IMF Varna Summer 2019 Opening
20:00  -  Festival and Congress Center, Hall 1 

Official opening

Varna Philharmonic Orchestra 

Conductor Georgi Dimitrov

Soloist Benjamin Schmid  - violin


Pancho Vladigerov – "Vardar" Rhapsody 
Prokofiev - Concerto for violin and orchestra No.1
Hindemith - Nobilissima Visione

Benjamin Schmid

One of the most versatile of today’s violinists, Benjamin Schmid’s particular strength lies in his exceptionally wide repertoire and very personal style. At the core of his career are works by Austrian composers such as Berg, Goldmark, Korngold, Kreisler, Mozart, Muthspiel, Schoenberg and Webern. He performs and records regularly with pianist Ariane Haering, focusing mainly on Mozart; since 2011, they have edited several Mozart Sonatas and previously unpublished fragments for Henle Verlag. Schmid also has a successful career in jazz and regularly presents his Hommage à Grappelli programme at jazz venues and classical concert halls alike.

Highlights of the 2018/19 season include extensive tours of Sweden, Portugal and Spain. In addition to that, Benjamin Schmid continues his role as Artist in Residence at Casa da Música in Porto performing all violin concertos by Mozart. Other engagements see him return to Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias in Oviedo and Orquesta Sinfónica Radio Televisión Española in Madrid. Later this season, he returns to ORF Radio-Symphonie Orchester Wien to perform Korngold’s violin concerto under the baton of Cristian Măcelaru at Wiener Konzerthaus.

Schmid’s busy schedule features regular collaborations with orchestras including the Australian and Israel Chamber orchestras, Philharmonia, Royal Concertgebouw, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony orchestras, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich, Gulbenkian Orchestra, Finnish Radio Symphony, St Petersburg Philharmonic, Norwegian Arctic Philharmonic Orchestra and, in the US, Washington’s National Symphony and Houston Symphony, Naples Philharmonic and Naples Philharmonic Jazz Orchestra and Curtis Institute orchestras. Engagements in Asia include the New Japan Philharmonic, Singapore Symphony and the Hong Kong Festival amongst others. Benjamin Schmid works especially closely with the Wiener Philharmoniker; their collaborations include the opening concert of the 2004 Salzburger Festspiele, and a performance of Fritz Kreisler’s version of Paganini’s Violin Concerto under the baton of Valery Gergiev in 2001, in a concert broadcast in over 60 countries and released on CD and DVD by Deutsche Grammophon. He is also a frequent guest at the major European chamber music festivals.

A passionate recording artist, Schmid has built up an impressive discography of around 40 CDs including many award-winning releases. Prizes regularly include the ECHO Klassik, Gramophone Editor’s Choice and Strad Selection. He was nominated for the Vierteljahrespreis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik for his recording of Wolf-Ferrari’s Violin Concerto and his latest recording featuring Ligeti’s Violin Concerto was named Record of the Month by Gramophone magazine.
Benjamin Schmid has won various prizes in international competitions, including the Flesch Competition in 1992, where he received the Mozart, Beethoven and Audience Prizes. Aside from his performance career, Benjamin Schmid holds a professorship at the Mozarteum Salzburg and teaches masterclasses at Hochschule Bern. Benjamin Schmid performs on the “ex Viotti” Stradivarius from 1718, provided to him by Oesterreichische Nationalbank. He was jury member at the 2017 ARD Music Competition in the category violin.

Georgi Dimitrov

Georgi Dimitrov  graduated from the Bulgarian State Conservatory, Sofia in special subject orchestral conducting and violin.

He specialized with Eugeni Mravinski and Arvid Jansons in Saint Petersburg. He has conducted all Bulgarian orchestras and has been visiting conductor of numerous famous orchestras and opera theatres in Russia, Romania, Hungary, Germany, Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic, Cuba, Mexico, Spain, etc. 
His artistic biography has been closely connected with Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra, Ruse Opera, Sofia Opera, Symphony Orchestra of the Republic of San Marino. 
In 2000 G. Dimitrov was appointed Director of the Opera-Philharmonic Society-Ruse, from 2005 to 2009 - Director of the Opera-Philharmonic Society-Plovdiv and from 2009 to 2018 - Chief Conductor of the Opera-Philharmonic Society-Ruse. Since 2018 he is a freelance conductor.
His personality generously combines strong temperament, colourful imagination and superb conducting mastery.

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