Carreras, and the choreographers Pina Bausch and Maurice Béjart.

From 2011 to 2015 he was the chorus director of the Bulgarian National Choir Svetoslav Obretenov on the staff of the Sofia Philharmonic. His recent seasons highlights include conducting the West Side Story, Fiddler on the roof, The Threepenny opera, Berlin Mass and the choral works of Arvo Pärt, Mozart Requiem, Bach Magnificat,

Vivaldi Dixit Dominus, Gounod Mass for Jeanne d’Arc, Haydn The Seven Last Words of Our Savior on the Cross, Rossini Petite Messe Solennelle, St. Matthew Passion of the Russian Metropolitan Alfeyev, and the choral works of Schutz, Gabrieli, Tallis and Byrd. Chorus master for the world premier recordings of Charles-Simon Catel opera Les Bayaderes and the album Meyerbeer en France, for the labels Edisiones singulares and Brilliant.

He has prepared the National Choir for La Traviata, Rigoletto, Falstaff, Handel’s Acis and Galatea, Orff Carmina Burana, Verdi Requiem, Beethoven Ninth Symphony, Andrew Lloyd Weber Requiem, Poulenc Gloria, Holst The Planets, Durufle Requiem, Rossini Stabat Mater, Schumann Requiem, Félicien David Moses in Sinai, Matzushita Stabat Mater, the choral opuses of Brahms, and the symphonies of Mahler.

Highlights of Mr. Mihaylov’s creative activities include appearances in 12 countries at many of the world’s great festivals. He has recorded for BBC Radio 3, Naïve, and was featured in a documentary for the French music television MEZZO. He has led a master-class for Harvard University, and was invited by Valery Gergiev, to conduct at the Moscow Easter Festival – in Kremlin, Tchaikovsky Concert Hall, and St. Peter’s Monastery. He toured Canada, establishing a box office record, as one of his concerts sold 10 000 tickets.

From 2012 to 2014 Mr. Mihaylov was the director of the Summer Choir Academy at Puisaye Festival, France. As guest conductor he worked with La Maîtrise Saint-Louis de Gonzague (France), Ensemble Vocale Loyola (France), and The Radcliffe Choral Society – Harvard University (USA). During the 2000/01 season he served as Principal Conductor of the Choir Society “Liderkrantz – Concordia” in Geneva.

As an orchestral conductor he has appeared with Sofia Philharmonic, Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra, Camerata Bohemiana (Check Republic), I Musicantini (Switzerland); the Varna, Plovdiv, Stara Zagora, Ruse, Vratza, Pazardjik Symphony Orchestras; Studio Primo Chamber Orchestra, the Consort for Early Music Concerto Antico, and Quarto Ensemble.

Since 1999, Ilia Mihaylov is the Music Director of the Grammy Award and Grand Prix du Disque winning choir The Great Voices of Bulgaria (a.k.a. Le Mystere des Voix Bulgares).

With them he regularly works with the world-famous Bulgarian musician, Theodosii Spassov, with whom he created several projects and toured abroad.

He also collaborated with the composers Michel Colombier and Daniel Schnyder, the Irish harpist Diana Rowan, the trio of the French jazz pianist François Raulin, the organist László Fassang, the pianist Aurelien Pontier, and the bandoneonist Mathias Gonzales. He recorded for the Bulgarian National Radio the film scores of the iconic Bulgarian composer Mitko Shterev.

From 2009 to 2015 Ilia Mihaylov was on the faculty of the American College of Sofia.

In 2005 together with Prof. Vassil Kazandjiev he was one of the founding members of the Bulgarian Musical Society.

Born in Sofia, Ilia Mihaylov was educated at the Juilliard School, New York University, London’s ABRSM, Geneva and Lausanne Conservatory. He studied with Prof. Vassil Kazandjiev, Rossen Milanov and Michel Corboz. He received Funds Kazarovi, Sol Hurok, Otto G. Storm, Noel H. Murphy Memorial Scholarships and the Paderewski Award.

He is fluent in English, French, Italian, Russian and Bulgarian.