Head of Department:
Prof. Evgenia-Maria POPOVA

A century ago Bulgaria established itself as an independent European country. Bulgarian professional violin performance and teaching date back to approximately that period. The traditions of the leading violin schools (German, Franco-Belgian, Czech, Russian) penetrated into and quickly gained ground in the practice of the Music Academy in Sofia.

During the period between the two world wars a name that became prominent was that of the favourite pupil of Otakar Ševčík – Prof. Hans Koch from Prague who had worked in Sofia and taught some of the most distinguished violin pedagogues in the country – the professors Vladimir Avramov and Leon Suruzhon. Major Bulgarian performers who later became professors at the Academy studied under the biggest world authorities of the period: Sasha Popov – under Ševčík and Prill in Vienna, Nikola Abadzhiev and Todor Vazharov – under Henri Marteau, Kamen Popdimitrov – under Lucien Capet, Hristo Obreshkov – under Georg Kulenkampff, Nedyalka Simeonov – under Leopold Auer, Petar Hristoskov – under Gustav Havemann, Leon Suruzhon – under George Enescu and Yvonne Astrug and others.

After the Second World War the art of violin in Bulgaria was strongly influenced by the Russian and Soviet schools. Prof. Boyan Lechev studied under David Oistrakh, Assoc. Prof. Boyan Danailov – under Leonid Kogan, Mihail Chilikov – under Yuriy Yankelevich, Georgi Bliznev –  under Mihail Vaiman, Prof. Dora Ivanova – under Igor Bezrodni, Prof. Emil Kamilarov who has played Paganini's violin (winner of the 1st prize in the Paganini competition in Genoa in 1963) also specialised in Leningrad.
Currently some of the most distinguished names are those of the professors Stoyka Milanova – a favourite pupil of David Oistrakh, and Evgenia-Maria Popova – a pupil of Leonid Kogan.

Many lecturers in the Violin Department are prizewinners of the most authoritative Bulgarian and international competitions: Emil Kamilarov (Paganini, Genoa), Georgi Badev (Queen Elizabeth, Brussels), Stoyka Milanova (Queen Elizabeth, Brussels, Carl Flesch, London), Ginka Gichkova (Montreal), Alexandar Ilchev (Enescu, Bucharest), Elisaveta Kazakova (Tibor Varga, Switzerland), and Yosif Radionov (Osaka).

The creative and theoretical activity in the department is related to the works of the professors Kamen Popdimitrov, Vladimir Avramov, Leon Suruzhon, Petar Hristoskov – an extraordinarily prolific and original composer, Boyan Lechev, Emil Kamilarov, Anton Hadzhiatanasov, Elena Geneva, Yosif Radionov and more.

There is a rich and valuable record collection from the professors Nedyalka Simeonova, Vladimir Avramov (a soloist and principal of the famous Avramov quartet), Leon Suruzhon, Boyan Lechev who did the premiere performances of a number of significant Bulgarian violin works, Petar Hristoskov, Emil Kamilarov, Georgi Badev, Stoyka Milanova (a winner of international record prizes), Evgenia-Maria Popova, Yosif Radionov, etc. Members of the teaching staff participate regularly in international judging panels and master classes all over the world. The presence of Prof. Vladimir Avramov in the judging panels of the Tchaikovski (Moscow), Queen Elizabeth (Brussels), Paganini (Genoa), Carl Flesch (London) competitions, and many others over several decades is remarkable.

Today distinguished Bulgarian violinists, graduates of the National Academy of Music, hold positions as pedagogues, first violinists and soloists in the most prestigious concert halls, orchestras and universities all over the world.

Department Staff:

Prof. Evgenia-Maria POPOVA, Head of Department

Prof. Yosif RADIONOV

Assoc. Prof. Velika TSONKOVA, Ph.D.

Assoc. Prof. Rosen BALKANSKI, classical guitar, Ph.D.


Part time lectures:

Prof. Alexandar ILCHEV

Prof. Stoyka MILANOVA

Prof. Ginka GICHKOVA

Prof. Elisaveta KAZAKOVA


Gergana ILTCHEVA, Ph.D.



Rehearsal pianists