SEATTLE SYMPHONY NAMES STILIAN KIROV ASSISTANT CONDUCTOR
FOR RELEASE Tuesday, January 10, 2012
Seattle, WA – Music Director Ludovic Morlot announced the appointment of Stilian Kirov as Seattle Symphony’s Douglas F. King Assistant Conductor. In September, Kirov, who currently serves as a Conducting Fellow, will begin his new role as Assistant Conductor for the Orchestra’s 2012–2013 season. He succeeds Eric Garcia, whose appointment as Assistant Conductor ends this June.
“I had the chance to observe Stilian’s work during his audition with the Seattle Symphony last season,” Morlot commented. “I was quite impressed with his skills and abilities, and we were inspired to create a new position, Conducting Fellow, for him. This position provides great opportunities to work with my colleagues and me during his residency this year. Having seen him interact with Symphony musicians, I decided to appoint him to a full-time position as my Assistant Conductor next season. I am very excited to share his talent with our Orchestra and community.”
Kirov will conduct the Seattle Symphony for the first time in an open reading session on Tuesday, January 31, 2012, at Benaroya Hall when the Orchestra will read works by University of Washington student composers Abby Aresty, Yigit Kolat and Josh Archibald-Seiffer.
As Assistant Conductor, Kirov’s duties will include leading concerts — especially neighborhood, family and education concerts; covering rehearsals and performances; editing concert recordings for radio broadcast and grant support; and working with the artistic staff on programming ideas. Serving as assistant or associate conductor at a major orchestra is a key professional development opportunity for young conductors.
Kirov’s current Seattle Symphony conducting fellowship includes four weeks of cumulative mentorship by Morlot and guest conductors Andrew Manze and Jesús López-Cobos. Serving as cover conductor for performances on the Wyckoff Masterworks, Baroque & Wine, Gilman Discover Music and Beyond the Score series, he has had the opportunity to explore a wide variety of repertoire.
Stilian Kirov currently serves as Associate Conductor of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and Music Director of the Memphis Youth Symphony Program. He previously served as Music Director and founder of the Art Symphony Orchestra in New York and has conducted major orchestras in France, Germany, Italy, Greece, the United States, and his native country, Bulgaria. He has been awarded numerous prizes and merits, including Third Prize and the Orchestra Preference Award at the 2010 Mitropoulos Conducting Competition, the Charles Schiff Conducting Award for outstanding achievement at The Juilliard School, 1st Distinction at the V Witold Lutoslawski International Contest for Young Conductors, and the Bruno Walter Memorial Scholarship. Kirov has been awarded France’s 2010 Young Conducting Talent Prize by the ADAMI Association, culminating in a showcase concert at the Salle Gaveau (Paris) with the Orchestre Colonne in 2010. In 2011, he conducted the Orchestre Colonne’s season-opening concert and made his debut at the Musical Olympus International Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia.
He served as Assistant Conductor at the National Repertory Orchestra in 2009 and l’Orchestre de l’Opéra de Massy in France for the 2005-2006 season. He also worked as a cover conductor for Princeton Symphony in 2009-2010 and for a co-production between Opéra de Massy and Opéra National de Montpellier in 2005. Kirov has conducted major orchestras including the Memphis Symphony, Orchestre Colonne (France), Orchestra of Colors (Greece), State Hermitage Orchestra (Russia), New World Symphony, The Thüringen Philharmonic Orchestra (Germany), National Repertory Orchestra, Sofia Festival Orchestra, Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra “Leopolis” (Ukraine), The Juilliard Orchestra, The Lansing Symphony and others.
Kirov graduated from the Orchestral Conducting Program of The Juilliard School, where he studied with Maestro James DePreist. He also holds a master’s degree from Ecole Normale de Musique de Paris, where his teacher was Dominique Rouits. Additionally, he has attended masterclasses with such distinguished conductors as Michael Tilson Thomas, Gianluigi Gelmetti, George Manahan and Asher Fisch.
As a pianist, Kirov is a gold medalist of the “Claude Kahn” International Piano Competition in Paris (2001) and has worked with eminent conductors such as Maestro James Conlon, Roberto Abbado and James Levine.