They both graduated from the “L. Pipkov” National Music School. Viktor continues his studies at the Pancho Vladigerov National Academy of Music in the piano class of Prof. Dr. Borislava Taneva, and Christian goes to Austria to study at the Mozarteum University, and then returns to Bulgaria and studies at NBU.
Both Viktor and Kristiyan are winners of various awards from Bulgarian and foreign competitions, have participated in many master classes in the country, and in 2022 together they will present their author’s performance “ROMANTIKA 22” at the Military Club in Sofia, which includes performances by F Liszt – Concerto for piano and orchestra, J. Gershwin – Rhapsody in Blue for Piano and Orchestra, etc.
We decided to talk to Victor and Christian and find out what is their motivation to do classical music, what is their cause and where their dreams are headed. Read carefully what these 23-year-old boys have to say and you will be convinced that the two of them will pave new musical paths not only in our country but also in the world.
Photo: Personal archive
When did you know that music was going to be your path? What has been the most difficult for you during the years you have studied and improved?
Victor: I always knew that music was my path. With each passing day, my love for music continues to grow. It is a means of expression that is wealth. “Where words end, music begins” as Heine said. I’ve faced many things over the years, but one of the toughest challenges I still struggle with to this day is work-life balance.
Where did you meet Kristian Hristov and how did you decide to create your original performances together?
Kristian and I are classmates at the National Music School in Sofia. Years ago we won the “Magic” German and Austrian music competition in Burgas, he won in the singing group and I won in the piano group. We wanted to celebrate and share our successes, and that’s how the first idea for a joint concert was born. Since then, for 8 years now, we have been doing an annual joint concert here in Bulgaria, as well as numerous recitals abroad.
Christian, being such a young working opera singer is a great achievement, but what responsibilities come with it? Is it rather difficult or rather easy to be a young performer in the opera art in Bulgaria?
Christian: I would say that it is rather difficult, because the pay in the cultural sector is very low, and on top of that, the lessons are expensive. Every opera singer has to keep in shape, young or old, you can’t practice without a teacher. You have a daily practice that takes hours. Maintaining vocal form and learning texts in different languages also requires a lot of time and concentration. Ultimately, however, the responsibility lies with the audience – you must always strive to maintain a high international level.
Photo: Personal archive
The classic question: why did you choose to dedicate yourself to opera? Is there a role you haven’t sung yet but would like to add to your repertoire?
As a matter of fact, I know a story from my mother that when they brought me from the maternity hospital, I started singing and humming to myself all by myself and that’s how I fell asleep, with songs. It’s still like that to this day, the music comes from inside me. At this stage I am focused on building a repertoire, I am learning several new roles that I am about to debut next year in Europe, but the role that I dream of performing is Andrea Chenier from the opera of the same name.
Victor, surely you dream of some big world stage – what is it? And which world star would you like to come out with in a joint project?
Victor: I dream of having the opportunity to give concerts in all the biggest halls in all of Europe. It keeps me motivated to upgrade. If I have the chance, I will choose to have a joint project with one of the big names in world music such as Evgeni Kissin, Denis Matsuev, Gustavo Dudamel, etc.
Photo: Personal archive
Is Viktor your tutor? How do you work together?
Christian: Victor is an outstanding musician, devoted to art. We have been friends with him for more than 10 years now, we have similar views and ideas and our work goes easily. Also, every year we do a joint concert in Bulgaria, through which we aim to encourage young people to attend more cultural events.
In this regard, what are your observations on the perceptions of the Bulgarian public? Does she tend to accept innovative solutions in classical music or do you rather encounter skepticism? And how can young audiences be attracted to classical music?
We want there to be innovative solutions in music, but we still hold to the high quality of the music. Be it more broken lighting or interesting visual elements, it is always well received as long as there is a balance. As for the young audience, we have one of our slogans, which reads: “Everyone can go to the cinema, take them to a concert”. The cinema is a very nice activity, I really like going. But I appeal to all young people: take your significant other to a classical concert sometime. With a nice dinner afterwards. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!
Does the Bulgarian public at classical concerts need to be “awakened”? What is your “key” to modern sounding timeless pieces?
Victor: The Bulgarian audience is one of the most wonderful audiences that an artist can play in front of. Our cause is to bring young people back to concert halls, to remind them that classical music is not a dry and boring matter, it is full of emotions, passions and nuances and takes you to another dimension. I always try to choose my repertoire in such a way that there is something for everyone – when you close your eyes and relax to listen, you can steal that part of the work that will leave an imprint on your mind.
Where can we hear and see you in the near future?
In November I have trips to London and Dubai, but in December I return to Bulgaria and will have two concerts – on 08.12 in the BIAD hall and on 29.12 in the NDK hall 11. Come and share them together!
More: Who are some of the greatest opera singers of all time?
Author: Neda Kovacheva