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        N  e  w  s  l  e  t  t  e  r           Issue 29 SPRING & SUMMER, 2016
New York Festival Orchestra


Beethoven, Piano concerto No. 5, op. 73, "Emperor"  

Ivan Donchev, piano  
Hideaki Hirai, Music Director & Conductor  
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Ivan Donchev, Pianist

On June 30th, Ivan Donchev performed Rachmaninov's the 3rd Piano Concerto with USC Mussorgsky Symphony Orchestra in Ekaterinburg, Russia with guest conductor Piero Romano  

Ivan Donchev had very busy schedule in 2016! Highlights of his recent activities include a piano duo concert in Bologna with his partner and student pianist Elena Nefedova ( ), a solo recital at the prestigious Festival in Italy ( Il Suono di Liszt a Villa d'Este | Colle Ionci )  in Tivoli. The program, titled "Annees de pelerinage" featured the entire 1st volume of Liszt's monumental cycle and concluded the complete performance of all three volumes in three years, which Ivan Donchev performed at the Villa d'Este where Liszt himself had lived.
Two weeks later Ivan gave a stunning performance of Sergei Rachmaninov's most difficult Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Pazardzhik Symphony Orchestra in Bulgaria .  Then Ivan Donchev played a solo recital and gave masterclass at the  Accademia Pianistica delle Marche - Recanati .
In May Ivan played a solo recital program at the well-known May Music Days Festival in Bulgaria  - including some jazz encores performed with his father Vasil Donchev - in addition to a piano masterclass in his native Burgas at the Pancho Vladigerov State School of Music.  
On June 30th, Ivan Donchev performed Rachmaninov 3rd Concerto with USC Mussorgsky Symphony Orchestra in Ekaterinburg, Russia with guest conductor Piero Romano. On July 9th Mr. Donchev played in Italy the Concerto No. 2 by Rachmaninov at Ostuni Piano Festival with Magna Grecia State Orchestra directed by the brilliant Russian conductor Anton Shaburov.  
Future engagements will take place in Russia, US and Italy, where in August Ivan will give a 5 day masterclass at the San Gemini Music Festival .
The official video recording of Ivan's sensational debut as the soloist with New York Festival Orchestra at Merkin Hall, Kaufmann Center in New York in 2015 is online:  Ivan Donchev - Beethoven, Piano concerto No. 5, op. 73, "Emperor", Hideaki Hirai, conductor

For more information visit:

Diane Wittry, Conductor  

Diane Wittry conducting Allentown Symphony
Recently named among "Top 30 Professionals" by Musical America, Diane Wittry continue to be one of the leading American conductors.
Performance and activities schedule from January - August 2016
January 14-17
CODA conference - Guest Master Class Teacher

January 27
Guest speaker at Juilliard School

Feb 13-14
concerts Allentown Symphony - Puccini's Greatest hits - All Puccini concert

Feb 18, 20, 22
"Stories in Music" Family concert series - ASO

Feb 27
Ridgewood Symphony (RSO) - All Brahms Concert featuring his seldom performed cantata Rinaldo

March 5
Judge for the Schadt National String competition

March 12-13
Petrushka Concert, with ballet dancers - ASO

April 1-2
Judge for World Strides Music Festivals - New York

April 9-10
Carmina Burana Concert ASO

April 15-16
Judge for World Strides Music Festivals - Virginia

April 27
Guest speaker - PEO Civic club, New Jersey

May 6
Concert - Symphonic Dances - Ridgewood Symphony, NJ

May 14 - Guest Conductor - Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, PA

June 16-18
Guest conducting Teacher - South Carolina Conductor's Institute

June 19
Latin Fiesta Concert - (ASO) Leavitt Pavilion, Bethlehem, PA (ASO)

June 27 - July 2
Faculty - Beyond the Baton International Conducting Seminar - Norwalk, CT   Pizazz Music Ensemble

August 19-29
Coach - Wyoda Chamber Music Festival, Vermont
Recent articles:

Monthly column for the Lehigh Valley Press, by Diane Wittry -  The articles are available at:  (please do a search for Wittry)
Recent concert reviews:
For more information visit:
Veselin Ninov, Pianist

 Veselin Ninov performing Brahms Sonata No.1 at the LISMA International Festival, New  York
BV Artists International's pianist Veselin Ninov completed a successful spring and summer seasons and now prepares for new music ventures this fall.
In February, he was invited as a member of the jury panel of the 2016 LISMA Foundation Soloist competition . Then, for the third year in a row, Mr. Ninov collaborated with the Long Island Conservatory and the Concert Festival of New York for two chamber music performances: March 8th at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts of LIU and April 3rd at the Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall.
In May, he accepted the invitation of conductor Susan Deaver to be the soloist in the Beethoven's Triple Concerto to be performed by the North Shore Symphony Orchestra of New York. This year marks the orchestra's 55th anniversary and the 25th anniversary of its Music Director.

On May 21st and June 4th, Veselin Ninov gave two recitals at the Steinway Piano Gallery in NY. The recitals featured violist Tonya Bibashka - Ninov and some of Long Island's aspiring young musicians. The programs included pieces by Bach, Mozart, Weber, Liszt, and others. 
This summer marks the 10th season of the Music Without Borders International Piano Festival in Bethel, ME, where Veselin Ninov has performed numerous times. In July he returned there once again as a jury member for the International Competition immediately fallowing after the end of the festival.
In the August and September, he will give chamber recitals in Long Island where he currently resides and will present an 'All-Chopin' Recital in Jericho, NY.

For more information visit Veselin at: 

Dimitar Karaminkov, Conductor

Concert with guitar group "Coda" and Dimitar Karaminkov, Pianist/Conductor 

Maestro Karaminkov has an intensive season as the principal conductor of the Sliven Symphony Orchestra, Bulgaria. One of the most interesting concerts with Sliven Philharmonic was the concert with Rock group "Kikimora" with which opened" The May Cultural Holidays" Festival in Sliven, Bulgaria. Beside the regular season concerts with mostly classical music composers, Maestro Dimitar Karaminkov conducted as well as performed as pianist many educational concerts which were very successful as evidenced by standing ovations from the public. These well-received educational concerts included performances by the youth guitar group "CODA" and the young violinist Kremena Nikolova.    

Dimitar Karaminkov, Principal Conductor 

Performance Highlights with the Sliven Symphony Orchestra:
Britten - Simple Symphony, Mozart - Concert for violin No. 5, Schubert - Symphony No 1, Dvorak ''Legends '', Max Bruh- Kol Nidrei op.47, Prokofiev-Symphony No 1. ''Classical'' and Pergolesi - '' La Serva Padrona'' with soloists from Opera Stara Zagora.     

VIDEO - Educational Concert Mix                     

For more information visit:

Brooklyn Baroque

      Rebecca Pechefsky, video recording of Soler at All Saints Episcopal Church, Brooklyn, NY 

Brooklyn Baroque's harpsichordist Rebecca Pechefsky had a busy spring, performing a two-harpsichord concert in Tallinn, Estonia, with her duet partner Elaine Funaro. Local concerts included performances for her series Music at Morris-Jumel (which features early music at the Morris-Jumel Mansion, Manhattan's oldest house), the Midtown Concerts, and others. She continued her recording of Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II, and also released a video of a sonata by Antonio Soler, filmed at All Saints's Epscopal Church in Park Slope, Brooklyn. This and other videos may be viewed on the Youtube Quill Classics channel.
For more information visit:
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Newsletter Editor: Barry Kolman
Dear Friends and Colleagues: Kalin Ivanov, Art. Dir.

I hope all of you are enjoying a nice relaxing summer. Our roster of outstanding artists have been busy as usual performing throughout the world. Please take a few minutes to read about their impressive accomplishments as well as their future endeavors.         

We wish you a happy summer season!         
Kalin Ivanov, Artistic Director
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 Cristian Sandu, Conductor 

Photo from Opera Promenade, Bucharest National Opera

Maestro Sandu's professional activities include  performances withe several orchestras and opera theaters:
Schedule January-june, 2016

January 21, 22, 28 
Bucharest National Opera: DSCH/The Dream Ballet

February 4
Sibiu Philharmonic Orchestra: Boccherini - Cello concerto, Berlioz - Simphonie Fantastique

February 19
Bucharest National Opera: Donizetti - L'elisir d'amore

February 21
Bucharest National Opera: DSCH/The Dream Ballet

February 28
Galati Musical Theatre: Donizetti - Lucia di Lammermoor

March 5
Bucharest National Opera: Verdi - Aida

March 11
Iasi Philharmonic Orchestra: Mozart - Idomeneo, Gluck - Iphigenie en Aulide, Cherubini - Medea Overtures, Beethoven - Symphony No. 3 (Eroica)

March 19
Bucharest National Opera: Puccini - La Boheme

March 30
Cluj Romanian National Opera: Delibes - Coppelia

April 23
Bucharest National Opera: DSCH/The Dream Ballet

April 28
Bucharest National Opera: International Ballet Gala

May 6
Cluj Romanian National Opera: Tchaikovsky - Swan Lake

May 13
Bucharest National Opera: Donizetti - L'elisir d'amore

May 26
Cluj Napoca Music Academy - Symphonic concert

June 24
Cluj Romanian National Opera, A. Adam - Giselle Ballet
The photo bellow is from Opera Promenade, Bucharest National Opera 2015

RECENT VIDEOS with Bucharest National Opera:
For more information visit:
Ivo Varbanov, Pianist

Ivo Varbanov and Fiammetta Tarli performed a concert at St. John's Smith Square, London on June 10, 2016
Ivo Varbanov was very busy over the last few months. In January 2016 he recorded for Toccata Classics with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Emil Tabakov the rarely performed Concerto for Piano and Orchestra and the Ballade for Piano and Orchestra by Dimitar Nenov. Dimitar Nenov was one of the most impressive personalities in Bulgaria in the first half of the Twentieth Century, a leading figure in the cultural and musical life of the country , and a brilliant pianist and composer. This was a groundbreaking recording, not only because it was the very first studio recording of the works, but also because Bulgarian classical music was rarely and unjustly recorded by non-Bulgarian orchestra (we recall memorable recordings in the 1930's of Vladigerov's works by the Berliner Philharmonic). Ivo had a release of two recordings for ICSM Records: Stravinsky - Pétrouchka and Rite of Spring in the original 4-hands version with his wife Fiammetta Tarli, and the Cello & Piano sonatas by Brahms with the Slovak cellist Jozef Luptak (for his Omnia project - Brahms on the piano Vo. 3)
In June 2016 he had a 8 day UK tour performing solo, two pianos and piano 4 hands (with Fiammetta Tarli) in the major halls of London, Manchester, Glasgow, Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol, Dorchester, and Wales. Included in the Tour was the World Première of Silvina Milstein - in a bowl of grey blue leaves for two pianos (dedicated to the duo).
In August 2016, Ivo will record volume 5 of his Brahms project - Viola Sonatas Op. 120 No 1 and 2 and Trio Op. 114. 
For more information visit:     
Tamara Poddubnaya, Pianist

Istanbul 11th Pera Piano International competition, Opening ceremony recital, May 2, 2016
Tamara Poddubnaya has served as Chairperson, Vice-president, Artistic Director, and Jury Head of several International Festivals and Competitions in Europe and in the U.S.

January 9-15
Tamara served as a vice-chair at Savshinsky International competition in St. Petersburg, Russia

January 20-27
Chairperson at Mozart International competition in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Chairperson at the Soloists Annual competition in LIC, NY. 

Chairperson at the International competition "Way to Mastery" in Rostov on Don, Russia. After the competition there were master classes for 5 days.

May 2-8
Chairperson at the Pera International Piano competition in Istanbul, Turkey, also played the opening ceremony recital there.

May 22-27
Vice-president at the International competition "Musical Fireworks in Baden Wuerttemberg, Germany.

May 29 - June 3
Buzuluk, Russia, Tamara performed a recital, giving master classes and seminars for piano teachers at biennial 5th International Piano Academy together with Professors Vladimir Tropp from Moscow and Willem Brons from Amsterdam.
June 15-19
Chairperson at the Stockholm International Music Competition, Sweden.
June 20-25
Jury Head of Klaipeda International competition "Pearls of Baltiya", Lithuania.

June 30 - July 29
Artistic Director of the 10th International Piano Festival and Competition "Music without Borders", Bethel, Maine.

July 31 - August 14
Faculty member at the 26th Summit Music Festival, in  Manhattanville College, Purchase, NY, giving master classes, playing a recital and judging the Concerto Competition within the frame of the Festival.

August 18-20
Chairperson at the LISMA Foundation International Scholarship Competition, Long Island Conservatory of Music, Albertson, NY.
For more information visit:    
Hampson Sisler, Composer/Organist

Hampson Sisler with the conductor of the New York Festival Orchestra Hideaki Hirai, and the two soloists after successful US premiere of his cantata "Japan Tragedy 2011" performed on March 12, 2016 in NYC.
Hampson Sisler's compositions are enjoying live performances in two different countries during the spring and the summer. On March 12, 2016, in a very special Japan's Earthquake and Tsunami 5th Anniversary Memorial Concert called "Musical Prayers", the New York Festival Orchestra performed in New York City with much success the US premiere of his cantata "Japan Tragedy 2011" dedicated to the victims of the Japan's Earthquake and Tsunami. More info

On June 30th, 2016 Sisler's piece "In The wake of The Storm" was performed in concert with the UMC Symphony Orchestra, Ekaterinburg, RUSSIA with guest conductor Piero Romano, Italy. The concert was broadcast LIVE and world-wide. VIDEO LINK - to watch Silser's piece, please go to 53:50 
For more information visit:    
Hideaki Hirai , Conductor

Hideaki Hirai conducting New York Festival Orchestra
On February 28, HIDEAKI HIRAI conducted a highly successful performance  of his own Opera, "PRINCESS FROM THE MOON" (KAGUYA-HIME), which  has received rave reviews in such cities as Salzburg, Prague, Canberra, Los Angeles  and many cities in Japan, in Urayasu City, Chiba, Japan. MORE 

On April 22 and May 8, this Opera was also presented to a great critical acclaim in Shibuya City, Tokyo and Fukui City, Japan, respectively. MORE

On March 12, Maestro Hirai conducted the New York Festival Orchestra  in New York City to commemorate the 5th anniversary of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami in 2011 where he presented the U. S. premiere of the Cantata, "Japan Tragedy 2011" by Hampson Sisler as well as some of Hirai's own works including Ave Maria. MORE

On March 31, Maestro Hirai made a sensational success in conducting the subscription concert of the Pleven Philharmonic Orchestra in Bulgaria.

For more information visit:     
Beethoven, Piano concerto No. 5, op. 73, "Emperor"  

Ivan Donchev, piano
 Hideaki Hirai, Music Director & Conductor 

BV Artists International

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