Campus: San Francisco State University -- December 13, 2006

SF State Professor wins top music award in his native Bulgaria

Violinist Jassen Todorov among 15 Bulgarian artists to receive annual honor

Jassen Todorov, a violinist and assistant professor of music at San Francisco State University, has won a Crystal Lyre Award, the highest honor for achievement in music and dance in his native Bulgaria.

The award honors achievement in 15 categories, including music and dance folklore, pop and rock music and orchestral art. Todorov was one of seven nominees in the young performers and artists category.

The awards are selected by a 27-member jury and presented by the Union of Musicians and Dancers, Music & Dance Department, Ministry of Culture and FM Classic Radio. Winners receive a Crystal Lyre statuette, diploma and cash prize of 300 Euros.

“Music is very much part of the culture in Bulgaria, and it is quite an honor to be recognized,” said the 31-year-old Todorov, who was also nominated for a Crystal Lyre Award in 2004 but did not win. “Winning these awards helps keep you on your toes, stay relevant and evaluate your work.”

The 10th annual Crystal Lyre awards ceremony was held in November and broadcast on Bulgarian television. Todorov’s father, Nedjalcho Todorov, a noted violinist and 2003 Crystal Lyre winner, accepted the award on his son’s behalf.

Todorov’s accomplishments include being the youngest musician, at 26, to record all six violin sonatas of Eugene Ysaye, a visionary Belgian composer and violinist known for his difficult compositions and his fiery individualism as a player. Todorov has also recorded the three Brahms violin sonatas. Dubbed “a player to watch” in 2001 by music journal The Strad, he has played and taught master classes throughout Europe, Asia and the United States and garnered much acclaim for his intense, original musicianship.

Todorov has performed more than 100 solo recitals — including concerts at Carnegie’s Weill Recital Hall in New York, St. James in London, and University of Bonn, Germany — and has frequently performed with orchestras worldwide.

Todorov teaches courses at SF State in violin, strings, chamber music literature and career management in music. He also mentors violin students individually.

The San Francisco resident is looking forward to performing with the Plovdiv Philharmonic Orchestra in Bulgaria on Jan. 12. Not only will it be his first solo recital in his home country in 10 years, but also his first time performing with his father in public.

Contact: Matt Itelson, (415) 338-1743 or (415) 338-1665, matti@sfsu.edu.


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