Prof. Iliya Chernaev, Ph.D.

Head of Department


The history of piano in Bulgaria is shaped to a great extent by the first piano teachers. One of them was Jindřich (Heinrich) Wiesner. Born in Bohemia, he came to Bulgaria and became one of the founders of the Private School of Music. Later, he taught at the State School of Music and was awarded a professorship at the Academy of Music, after it was founded in 1921. He instructed generations of Bulgarian pianists in love for the music and for ensemble playing. Acad. Andrey Stoyanov is rightfully considered to be the founder of the methodology of piano teaching in Bulgaria as he outlined the directions for its future development. Prof. Ivan Torchanov is another important figure in the history of piano music and teaching in Bulgaria. The Bulgarian piano school was shaped under the immediate influence of the most prestigious music centres in Western Europe and Russia, and had the historic opportunity to combine the achievements and benefits of both.

Among the pianists and pedagogues who taught piano at the State Academy of Music between 1920 and 1950, several names stick out – the already famous composers Dimitar Nenov and Pancho Vladigerov, the professors Tamara Yankova, Panka Pelíšek, Zheni Kovacheva, Lyuba Encheva, Lili Atanasova, Mara Petkova, Mara Balsamova, Lyuba Obretenova, Katya Kazandzhieva, and later – Galunka Belcheva, Bogomil Starshenov, Lilyana Antova. Most of them specialized in Western Europe or graduated from prestigious music academies in Vienna, Berlin, Paris, Milan, Prague etc, in the classes of some of the most prominent pianists and professors of the time – Leopold Godowsky, Josef Hofmann, Leonid Kreutzer, Claudio Arrau, Edwin Fischer, Egon Petri, Alfred Cortot, Yvonne Lefébure, Marcel Ciampi and other. Thus, the Western European piano tradition enriched with its experience its Bulgarian counterpart.

In the 1950s, the newly formed Piano Department (today Keyboard Instruments Department) kept tight relations with the Russian piano school. Some of the living legends of the piano in Russia taught the Bulgarian pianists and future teachers – Heinrich Neuhaus, Yakov Flier, Lev Oborin, Tatyana Nikolayeva, Vera Gornostayeva, Yakov Milstein, Pavel Serebryakov, Dmitri Bashkirov. Konstantin Ganev, Julia Ganeva, Dora Lazarova, Snezhana Barova studied in Moscow with Heinrich Neuhaus. Milena Mollova did a specialization in Moscow with Emil Gilels, and in Italy with Guido Agosti, Nikolay Evrov and Anton Dikov studied in Paris with Nadia Boulanger, Robert Casadesus and Arthur Rubinstein.

The 1960s were a decade of spectacular success for the Bulgarian piano teachers, as their students won awards from the world’s most prestigious piano competitions – “Queen Elizabeth”, “Van Cliburn”, “Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky”, “Ferruccio Busoni”, “Robert Schumann”, “Johann Sebastian Bach”, as well as the competitions in Leeds, Montreal, Tokyo, Pretoria and others.

The success of Bulgarian pianists is also due to the work of a later generation of excellent pedagogues that emerged in the 1980s – Prof. Stela Dimitrova-Maystorova, Prof. Marina Kapatsinskaya, Prof. Atanas Kurtev, Ph.D., Prof. Krasimir Gatev, Prof. Yovcho Krushev, Prof. Ivan Drenikov, Prof. Margarita Krasteva, Ph.D., Assoc. Prof. Teodora Nestorova.

In the last few years, the Keyboard Instruments Department offers courses in harpsichord (taught by Prof. Margarita Krasteva, Ph.D.), organ (Prof. Neva Krysteva, Ph.D.), and accordion (Prof. Dobromir Mitev, Ph.D.)

Throughout the history of the Department, the aesthetic and pedagogical criteria for education there have resulted in a whole myriad of excellent pianists with successful concert and teaching careers around the world.

 

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CURRENT ACADEMIC STAFF

Prof. Borislava Taneva, Ph.D.

Prof. Iliya Chernaev, Ph.D.

Prof. Dimo Dimov

Prof. Daniela Andonova, Ph.D.

Prof. Margarita Krasteva, Ph.D. – piano and harpsichord

Prof. Ivelina Ivancheva

Prof. Neva Krysteva, Ph.D. – organ

Prof. Dobromir Mitev, Ph.D. – accordion

Chief Assistant Gergana Nestorova, Ph.D.

Assistant Viktoria Vassilenko, PhD

Assistant Georgi Boykin, PhD

Alexander Botusharov, part-time lecturer

 

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FORMER ACADEMIC STAFF

Prof. Jindřich (Heinrich) Wiesner (1864 – 1951)

Acad. Andrey Stoyanov (1890 – 1969)

Prof. Ivan Torchanov (1886 – 1928)

Prof. Pancho Vladigerov (1899 – 1978)

Prof. Dimitar Nenov (1901 – 1952)

Prof. Tamara Yankova (1907 – 1983)

Prof. Panka Pelišek (1899 – 1990)

Prof. Zheni Kovacheva (1905 – 1994)

Prof. Lyuba Encheva (1914 – 1989)

Prof. Lili Atanasova (1921 – 2004)

Prof. Mara Petkova (1916 – 2002)

Prof. Mara Balsamova (1903 – 1985)

Prof. Lyuba Obretenova (1919 – 1996)

Prof. Katya Kazandzhieva (1915 – 1978)

Prof. Galunka Belcheva (1914 – 1997)

Professor extraordinarius Trifon Silyanovski (1923 – 2005), part-time lecturer

Prof. Konstantin Ganev (1925 – 2016)

Prof. Bogomil Starshenov (1926 – 1985)

Prof. Lilyana Antova (1927 – 2019)

Prof. Julia Ganeva (1927 – 2013)

Prof. Snezhana Barova (1929 – 2021)

Prof. Dora Lazarova (1935 – 2018)

Prof. Nikolay Evrov (1936 – 2019)

Prof. Anton Dikov (1938 – 2004)

Prof. Krasimir Gatev (1944 – 2008)

Assoc. Prof. Teodora Nestorova (1951 – 2015)

Prof. Milena Mollova

Prof. Stella Dimitrova-Maystorova

Prof. Marina Kapatsinskaya

Prof. Atanas Kurtev, Ph.D.

Prof. Ivan Drenikov

Prof. Yovcho Krushev

 

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PROFESSORS IN MANDATORY PIANO

(before the establishment of the Piano Department of the Theory, Composition and Conducting Faculty)

Mara Genkova

Krastina Dobrovolska

Vesa Zapryanova

Lyuba Kraeva

Nedyalka Tokusheva

Evdokia Vlahova

Neyka Ikonomova

Bogdana Dyakovich

Ekaterina Yordanova

Maria Manuilova

Lidia Kuteva

Ivan Kachulev

Ekaterina Korudzhieva

Pavlina Peeva

Erna Schpetter

Sasha Lambreva

Hermina Assadour

Lili Kostova

Nina Misochko

Konstantin Stankovich

Nadezhda Kandova

Maria Lipovanska

Nedyalka Yaneva

Elena Sakyova

Veselina Gerdzhikova

Katya Karadimcheva

Krasimira Karamanova

Rayna Nabodkova

Lyudmila Yakovleva

Paraskeva Zlateva

Nina Aladjem

Katya Bozhilova

Tsvetanka Bozova

Maria Varbanova

Lili Lesichkova

Dimitrina Marinova

Dimitar Minkov

Nevena Nedkova

Rumyana Popova

Bozhidara Tomova

Stefan Trayanov

Zdravka Tsankova

Olga Shevkenova

Katya Koleva

 

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HEADS OF THE DEPARTMENT

Acad. Andrey Stoyanov (1890 – 1969)

Prof. Tamara Yankova (1907 – 1983)

Prof. Lyuba Obretenova (1919 – 1996)

Prof. Konstantin Ganev (1925 – 2016)

Prof. Dora Lazarova (1935 – 2018)

Prof. Stella Dimitrova-Maystorova

Prof. Yovcho Krushev

Prof.Borislava Taneva, PhD

Prof. Iliya Chernaev, Ph.D.