Art


Mihail Bilalov

Mihail Bialov is a contemporary theatrical and film actor, famous for his emblematic performances both in theater and in big screen productions. Let us now tell you a bit more about him.

He is born in Rousse on May 19, 1965. His mother is a dramatic actress and his father is a comedian actor. The family lived for a while in the town of Montana where his mother performed. Later they moved to the city of Burgas. Mihail learnt French from his grandmother. When he was just five years old, his parents got divorced.

Two years after the National High School for Ancient Languages and Cultures (Classical Lanuages School) opened in Sofia, the ten-year older brother sent Mihail a letter motivating him to come to the capital city of Sofia and enroll at the Classic School so that he could achieve his dream of becoming a researcher and polyglot like Jean-François Champollion – the Frenchman who deciphered the Egyptian hieroglyphs.

So, at the age of 14, Michail moved to Sofia. In the following years, his brother had a strong influence on his further fate. Along with the brother’s desire to become a film critic, he ignited Mihail for acting and taught him everything about the magic of the theater and the cinema.

In 1984 Mihail finished his high-school education and in 1989 he graduated in the class of Professor Nikolay Lyutskanov at the now Krustyo Sarafov National Academy for Theater and Film Arts with a degree in Acting for Dramatic Theater.

He started work at the Burgas Theater, but briefly after that returned to the capital to take part in a casting at Sofia theater. He began to take on minor roles in various productions in the Mladezhki, Satirical, and National theaters, some of which, like A Farewell Dinner and The Name were translated by him. In 1994, he won the Askeer for Rising Star for his role in the Madame Butterfly play where he played the woman’s part of the main protagonist.

Months later he succeeded in getting a place for acting internship at the Paris Conservatory and despite the difficult economic situation in our country, he managed to cover the expenses and leave for France. Only four months later, however, he left the Conservatory for lack of financial resources and the need to find a job to support himself. At that time, he began to work as a salesman, then a secretary, an advertising agency employee, and also led a course for acting students. After overcoming his financial troubles, he got a degree in Landscape Design from the Versailles School in Paris and started his own business.

He returned both to Bulgaria and on the stage in 2009 upon an invitation of theatrical director Yavor Gardev to take part in a casting which was personally led by Americann playright Edward Albee for the performance of his The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?. For his performance in the play, in 2010 he received the Ikar for Major Male Role Award of the Bulgarian Artists’ Union.

Several years later Mihail Bilalov starred as Djaro in probably the most iconic Bulgarian TV series of present Undercover which role brought him fame not only in Bulgaria, but also in a number of other countries around the world.

During the years in France, Mihail was a fan of the TV show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. When invited by the director of the Bulgarian edition to become the TV host, he knew that this would be challenging due to the fact that the previous host who started with the show from its very beginning, Niki Kanchev, has become so popular and turned into an institution. Though he supposed that the audience would find it very difficult to recognize another person in Kanchev’s place, Mihail Bilalov took on the risk and as of 1 April 2018 he is the host of the new Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? TV format on the Bulgarian National Television.

Mihail Bilalov continues to actively take part in a number of theatrical productions in Bulgaria.

He is married to a Japanese who lives with their two daughters Ana and Olga-Elena in Paris.

Sources

Disclaimer: The photos used in this article are not owned by insiderguide.me.

Emil Tabakov

One of the most prominent contemporary Bulgarian conductors, composers, and authors of symphonic music, Emil Tabakov was born in Rousse on August 21, 1947. As a student at the School of Music and Arts in Rousse, he takes part in the concerts of the Rousse Philharmonic Orchestra. Together with some of his classmates he formed a chamber orchestra, conducted it and started writing his own music.

Career

In 1974 he graduated from the National Academy of Music Prof. Pancho Vladigerov in Sofia with specializations in Conducting, Contrabass, and Composition. In 1977 he was the laureate of the Nikolay Malko Conducting Competition in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Emil Tabakov began his professional career in 1976 as a Conductor of the Rousse Philharmonic Orchestra and held that post until 1979. From 1979 to 1988 he was the Artistic Director and Conductor of the Sofia Soloists Chamber Ensemble. From 1985 to 2000 he worked with the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra and in 1988 became its Music Director and Chief Conductor. From 1994 to 1999 he was the Chief Conductor of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra. From 2002 to 2008 he was Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Bilkent Symphony Orchestra in Ankara. From 2008 to 2015 he held the office of Chief Conductor of the Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra.

In 1997 Emil Tabakov was appointed Minister of Culture during the in the temporary government led by Mr. Stefan Sofianski.

He is a member of the Union of Bulgarian Composers.

Works and Recognition

Emil Tabakov’s symphonic and opera music includes nine symphonies, concerts for various instruments, symphony orchestra plays, a requiem, chamber and solo works, and two ballets, and is performed both at home in Bulgaria and abroad in Germany, Portugal, USA, Japan, Finland , France, Mexico and other countries.

Over the years, he has been invited as a guest conductor of the orchestras in various countries around the world, including England, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Russia, Australia, Singapore, Ecuador, and others. Along with composing own music, he recorded more than 250 symphonic and opera works on CDs for partners in the US, Germany, the Netherlands, and other countries.

Emil Tabakov has also been awarded a number of prizes for his works including Man of the Year by the Cambridge International Bibliographic Center and Musician of the Year based on audience rankings of the 1992 Alegro Vivace program. He was awarded the 2009 Crystal Lyre prize by the Union of Bulgarian Musicians and Dance Practitioners and was selected as one of the 100 Best Professionals according to the 2012 International Biographical Center in England.

Criticism

According to the critics, the Emil Tabakov’s works are dynamic and explosive. For him, as he himself says in various interviews, music is not fun, but a mission, and perhaps his extraordinary working capacity, productivity, tirelessness, and dedication to music owes much to this attitude. Through the decades in the classic music world, he has become greatly respected for his perfectionalizm, extremely high repertoire goals, great rigor, and uncompromising performance.

In his career, Maestro Emil Tabakov has also faced professional clashes with the musicians in some of the Philharmonic Orchestras he has led. It is likely that his perfectionism and rigor would not have found complete resonance in the performers, or, maybe, his creative ideas over time are actually due for an update. What is the truth is something that only he and his musicians know. The conclusions we leave to you, our readers, and link the articles to some of the media that have reflected these inevitable in any professional career challenges.

Sources

  1. Wikipedia
  2. Official Maestro Emil Tabakov’s Website
  3. Bulgarian National Radio
  4. Union of the Bulgarian Composers
  5. Impressio
  6. Offnews
  7. Mediapool

The photos in the article are not owned by this website.

Petar Petrov – Parcheto

%d0%bf%d0%b5%d1%82%d1%8a%d1%80%d0%bf%d0%b5%d1%82%d1%80%d0%be%d0%b22 In collaboration with Tsvetelina Petrova

“Rousse and Bulgaria mean the world to me.”

One of the founders of the Bulgarian jazz music, a colorful saxophone player, a loving, committed, enthusiastic, and keen supporter of jazz, “an oddball, a quirky eccentric and a bon vivant, a screwball with a gnarly character”, Petar Petrov – Parcheto is one of the urban legends and major advocates for Rousse, a musician with a mission who has repeatedly demonstrated a wide encyclopedic culture, artistic charm and profound sensitivity all of which turn him into one of the emblematic figures of the Bulgarian culture.

Petar Petrov – Parhceto was born on November 28, 1932 in Rousse. He graduated from the State Academy of Music in Sofia majoring in clarinet and started working at the Philharmonic Orchestra in Rousse as a soloist player on the clarinet. There he worked for nearly 40 years.

In 1959, he gathered with some friends to form a small jazz band in the city. In 1963 he went to play in Prague. After returning to Rousse, he created a jazz band called The Petrovs Quartet featuring as members him on the saxophone, Petar Petrov–Petuha on the trumpet, Zlatko Petrov on the piano and Ilko Petrov on the drums. The band predominantly played contemporary jazz music, such as hard bop and free jazz, and took on improvisation. In 1960s, together with composer Alexander Vladigerov, Petar Petrov-Parcheto grounded the foundation of the jazz tradition in Rousse.

In the early 1970s, he played in Germany with the special permission from the then Concert Directorate, which allowed Bulgarian musicians to work in the Socialist Republic of Germany. However, he managed to work playing the sax in the Federal Republic of Germany too and got an impression of the music culture in the country.

On his returning to Rousse, he began inviting jazz musicians from other cities in the country. In this way, the first National Jazz Fest was born in 1977. Until his death in 2013, Peter Petrov-Parcheto was its leader and organizer. By means of his active work he contributed to the gradual promotion of the city and of the National Jazz Fest not only in Bulgaria, but also abroad. More and more jazz music players joined the annual festival. He also became the founder and leader of the Jazz Club in Rousse.

People say about him that he was “what a great artist is – it was unthinkable for him to limit himself to and close himself into the space of music solely. He also knew literature, art, and theater – and the people who made them“. So naturally, in 1981 the Jazz and Poetry series were found. In the first one it was Radoi Ralin who took part, Ivan Tsanev took part in the second one, and Boris Hristov took part in the third one. All three were Petar Petrov’s personal friends.

The then Petar Petrov’s jazz band called Rousse became an immutable and prerequisite participator in the jazz festivals in Sofia and Sopot. The orchestra toured around Europe, Asia, and America performing in Poland (at the Jazz Dzhembori Festival), Hungary, Russia, Italy, Slovakia, Romania, and Turkey. They attended the jazz festival Jazz Yatra in India and together with Yildiz Ibrahimova, Stayko Staikov, Ilko Petrov and Alexander Petrov – Alex Berbera they toured in Mexico.

Petar Petrov-Parcheto was awarded the Rousse prize and became one of the first honorary citizens of the city. He was given the Cyril and Methodius medal, the Honored Artist title, and the Crystal Lyre prize of the Union of Musicians.

His relatives, however, believe that all prizes he won throughout his life were accepted by him without superfluous vanity and that, after all, he remained „real, edgy, irresistible, spontaneous, and endlessly gifted”. As Iglika Peeva says in her book Petar Petrov-Parcheto: The Free Flight of the Spirit, as an „outstanding erudite, he could afford to stay true to himself, without caring for the status quo“. With his unrelenting passion for music, literature and art, he continued to spread and advocate for the beauty of jazz music in and outside Bulgaria.

Being a dean of the Bulgarian jazz music, Petar Petrov-Parcheto made pioneering efforts to preserve and develop the culture in Bulgaria during the totalitarian rule of the Communist Party in the country when culture was totally neglected and brutally censored. Therefore, his active stand and work contributed to the transformation of Rousse into one of the most significant and prominent Bulgarian jazz music hubs while he also helped young musical talents by supporting their professional career, and also fostered the love for jazz music in generations of art lovers in the city and in the country. He too contributed to the development of Bulgarian musicians such as Yildiz Ibrahimova, Theodosius Spasov, Kamelia Todorova, Antoni Donchev, and Boris Petrov.

Petar Petrov-Parcheto died on January 24, 2013 in his home in Rousse.

Sources

1. Interview with Petar Petrov-Parcheto
2. Ruse – the City of the Free Spirit
3. Fakel
4. Wax.bg
5. Bulgarian National Radio
6. Madiapool
7. Vesti.bg
8. Darik News
9. Bulgarian News Agency

The photos in the article are not owned by this website.

Rousse State Opera

operata3Undoubtedly, the State Opera in Rousse grounded the establishment of the city as a cultural hub way back in the 19th century and is still developing Rousse as such. In recent years, its achievements have boosted and its musicians have earned an increasing number of awards from their participation in national and international competitions. With each passing season, the enthusiasm and the commitment on behalf of the Opera team to attract talented artists not only from the city, but also from country- and Europe-wise, provoke the respect of both local audiences and admirers in the capital and other major Bulgarian and foreign cities. However, hardly anything would have been possible if the traditions of the Opera do not date back to a century ago and if it has not been led by a team of creative and enterprising people, among whom is its current Director, Maestro Nayden Todorov.

operata1The first temporary opera, choral, and symphonic groups in Rousse begin to form in mid-19th century when the city became the entry point for European culture to the country. In 1891 the Lira Musical Community is established. It is the first permanent musical organization in the city for performing opera music. There follow years of multiple administrative transformations until, ultimately, in 1919 the State Opera in Rousse, as we know it today, is established. Its first premiere, Kamen and Tsena by Bulgarian composer Ivan Ivanov, is during the same year on April 23.

In 1949 the Opera becomes under the full control of the State and under the overall administrative management of the Theatre. The two institutions are housed together in the Profit-Yielding Building. In 1951 the Opera hits an extremely successful season and, as a result, during the next 1952 it becomes fully independent from the Theatre. In 1999 the Opera and the Philharmonic administratively unite. Now, the State Opera in Rousse manages the Philharmonic orchestra, the Choir, the Ballet, and the Children’s Opera in the city. The Opera is among the Bulgarian opera institutions that are financially self-sustainable.

opera5The 1950s and 1960s are extremely rewarding for the Opera. To this fortune contribute three opera soloists – Penka Marinova, Nikolay Zdravkov, and Kiril Krastev, known as the Star Trio. In2011, in their honoura relief next to the Opera is erected.
In the 1960s the Opera begins presenting more and more new operas on scene, performs in the capital city, starts its cooperation with the Romanian Opera and moves to a separate building – the one where it is located today. At the same time, it develops relations with the Union of Composers in Moscow, resulting in the presentation of operas by Prokopief, Stravinsky, and Hrennikov for the first on Bulgarian scene.balet

One of the most dedicated foreign artists who demonstrated his talent in Bulgaria is Dmitri Shostakovich. He assists in the preparation for the performance of Katerina Izmailova, the opera he writes especially for the Opera in Rousse. His close and warm relations with the city continue for years and his successful cooperation with local artists and musicians from the Opera and the Philharmonic led to the announcement of Shostakovich Honorary Citizen of Rousse in 1965.

The hard work of guest artists and composers, along with the professionalism of the musicians and the management of the Opera, its Philharmonic Orchestra, Choir and Ballet, as well as the placing of operas for the first time in the country turn the Opera into an avant-garde and innovative institution in terms of its repertoire. For the first time in Bulgaria, the Opera in Rousse presents Stiffelio and Macbeth by Verdi, The Human Voice by Francis Poulenc, Summer 893 and Maria Desislava by Parashkev Hadziev, Girl of the West by Puccini, and The Mornings Are Quiet Here by Molchanov.operata2

Over the years, the Opera becomes a host for legends like Nicolai Ghiaurov, Nicola Gyuzelev, Raina Kabaivanska, Gena Dimitrova, Anna Tomova-Sintova, and many others. Records of performances by the Opera are stored in the Golden Fund of the Bulgarian National Radio and Television. The Opera also participates in festivals in Switzerland, Austria, Germany, France, Italy and tours in Belgium, the Netherlands, Ukraine, Portugal. In 2012 the Opera is awarded the Golden Lyre while in 2015 it receives the prize Ensemble of the Year that is awarded by virtue of choice by the listeners to the Bulgarian National Radio classical music show Allegro Vivace.

In conclusion, I’d like to say a few words about the man who is one of the driving forces behind the proactive initiatives of the Opera; who generates ideas and finds solutions to promote its artists and repertoire and to attract musicians from other Bulgarian cities to work at the Opera; whose energy as conductor raises a storm of emotions on stage; whose comments and views on professional topics are straightforward and inciting responses.operata4

Maestro Nayden Todorov is born in Plovdiv, demonstrates the candour and heartiness of a resident from Rousse, and shares the worldviews of a cosmopolitan. Trumpeter, pianist, composer, and conductor, he becomes the Director of the Opera in 2005. As of the 2004/2005 season he has been a permanent guest conductor of the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2012 and in 2016 he wins the Crystal Lyre prize awarded by the Union of Bulgarian Musicians and Dancers and Classic FM Radio, and in 2013 he is voted Musician of the Year by the listeners of the Bulgarian National Radio.

To find which the latest performances at the Opera are, follow them on Facebook.

To listen to the great performances of the musicians, follow their Youtube.com channel.

operata6Resources

1. Rousse State Opera
2. Rousse Philharmonic Orchestra
3. Rousse Opera Choir
4. Rousse Opera Ballet
5. Rousse State Opera on Wikipedia
6. Maestro Nayden Todorov on Wikipedia

The photos in the article are not owned by this website.

Pavlina Dokovska

pavlina-dokovska1A world-famous pianist and inspiring teacher, an engine power behind music initiatives related to the promotion of her students and Bulgaria, the Head of the Piano Department at the Mannes College of Music in New York, Pavlina Dokovska worked for years with Nikolay Giaurov. Her colleagues deeply respect her, her students genuinely love her, and other people who know her, consider her a “bright, inspired, thorough, sensitive, and dedicated person.”

pavlina-dokovska2Pavlina Dokovska is born in Rousse in a family of lawyers. Her great-grandmother on her mother’s side is Velichka Shipkalieva. Velichka is one of the first teachers in Rousse, one of the first actresses in the city as well as the first woman whose voice is recorded on a record. Together with Petrana Obretenova, they transported the flag of the Revolutionary Committee across the Danube and her name stands in the Pantheon of National Revival in Rousse.

Pavlina Dokovska graduated from the National School of Arts in Rousse. Then the family moved to Sofia. In the capital, she graduated from the Prof Liubomir Pipkov National School of Music from the class of Lydia Kuteva, which leaves a deep mark on her development as an artist and as a person. She became a student at the Pancho Vladigerov State Music Academy as a student of Julia and Konstantin Ganevi. She continued her studies in Paris and arrived in New York in 1978 with a Fulbright scholarship for specialization at The Juilliard School where she received a Master’s degree.

pavlina-dokovska4She has played in concert halls of New York, Washington, and Munich. She also toured with the Hudson Valley Philharmonic Orchestra, the Austin Symphony, as well as the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Leopold Hager. She has done joint recitals with Nikolai Giaurov in Paris, Salzburg, Milan’s La Scala, and London and has won numerous awards at international competitions.

In 1995 Pavlina Dokovska organized the Cyril and Methodius Foundation annual concert called The Musical Treasures of Bulgaria for the first time at one of the most famous concert halls in the world – Carnegie Hall. The concert aims at presenting young Bulgarian musicians to a world audience and has been conducted ever since once a year. Since 2003 in memory of her teacher Lydia Kuteva she has personally helped for the professional development of young pianists from the State Music School by donating funds for their scholarships.

In 2008 and 2009, one of the creators of the 168 Hours Press Gropu, journalist Radostina Konstantinova, began working on the film called I Believe in the Mission whose idea is to promote the talent of Bulgarians overseas. This first series is about Pavlina Dokovska so at that time the recording of the first interviews began. Unfortunately, in 2010 Konstantinova died and in 2012 her friends and colleagues decided on finishing the job she started.

pavlina-dokovska5Since that film, Pavlina Dokovska has had the idea to organize concerts of Bulgarian musicians at the hall adjoining the Consulate General of Bulgaria in New York. It took her just a couple of months to raise the sum of USD 55,000 not without the help of the Consul General of Bulgaria and the Bulgarian community in the metropolis. The sum was used for the purchase of a grand Steinway piano of excellent quality. This marked the beginning of the musical series called Bulgarian Concert Evenings in New York which aims to familiarize the American public with Bulgarian talented musicians.

When Pavlina Dokovska organizes classes and concerts in Bulgaria, they are always admission-free. She is convinced that every Bulgarian musician who has succeeded professionally abroad has to
be generous to theit country of origin where they are born and where they have received free education.

In conclusion, we’d like to share with you two quotes by Pavlina Dokovska – a person full of love, faith, and inspiration.

We must follow our own priorities and learn to wave the Bulgarian flag.

People can truly be free and cosmopolitan only when they are attached to the place where they started from.

Resources

1. Utro Newspaper
2. Eva
3. Kultura
4. Bulgarian National Television
5. 24 Hours Newspaper
6. Dnevnik
7. Darik News

The photos in the article are not owned by this website.

2019 European Capital of Culture Candidate

sand4 As you may already know, the European Capital of Culture is a city, designated by the European Union for a period of one calendar year, during which it organizes a series of cultural events with a strong European dimension. Preparing a European Capital of Culture can be an opportunity for the city to generate considerable cultural, social and economic benefits and it can help foster urban regeneration, change the city’s image and raise its visibility and profile on an international scale. (Source: Wikipedia).

Rousse was one of the contestants from Bulgaria, respectively Europe, during the latest competition that took place last year (2015), and challenged other participants under its “Rousse – City of the Free Spirit” representative leitmotif. The Free Spirit City Municipal Foundation was found. It desired to further promote a broad cultural spectrum of events in the city and encourage young talents. As a result, in 2015 the Foundation organized about 150 cultural and art events, supported 5 talented children and 10 creative teams from Ruse, established partnerships with local businesses and received a number of donations to the aim of imposing wider social effects and strong recognition of the cause. vintage-car2

I am not quite enthusiastic to admit that the city where, according to the state officials, the free spirit resides, lost the battle, but you know—life’s a motley crew of possibilities! In a nutshell, Rousse didn’t pass the first round of nominations and in the end Plovdiv, another great Bulgarian city, was pronounced the final winner, but… that’s another story. However, the contest participation itself brought about new events in Rousse, such as the 2015 Green Rock Fest featuring the legendary rock band Nazareth, the International Sand Sculpture Festival, the First Vintage Car Parade, and the International Ice Sculpture Festival.

Watch the official video that represented the city at the international community here.

Read more about the topic here and on the official Facebook page here.

Below are some photos from the major cultural events in Rousse held in 2015 while the city was aiming to become the 2019 European Capital of Culture.

The photos in the article are not owned by this website.