About the Festival
The Festival, organized by the Piano Extravaganza Foundation, was held for the first time in October 2011, thus fulfilling an old dream of Maestro Ludmil Angelov, Founder and Artistic Director of Piano Extravaganza. The main purpose of the Festival is to restore the world’s musical heritage by promoting works of high artistic value by composers who are little known or who have been overshadowed by the most famous and universally acclaimed geniuses of classical music.
Since the first edition of the event, the ambition of the organizers has been to attract Bulgarian and international audience of classical music lovers who look for something different, offering them a truly unique program of concerts. The main emphasis in the Festival’s program policy is on music for piano, the most universal musical instrument, which appears in all concerts. Thus, the music lovers are able to enjoy piano recitals, chamber concerts and song evenings, thanks also to the excellent acoustics of the elegant halls of the Central Military Club, the Aula of Sofia University, the National Opera House and the National Art Gallery in Sofia.
The musicians invited to perform at the Festival are internationally acclaimed artists with recognized craftsmanship in the field of rarely performed repertoire, or just innovative performers that wish to explore such a repertoire. As well the Festival’s programing, through the years, has made possible the appearance in Sofia of extraordinary stars of classical music, such as Dina Yoffe, Piotr Paleczny, Seong-Jin Cho, Krassimira Stoyanova, Vesselina Kasarova, Alex Penda (Alexandrina Pendatchanska), Artis Quartett, Vesko Eschkenazy and the Chamber Soloists of the Concertgebouw Orchestra, Ingolf Wunder, Evgeni Bozhanov, Michael Vaiman, Elmira Darvarova, Jiri Barta, Jerome Rose and many others. So far, in the previous editions of the Festival, more than 400 different works have been performed – many of them as first performances in Bulgaria and also several world premieres of piano and chamber music works.
Piano Extravaganza’s another priority is supporting young talents, including concerts of “Pancho Vladigerov” International Competition laureats and with a special educational event – Open Doors Day “Friends of the Piano”. That event enjoys a large audience of young people interested in discovering classical music in general and the piano in particular, which enables the festival to attract followers and to impulse children starting piano lessons.
A cultural tourism program is organized for the international audience of the Festival. This will give visitors a unique opportunity to enjoy a week of musical treats and, at the same time, to discover Bulgaria’s fascinating cultural and historical heritage, natural sites, food and wine. In this way, Piano Extravaganza joins its creative forces to the ones of the city of Sofia with an aim to celebrate the cultural ties that link Bulgaria to Europe and bring people from different countries into contact with each other’s culture, promoting mutual understanding and giving new vitality to European cultural life.
In May 2015 the Festival received the award “Musical Project of the Year 2014” of the Bulgarian National Radio, as part of “Allegro Vivace” annual awards for classical music.