2nd Piano Concerto Festival

Masterclasses with the Pazardzhik Symphony Orchestra

Guest Professor: Simone Pedroni (Van Cliburn Gold Medal )

Pazardzhik, Bulgaria
01-08 July 2022

The Festival

Masterclass with a Symphonic Orchestra
01 July 2021
08 July 2021

International Piano Competitions these days - How many times have we seen talented pianists playing impeccably in the Eliminatory rounds only to hear an unprepared Concerto in the final round? 

Founded by concert pianist Congyu Wang, the Piano Concerto Festival (PCF) provide students the opportunity to Rehearse and perform for the first time with a high quality professional Symphony Orchestra.

Masterclasses with conductor and faculty pianist, 2 rehearsals (30 minutes each), and 3 one hour masterclasses with piano accompaniment. All selected participants of the festival will receive a professional DVD recording of their full dress rehearsal., 5-6 pianists will be chosen to perform their selected concerto (full or movements) in the Gala Concert. 

The best performer will win a chance to perform with the orchestra in the 2023/2024 Season. The winner will be decided by the Teachers, Conductor, Orchestra as well as the public. The festival will take place in Pazardzhik, with the Pazardzhik Symphony Orchestra lead by the celebrated Grigor Palikarov and Simone Pedroni - Gold medalist of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition.

There will be an option for Solo Courses in 2022. Students not ready for concerto performances, but are looking for special courses to further their knowledge on concerto repertoire may apply for the solo masterclasses




Concerto Piano Masterclasses
Fees - 1550€


Students will receive 3 individual lessons with piano accompaniment, 2 full Rehearsals with the Pazardzhik Symphony Orchestra. A professional DVD recording will be offered to all selected participants in the Concerto course.


Solo Masterclasses 

Fees - 800€

Students will receive 3 Masterclasses with faculty of choice.

Final Concert and Competition:

The professors and the conductor decide who will perform in the final concert and the winner. 

​All Participation in the course is confirmed with a Festival Diploma.​


1st 2nd 3rd prize will be announced after the final rehearsal.

The best participants of the masterclass will play in the final concert with Pazardzhik Symphony Orchestra led by Grigor Palikarov.      

Special Prizes: TBA 

Management Prize - 2 Seasons of Artist Management including consulting and promotion of the competition winner.

Recording Prize - Professional Album release of the best Concerto Performance

The Orchestra

Pazardzhik Symphony Orchestra

The Symphony orchestra - Pazardzhik was founded in 1969. From 1970 to 1992, its artistic manager and conductor has been one of the most considerable personalities in Bulgarian culture - Professor Ivan Spasov. Among his achievements were orchestra's fast professional establishment in Bulgarian concert life and rich repertoire policy. The orchestra performed only pieces written by classical and contemporary composers. Some of the pieces performed have been written especially for the orchestra. Among them are Konstantin Iliev’s “Bukoliki”, “Metamorphoses”, and a big part of Ivan Spasov’s compositions.


Through its nearly 40 years history the orchestra has had a series of concert tours in Poland, Italy, Greece, Spain, Germany, Austria, Great Britain and records in BNR and BNT, including published long-playing records and CDs. 

Since the autumn of 2005 one of the most talented Bulgarian conductors Maestro Grigor Palikarov has been appointed as General artistic manager and Chief-conductor of the orchestra. Under his guidance for a short period, the orchestra has managed to raise its authority among the musical audience in Bulgaria. Obvious indicators for this have been the invitations for participations in the most prestige musical festivals like “Sofia music weeks” and “March music days”. Orchestra’s concert at the festival “Sofia music weeks” in 2006 in “Bulgaria” hall - Sofia has been recorded and published on a CD, which has been spread as an original advertisement of the festival among the similar festivals in Europe. Logically the invitation for participation in the renowned international festival “March musical days” in Russia (2007) followed shortly. Finally yet importantly are traditional participations in the festivals “Austria music weeks” and “New Bulgarian Music” – 2006 - 2014. 

The soloists of the orchestra during recent years have been: Albena Danailova – concertmaster of Vienna Philharmonic, Dieter Flury, Wolfgang Schulz†, Franz Bartolomey – members of Vienna Philharmonic, Vesko Panteleev - Eshkenazy - concertmaster of Concertgebouw orchestra - Amsterdam, Alexander Zemtsov – former Member of London Philharmonic, Patrick Gallois, Denitza Lafchieva and others.

During the last years, the orchestra joins regularly and with great success the European and Korean tours of different agencies.



Proud to bring inspirational teachers from across the globe

Festival Conductor

Grigor Palikarov


Grigor Palikarov (born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria in 1971) graduated from the National Music Academy, Sofia, with four Master of Music degrees in: Orchestral Conducting with Prof. Vassil Kazandzhiev and Prof. Ivan Voulpe, Composition with Prof. D. Tapkov, Piano with Prof. Kr. Tasskov, and Choral Conducting with Prof. St. Kralev. Later on, he continued his composition studies by attending two Summer Academies in Austria with Erich Urbanner (Professor at University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna).

His debut as an opera conductor was in April 1994, at the age of 22, with Verdi’s “Rigoletto” at two major opera houses in Bulgaria. During the 1998-99 season, Grigor Palikarov made his debut on the stage of the National Opera and Ballet–Sofia, conducting a Gala-concert with the special participation of the famous Bulgarian opera singer Ghena Dimitrova upon her personal invitation. Later on, he has participated in many concerts and performances with other world-famous Bulgarian opera singers like Anna Tomowa-Sintow, Krassimira Stoyanova, Alexandrina Milcheva, Nadezhda Krasteva, Boiko Tzvetanov, and Nickola Ghjuzelev.

Since January 2001, Mr. Palikarov works as a full-time conductor at the National Opera and Ballet–Sofia, conducting a rich variety of repertoire. It includes more than fifty opera and ballet titles by Mozart, Rossini, Donizetti, Weber, Verdi, Wagner, Ponchielli, Mascagni, Leoncavallo, Puccini, Gounod, Delibes, Bizet, Borodin, Rimsky–Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiew, Orff, and Bulgarian classical and contemporary composers.


Since the beginning of the 2005/06 season, Mr. Palikarov has also taken the position of General Artistic Manager and Conductor of the Symphony Orchestra–Pazardzhik. In September 2008, he became the Principal Conductor of “Classic FM” Symphony orchestra–Sofia.In the following years, he has been able to perform in concerts alongside many famous soloists, including members of the Vienna Philharmonic: Albena Danailova (Concertmaster), Wolfgang Schulz, Franz Bartolomey, Dieter Flury, Robert Nagy, Svetlin Roussev (Concertmaster of the French National Radio Orchestra), Glenn Dicterow (Concertmaster of New York Philharmonic), and others.Mr. Palikarov is often invited as a guest conductor of many orchestras, opera theatres, and national and international music festivals in Bulgaria and abroad, including countries like Germany, Austria (with Ensemble “New Ton,” Vienna), Belgium (with the National Orchestra of Belgium), France, Italy, Luxemburg, Macedonia, Slovenia (with the National Opera and Ballet-Ljubljana), Switzerland, Taiwan (with Century Orchestra-Taipei), USA (with Opera Circle-Cleveland), Japan, etc. His debut in the USA has been mentioned by the American critics as "one of the most important musical events for year 2009." Grigor Palikarov also makes regular recordings of orchestral pieces, opera arias, and ensembles as a guest conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of the Bulgarian National Radio. Some of his recordings can be found on CDs and DVDs produced by different companies.In addition to his work as a conductor, Mr. Palikarov composes music and performs as a piano soloist with different orchestras in Bulgaria. Since 2001, he also teaches musical analysis at the State Academy of Music and Dance Arts-Plovdiv as an Assistant Professor. Mr. Palikarov is a prizewinner of many national and international piano and composition competitions. Some of his works were performed at music festivals and recorded at the National Radio- Sofia.


Repertoire 2022

Standard List

Johann Sebastian Bach:
Concerto No. 1 in D minor, BWV 1052

Joseph Haydn:
Keyboard Concerto in D major Hob.XVIII:11

Ludwig van Beethoven:
Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, Op. 15
Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 19
Piano Concerto No. 3 in C minor, Op. 37
Piano Concerto No. 4 in G major Op. 58
Piano Concerto No. 5  E-flat major Op. 73

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart:
Piano Concertos 9, 11, 12, 13, 17, 20-27 

Frédéric Chopin:
Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11
Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor, Op. 21

Johannes Brahms
Concerto No. 1 in D minor
Concerto No. 2 in B flat major

Franz Liszt:
Piano Concerto E flat major
Piano concerto A major

Edvard Grieg:
Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16

Robert Schumann:
Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky:
Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor, Op. 23

Camille Saint-Saëns:
Piano Concerto No.2 in G minor

Sergei Rachmaninoff:
Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18
Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30

Special List

Dmitri Shostakovich
Piano Concerto No.1  
Piano Concerto No.2 

Maurice Ravel
Concerto in G

Sergei Rachmaninoff:
Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini 

Sergei Prokofiev

Piano Concerto No. 1 in D-flat major, Op. 10

Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 16

Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, Op. 26


Piano Concerto No. 1 Sz. 83, BB 9

Piano Concerto No. 2 in G major, Sz. 95, BB 101


If you wish to perform a Concerto in the special list, please contact us before 1st of March 2022 - thepianoconcertofestival@gmail.com



Here I come Bulgaria

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