Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra
January 18th, 2024
Founded in 1892 as Guards Symphony Orchestra, in 1938 after fusion with the Academic Symphony Orchestra transformed into Royal Military Symphony Orchestra, after 1945 the SOFIA PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA became the national orchestra of Bulgaria and has long established itself as one of the leading cultural institutions, representative of the overall contemporary musical culture of the country. The orchestra's high artistic achievement is associated with the names of prominent figures such as Sasha Popov, Konstantin Iliev, Dobrin Petkov, Vassil Stefanov, Vladi Simeonov, Vassil Kazandjiev, Dimitar Manolov, Emil Tabakov, Julian Kovatchev, Nayden Todorov. Unforgettable in the chronicle of the Philharmonic are the instances of co-operation with personalities such as conductors Bruno Walter, Hermann Abendroth, Kurt Masur, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Valery Gergiev, Yuri Simonov, Yuri Temirkanov, Igor MarkeviTch, Carlo Zecchi, Karl Österreichher, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Neville Marriner, Charles Dutoit, Marin Alsop, Frédéric Chaslin, Gianluigi Gelmetti and others. Soloists who have performed with the orchestra were David Oistrakh, Sviatoslav Richter, Emil Gilels, Alexis Weissenberg, Dmitri Shostakovich, Mstislav Rostropovich, Vladimir Spivakov, Ruggiero Ricci, Ghena Dimitrova, Jose Carreras, Julian Rachlin, Placido Domingo, Sarah Chang, Thomas Hampson, Yuri Bashmet, Tabea Zimmermann, Elena Bashkirova, Alexandrina Pendatchanska, Sonya Yoncheva, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Maxim Vengerov, Svetlin Rоussev, Angela Gheorghiu, Vadim Repin, Paul Badura-Skoda, Joshua Bell, Dmitri Ratser, Elīna Garanča, Sharon Kam, Ivo Pogorelić, Martha Argerich, Viktoria Mullova, Mischa Maisky, Shlomo Mintz, Gidon Kremer and many more world-renowned artists.
The repertoire of the Sofia Philharmonic comprises works from the entire historically available range of music - from classical to contemporary opuses, including premiere performances of numerous works by Bulgarian composers. The orchestra has garnered substantial recognition all over the world. It has guest-performed with great success in the major musical centres across Europe (Austria, Belgium, Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, Luxembourg, Netherland, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Turkey, France, Croatia, Switzerland), Asia (China, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Japan), and North America, and has received frenetic acclaim even from the most demanding of audiences. The Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra was awarded many prestigious accolades including: "Musician of the Year" , "Golden Lyre", "Golden Stave", "Golden Quill", "Crystal Lyre", the Honorary Sign of Sofia, the Honorary Sign of the President of Bulgaria. From 2017, general director of the Sofia Philharmonic is maestro Nayden Todorov.