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KOSTOV – VALKOV DUO, TUESDAY, MAY 14, 2013 @ 7:30pm






Bulgarian musicians LACHEZAR KOSTOV, cello & VIKTOR VALKOV, piano


TUESDAY, MAY 14, 2013



689 FIFTH AVENUE, at the North-East corner of 54th street (entrance from 54)

Third Floor

(212) 339-9995 ext. 0

Admission: $15 general, $10 seniors/students



PROGRAM – Lachezar Kostov, cello, Viktor Valkov, piano

Claude Debussy (1862-1918)

Sonata for cello and piano (1915)

Nadia Boulanger (1887-1979)

Three Pieces for cello and piano (1915)

Francis Poulenc (1899-1963)

Sonata for cello and piano, op. 143  (1948)


Franz Liszt (1811-1886)

Transcription of Richard Wagner’s Isolde’s Liebestod  for Solo piano

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)

Piece en forme de Habanera for cello and piano (1907)

Manuel de Falla (1876-1946)

Suite Populaire Espagnole for cello and piano  (1926)

Gaspar Cassado (1897-1966)

Requiebros for cello and piano (1934)

Franz Liszt (1811-1886)

Kostov-Valkov’s transcription of Hungarian Rhapsody no. 2 for cello and piano


Hailed for the “awesome purity of his playing”, and described as a “prodigiously skilled protagonist” Bulgarian cellist Lachezar Kostov was the National Winner at the 2006 MTNA Young Artists Competition and has won numerous prizes including the Cello Award at the Kingsville Competition in 2005, first prize at the Hendersonville Chamber Music Competition, and the Grand Prix at the International Music and Earth Competition in Bulgaria. He has appeared as a guest soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Japan, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom and Bulgaria. Having spent three consecutive summers at the Tanglewood Music Center, Mr. Kostov was a member of the resident ensemble “The New Fromm Players”, collaborating with prominent American composers such as John Harbison, Ellen Zwilich and Harvey Solberger and participating in master classes with Yo Yo Ma and James Levine.

In the past three seasons Mr. Kostov performed series of concerts in Japan, including concerts as a soloist of the Philharmonic Orchestras of Hino and Tachikawa, as well as recitals in Tokyo’s Sakura Hall and Oji Hall, where he performed with Japanese pianist Ai Shimizu. In May 2008, he performed a recital at Weill Hall, sponsored by the “Bulgarian Treasures” Foundation. In March 2009, Mr. Kostov made his official debut at Carnegie Hall’s ZANKEL Hall performing rarely heard works for cello and piano by Zwilich, Roslavets, Kabalevsky and Saint-Saens. Both concert featured his longtime friend and chamber music partner, pianist Viktor Valkov.

Lachezar Kostov is currently enrolled as a Doctor of Musical Arts student at Rice University, where he studies with Norman Fischer. He also holds diplomas from North Carolina School of the Arts and Yale School of music, where he was tutored by Zvi Plesser and Aldo Parisot.

Mr. Kostov’s first commercial CD was released by NAXOS in 2011. He plays on a modern Italian cello, graciously given to him by the late Katsuo Shimizu estate.

Highlights of the last season include concerto appearances with the TMF orchestra, conducted by Carl Saint-Claire and a residency at the La Jolla Summer Fest, where he performed with artists such as Cho Liang Lin, Augustin Hadelich and the Tokyo String Quartet.

In the 2011-2012 season Mr. Kostov will perform at the Gewandhaus Hall in Leipzig as the soloist of the Academischer Orchestra of Leipzig, at Oji Hall in Tokyo and will present series of concerts in South East Asia.

In October 2011 Lachezar Kostov and Viktor Valkov won the First Prize and all the special prizes at the 2011 International Liszt-Garrison Piano and Duo Competition in Baltimore, MD.



Winner of the 2012 New Orleans International Piano Competition, Viktor Valkov

has been highly acclaimed by the critics as “lion of the keyboard” and “sensational”.

In the 2013-2014 concert season he is scheduled to perform with the Louisiana

Philharmonic Orchestra, Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, and Acadiana

Symphony Orchestra.


Since 2002 Valkov has given a number of recitals in USA, Japan, Germany,

Italy, Greece, Bulgaria, and Macedonia. A Japanese tour in 2002 took him to

Tokyo, Toyama, Yokohama and Okinawa. In Bulgaria, Viktor Valkov appeared in

performances with most of the major orchestras and at most of the important music

festivals. In 2003, he received an invitation from the New Symphony Orchestra, and

conductor Rossen Milanov, to perform Dimitar Nenov’s Grande Piano Concerto.

Thus he became the fifth pianist to perform that concerto and the only one to do

the entire version. In 2007, Mr.Valkov made his debut with the Sofia Philharmonic



Mr.Valkov’s concert activities reflect a vast interest in the chamber music

repertoire, as well as lesser known piano music. He frequently performs with the

Bulgarian cellist, Lachezar Kostov, in a cello and piano duo. Both being deeply

interested in broadening the repertoire for that medium, they often include in their

programs composers like Kabalevsky, Roslavetz, Schnittke, Saint-Saens (the Second

cello Sonata), and others. Their close friendship and professional collaboration

began in 2000. In 2009, the Kostov-Valkov Duo gave their Carnegie Hall debut at

Zankel Hall. In 2011 they won the Liszt-Garisson International Competition, where

they were awarded First Prize, the overall Liszt Prize as well as all the special prizes

in the collaborative artists category.


As a solo performer one of Mr.Valkov’s last projects featured Busoni’s Fantasia

Contrappuntistica as the focal point of his concert programs. During the 2011-

2012 Viktor Valkov presented a program of music from the 1600’s including

composers like Froberger, L Couperin, Frescobaldi, Buxtehude and selections from

the Fitzwilliam Virginal Book.


Mr.Valkov has made a number of recordings for the Bulgarian National Radio

archive, many of which have been broadcast. He has also recorded for Bulgarian

National Television and Macedonian Radio and Television. In 2008 he recorded

the entire music for cello and piano by Nikolay Roslavets in collaboration with the

cellist Lachezar Kostov. This CD was released by NAXOS in March 2011.


Viktor Valkov studied at the State Music Academy in Sofia, Bulgaria with Prof. Stella

Dimitrova and subsequently in the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen,Germany with

Michael Roll. In 2006 he enrolled at the Juilliard School and earned his Masters

Degree studying with Jerome Lowenthal and Matti Raekallio. In the fall of 2010,

Viktor Valkov started pursuing a DMA Degree at the Rice University, Houston with

Jon Kimura Parker.




Cellist Lachezar Kostov and pianist Viktor Valkov have performed together for more than 10 years and have appeared at concert venues in the USA, Germany, Italy, and Bulgaria. In 2002 they were named winners of the “Grand Prix of the Music and Earth Competition” in Sofia, Bulgaria. After their early success the Duo performed a series of thematic concerts devoted to the music of Hungary, France, Germany, and Russia. Prior to establishing themselves in the USA Kostov and Valkov appeared in several European festivals, such as “Russian Music Days” in Dortmund, Germany.

The Duo’s first major performance in New York City was sponsored by the “Bulgarian Treasures” foundation and took place in Weill Recital Hall in 2008. Following their critically acclaimed debut at New York’s Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall in 2009, the Duo has received high accolades for their inspired and unique performances. Critic Harris Goldsmith described them as “prodigiously skilled protagonists” and praised their “formidable virtuosity”. Devoted to rediscovering rarely performed works from the cello and piano repertoire, they perform compositions by Dmitri Kabalevsky, Camille Saint-Saens and Nikolay Roslavets, as well as many arrangements and transcriptions from the violin, viola, and piano repertoire. Some of the most successful arrangements performed by the Kostov-Valkov duo are Robert Schumann’s Violin Sonata in A minor, the Hungarian Dance No.5 by Brahms, Roslavets’ Viola Sonata, and the famous Hungarian Rhapsody No.2 by Franz Liszt. In 2010 Mr. Kostov and Mr. Valkov toured several German cities including Hasselburg, Waldorf, and Bad Saeckingen, performing to sold-out halls in celebration of the 200th birth anniversary of Chopin and Schumann.

In October 2011 the duo entered the Fifth Liszt-Garrison International Piano and Duo Competition of the American Liszt Society at Baltimore-Washington, USA. The Kostov-Valkov duo was unanimously awarded the First Prize, as well as Best Interpretation Awards for the Performance of a Work by an American composer for John Corigliano’s “Phantasmagoria”, and for the Performance of a Work by Franz Liszt for their own arrangement of the composer’s “Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2”.  In addition to several concert engagements, the Lachezar Kostov & Victor Valkov duo received the event’s special 2011 FRANZ LISZT AWARD for “Exceptional Performance on the Franz Liszt Bicentennial Year Celebration”.

In 2012 the Kostov-Valkov Duo made successful appearances in several US states, including Maryland, Ohio, and North Carolina. A New Year tour in South East Asia completed 2012 concert engagements.