Ivo Varbanov is a leading figure of Bulgarian music and culture abroad. After a forced stop from performing from 2009 to 2012 due to Leukaemia he has returned to the stage with impressive performances at Royal Festival Hall with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, King’s Place in the Brahms Unwrapped season, and at Cadogan Hall.
He is a recipient of the Ivan Vazov Award for the popularisation of Bulgarian Culture abroad, and in 2011 he was also awarded the Silver Lion Award from the Ministry of Foreign Afairs. His performances have been broadcast on Bulgarian National Radio, BBC Radio, RAI 3, France Music, Radio Toscana Classica, Classic FM+, Spanish National Radio, Slovak National Radio, Bulgarian National TV, BTV, and TV Bulgaria.
In 2017 Hyperion Records released a recording of the Dimitar Nenov Piano Concerto and Ballade for Piano and Orchestra No 2 with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Maestro Emil Tabakov, received enthusiastically by the critics worldwide (with an average of 4.5/5 stars). Until 2019 he has 13 commercial recordings for Hyperion Records, Gega New, B.N.R., Lorelt Records, and ICSM Records.
His performances include concertos, recitals and chamber music in more than 20 countries in three continents. Career highlights include multiple performances at the Royal Festival Hall, Wigmore Hall, King’s Place, Cadogan Hall, St. John’s Smith Square in London, Carnegie Recital Hall in New York, Bulgaria Concert Hall in Sofa, Philharmonic Hall in St. Petersburg, Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow, Freeman Concert Hall in Manchester, St George’s Bristol, and West Road in Cambridge.
He is partnering with some of the fnest orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Turku Philharmonic, Sofa Philharmonic Orchestra, Bulgarian National Symphony Orchestra, Sofa Soloists, Tianjin Symphony Orchestra, and the Gdansk Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of distinguished conductors such as Leif Segerstam, Emil Tabakov, Muhai Tang, Stanislav Oushev, Alexander Kantorov, and Massimiliano Caldi.
In the past seasons he has been collaborating in chamber music concerts with his wife Fiammetta Tarli and Konstantin Lifschitz (two pianos/four hands), as well as with the violinist Ofer Falk, cellists László Fenyö, Seeli Toivio, Jozef Lupták and Hillel Zori, the Allegri Quartet, and the horn player Tanja Nisonen, performing in festivals such as Sofa Music Weeks, Cervo Summer Festival, Ohrid Summer Festival, Chopin Marienbad Festival, Apollonia Arts Festival, and CarniaArmonie Festival, Lodz Contemporary Music Festival.
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