Sofia Philharmonic season 2019-2020 is opening

On 12 September, the stage will be taken by new guest chief conductor Sascha Goetzel and child prodigy Ivailo Vassilev

Sascha Goetzel

The new guest star, conductor Sascha Goetzel will open season 2019-2020 with Symphony No.1 by Gustav Mahler on 12 September at the Bulgaria Hall in Sofia. This symphony is a titanic work which ushered in a new stage in the development of symphonic music.

Experts maintain that it is also a biography of a kind describing the young years of the marvelous composer, who imbued this symphony with his admiration for Nature, emotions from first disappointments with life, struggle for self-assertion and belief in the future victory.  

This symphony is among the favourite works for Viennese conductor Sascha Goetzel who over a short span of several years has become the most-liked performer of the Bulgarian music lovers owing to his emotional interpretation of classical music.

Sascha Goetzel is an artistic director and principal conductor of the Borusan Istanbul Philharmonic Orchestra. With this orchestra he was the guest performer at the international festivals in Salzburg and BBC Proms. Goetzel worked with such famous soloists as Daniil Trifonov, Yudja Wang, Rudolf Buchbinder, Murray Perahia, Maxim Vengerov, Arcadi Volodos, Julian Rachlin, Daniel Hope, Placido Domingo, Jose Carreras, Anna Netrebko, Rene Fleming, Bryn Terfel, Piotr Beczala and others.   

His creative carrier includes conducting such famous orchestras as Kanagawa Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Bretagne, Austrian-Korean Philharmonic Orchestra. He was also a guest conductor of Munich Symphony Orchestra, Dresdner Phiharmonie, the National Orchestra of France, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and symphonic orchestras of Luxemburg, Strasbourg and Vancouver. 

As an opera conductor he took an active part in the performances of the Mariinski Theater, Vienna Volksoper, the opera houses of Ange, Nantes, Montpellier, Rennes, the National Opera of Nancy and Bunka Kaikan concert hall in Tokyo. Deutsche Grammophon and Onyx released his CDs.

On 12 September the Sofia Philharmonic will also welcome Ivaylo Vassilev, a child prodigy who will perform Piano Concerto No.9 by Mozart. The 11-year-old pianist, also known as “Little Mozart” draws ovations of the specialists who admire his unique talent. He already has an enviable collection of over 20 awards from prestigious international competitions in Moscow, Athens, Munich, Sofia, Brussels, Madrid, Astana, Usti-nad-Labem (Czech Republic), etc. His nascent career also features a professional studio CD record with the Mariinski Theater orchestra.

Ivaylo started playing piano at the age of five under the guidance of Zornitsa Galeva. As of 2014, he studies piano at the “Lyubomir Pipkov” National School of Music, Sofia in the class of Emilia Kaneva. From the summer of 2019 he continues his education with Prof. Dr. Borislava Taneva. During the academic years of 2017/2018 and 2018/2019 Ivaylo has been working with Lyudmil Angelov of the New Bulgarian University and in 2018/2019 took lessons from Vasilii Ilisavsky and Belgian pianist Phillipe Raskind.

The child prodigy also attended master classes with pianists Lilia Boyadjieva, Aglika Ghenova, Lyuiben Dimitrov, Atanas Kurtev, Katya Popova-Zidron (Poland), Dmitri Bashkirov (Russia/Spain), Vincenzo Balzani (Italy), Yurii Bogdanov (Russia), Natalia Deeva (Russia), Anna Manasarova (Russia), Mamiko Suda (Japan), Michelle Bourdoncle (France), Anna Gourari (Germany), Joseph Paratore (Italy/US).

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