I was born in 1980 in the town of Gabrovo, Bulgaria.Listening to music has been my favourite pastime since I was a little girl. My mother had noticed that each time I heard a tune I would start dancing. Thus I landed in the local children’s ballet school. I didn’t make a ballerina, but no one doubted that music touched me very deeply. So my parents made a decision to buy me a musical instrument, but as they had no gift for music and consequently were not able to help me in any way, the common choice for absolute beginners – violin or piano – was altogether rejected. Fate had planned my encounter with the classic guitar, and for my 8th birthday I got my first musical instrument.

Gabrovo is a small mountainous town in central Bulgaria where music traditions related to classical guitar are hard to trace. So, we were up against the challenge to find a teacher. To my luck, Mr.Kuzev – a 60-year-old musician who taught classical guitar lessons – happened to live close to our place. That was the second gift fate had in store for me, for classical guitar made my whole life. Mr. Todor Kuzev played the trumpet, but the guitar was his passion. Along with the first lessons, I was infected by his love for every music style and admiration for the master interpreters. At the end of each lesson we would listen to performances of great works – from jazz through classical guitar down to rock and opera. Those were my first encounters with the world music heritage, and it was a sheer happiness for me to able to hear diverse works and performers of great genius.

I played everyday, and gradually went deeper into the stunning world of music. Hence my decision to enter a music school was made quite naturally. My elder sister Kalina, who is an artist, was already doing fine arts in the city of Plovdiv – a place known for treasuring and developing the art traditions in Bulgaria. Kalina put me in touch with guitar teachers Milena and Valentin Valchev. In a year of painstaking preparation work and memorable monthly trips with my father to Plovdiv to take guitar lessons, I passed the entrance exams successfully and embarked on my guitar studies at Dobrin Petkov Secondary Music School.

At age of 13 my life took a dramatic turn: I lived an independent life; I could play night and day following my inspiration; I started building up my own collection of audio-records of choice pieces of music; I had professionals as teachers. Except in teaching, my teachers – the VALCHEV DUO – have been actively engaged in staging concerts and holding various music events which determines part of their pedagogical methods, i.e. to motivate their students to enter competitions in order to acquire the right skills in presenting what they have learned in front of an audience competing against other musicians. For three years running I was an entrant in the International Classical Guitar Competition in Plovdiv, and was awarded one second and two first prizes.

In 1999 I started my university music education at Vienna University of Music and performing Arts. In Austria I found myself in an entirely new world which combined both learning under the guidance of magnificent musicians and teachers and a life in a motley community of people from diverse countries. I travelled a lot and was happy to attend the summer master classes of outstanding names in the world of contemporary classical guitar.

I adore the beauty of music and would like to transfer to other people the joy of playing the guitar. Therefore I am very happy to be a teacher for guitar at the Music School of Wiener Neudorf and to be a member of the Guitar Quintet Gitarrissima of Vienna.


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