About Us

The numerous endeavours of the residents of Pleven in the orchestral field culminated in success in 1953 when the distinguished Bulgarian conductor Sasha Popov established the State Symphony Orchestra in Pleven. The inaugural concert took place on September 6, with Pancho Vladigerov as the soloist. Over the years, the ensemble flourished under the direction of prominent Bulgarian musicians such as Alexander Vladigerov, Emil Yanev, Dimitar Manolov, Plamen Djourov, as well as Dobrin Petkov, Konstantin Iliev, Ruslan Raichev, Ivan Marinov, Yordan Dafov, Vasil Kazandjiev, Tzanko Delibozov, Nayden Todorov, Yordan Kamdzhalov, Grigor Palikarov, Deyan Pavlov, and others.

Undoubtedly, Maestro Georgi Notev has played an indispensable role in the growth and establishment of the orchestra in Bulgaria and abroad, serving as its principal conductor from 1973 to 2008 Under his guidance, the Pleven Philharmonic participated in concerts and festivals in Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Finland, Romania, and Greece, and carried out recordings for the Bulgarian National Radio (BNR) and Bulgarian National Television (BNT), as well as for numerous foreign recording companies. During the period 1970 to 1994. The Pleven Philharmonic also serves as the orchestra for the Pleven Opera “Hristo Botev”. Until the closure of the opera, more than 50 titles were staged, including operas, operettas, and ballets.

Pleven became a focal point for numerous Bulgarian composers such as Pancho Vladigerov, Marin Goleminov, Veselin Stoyanov, Alexander Raichev, Dimitar Nenov, Pencho Stoyanov, Victor Chuchkov, Mikhail Pekov, Georgi Kostov, Krasimir Taskov, Georgi Arnaudov, who participate in solo concerts or are guests during performances of their works.

The orchestra’s soloists have been internationally renowned performers: Nedyalka Simeonova, Vadim Spivakov, Georgi Badev, Gena Dimitrova, Kaludi Kaludov, Hristina Angelakova, Anna Tomova-Sintova, Evgeny Nesterenko, Emil Kamilarov, Dina Schneiderman, Stefan Popov, Milcho Leviev, Igor Oistrakh, Yordanka Derilova, Oleg Krysa, Yovcho Krushev, Lyudmil Angelov, Vanya Milanova, Alexandru Tomescu, Svetla Krasteva, Satoko Aoyama, Michel Lethiec, Luc Héry, Vasko Eskenazi, Borislav Yotsov, Bülent Evcil, Mariyana Panova, Edelina Kaneva, Mario Hossen, Plamena Mangova, Dora Deliyska, Mark Bushkov, Svet Stoyanov, Vasilena Serafimova, Ari Boutros, Lia Petrova. and many others.

Prominent conductors from Europe, Asia, and America have visited the Pleven Philharmonic, including Konstantin Orbelyan, Diane Wittry, Eckart Preu, Yuri Yanko, and Olivier Holt. The orchestra has repeatedly participated in concerts at festivals such as the “New Bulgarian Music,” “Varna Summer,” “Sofia Musical Weeks,” “Apollonia,” and other prestigious music forums. It is a regular participant in the International Music Festival “Laureate Days” named after Katya Popova in Pleven. In 2006, the Pleven Philharmonic organized the First National Competition for Young Opera Singers “Gena Dimitrova.” After a 10-year hiatus, the third edition of the competition took place in 2019.

In recent years, performances and concerts in the open-air Summer Theater in Kaylaka Park have become an integral part of Pleven’s cultural life. The operas “Nabucco” and “Aida” by Verdi, the cantata “Carmina Burana” by Carl Orff, and the “Musical Evening” with Lucy Dyakovska attract a large audience, both locals and visitors to the city of Pleven.

The Pleven Philharmonic has been honoured three times with the prestigious award “Crystal Lyre” by the Union of Bulgarian Music and Dance Artists: in 2019 in category of “Orchestral Art”, in 2021 in the category of “Pop and Rock Music”, and in 2022 in the category of “Instrumentalist”; awarded the “Golden Feather” for contribution to Bulgarian culture and art by the agency “Kantus Firmus” and the “Makta” gallery with media partnership of “Classic A” radio in 2023.

With various projects including “I Love Bulgarian Music, “An Evening of Musicals,” “Favorite Russian Songs, “Oscars in Music, “Favorite Movie Melodies and Songs,” “With the Music of Vili, and “Let’s Listen to Cinema, the Pleven Philharmonic Orchestra has held hundreds of concerts across the country. In recent years, in collaboration with the National Philharmonic Choir “Svetoslav Obretenov” under the baton of conductor Slavil Dimitrov, performances of Faure’s Requiem, Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana,” and under the baton of maestro Yordan KamdzhalovBruckner’s Great Mass No. 3, were held at the Bulgaria Hall in Sofia.

In 2019, the orchestra added remarkable achievements to its creative biography with the mega-concert “The Best of Andrew Lloyd Webber,” realised with the participation of the National Philharmonic Choir “Svetoslav Obretenov” and world-renowned soloists from Germany and the United Kingdom. The virtuoso violinist Vesko Pantaleev-Eshkenazy entrusted the Pleven Philharmonic for his anniversary concert, kicking off a dazzling tour across Bulgaria.