Zornitsa Ilarionova has graduated from the “Lyubomir Pipkov” National school of music, Sofia in the violin class of Blagorodna Taneva and Escuela Superior de Musica Reina Sofia – Madrid in the violin class of Prof. Zakhar Bron. From January 2017 she is going to continue her studies at Zakhar Bron Akademy in Interlaken, Switzerland. Currently she is a student at New Bulgarian University in the violin class of Prof. Mario Hossen.
Zornitsa has won numerous prizes in many national and international violin competitions, including “Nedyalka Simeonova”, “Pancho Vladigerov”, “Dobrin Petkov”, “Young Virtuosos”, ”Kanetti”, Antaliya, ”Vasko Abadjiev”, First international violin competition “Varna” 2015 and many others. She has enjoyed performances in Paris, Cannes, Monaco, Madrid, Lisbon, Brussels, Hamburg, Essen, Moscow, Vienna, Bratislava, Bern, Ljubljana, Interlaken, Thessaloniki, Belgrade; and in numerous international music festivals (“March music days”- Ruse, Bulgaria, “Vladimir Spivakov”-Moscow, “Musica Mundi”-Belgium, “Mozarteum” - Salzburg, chamber music festival in Bohlen, Germany, “Sofia music weeks”- Sofia, ”Varna summer”- Varna, “Apolonia”- Sozopol, “Laureates days Katya Popova”- Pleven, “Evmelia” - Greece, and the International Music Festival “Orpheus” in Vienna. She has worked with musicians including Prof. Zakhar Bron, Prof. Mincho Minchev, Prof. Tanja Becker – Bender, Prof. Boris Garlitsky, Prof. Gerard Poulet, Prof. Donald Weilerstein, Prof. Oleg Krysa, Prof. Igor Petrushevsky, Prof. Latica Honda-Rosenberg, Ivry Gitlis, Svetlin Roussev, Vadim Gluzman, Midori and many others.
Zornitsa was awarded by Ministry of Culture of Republic of Bulgaria for high achievements in the art of violin playing. She is grateful for the support of the “Dimitar Berbatov” Foundation as one of the most successful young musicians in Bulgaria. She is considered as a laureate at the competition, organized by “Yordan Kamdzhalov” Foundation.
In 2015 she performed at several concerts as a soloist of Pleven Philharmonic orchestra under the baton of Maestro Yordan Kamdzhalov. On 12th June 2014 she received from her Majesty Queen Sofia in Royal Palace of El Pardo in Madrid, Spain the award “The best violinist in the violin class of prof. Zakhar Bron”. In 2015 Zornitsa was also invited to perform as soloist of the Symphony Orchestra of Bulgarian National Radio under the baton of Maestro Emil Tabakov at a special concert for the 80 anniversary of BNR. In September 2015 became a finalist at 13th International violin competition “Henryk Wieniawski” in Poland. Zornitsa won the prestigious award “Cristal lyre” for “Young performer” of 2015”. In November 2015 she became further distinguished as a laureate at the First International Violin Competition in Varna, Bulgaria. She has been specially recommended by Prof. Zakhar Bron as one of the most promising young violinists to perform at one of the most renowned festivals in Europe-”Encuentro de Santander 2016”.
Zornitsa has numerous recordings that are broadcasted by the Bulgarian National Radio and Bulgarian National Television. At the age of 14 Zornitsa recorded her own CD with works by Mozart and Sarasate.
The WFSIC Team caught up with Zornitsa Ilarionova to get to know her and the person behind the violin.
Who are your main inspirations?
Of course, many times in my life I have been inspired from different musicians who weren’t only violinists, but also if I have to be really honest the highest inspiration I have gotten from some athletes. Since I had the chance to watch the movie about Mrs. Neshka Robeva (one of the most legendary Bulgarian trainers of all times in the world rhythmic gymnastics) and her “Golden girls” in Bulgarian rhythmic gymnastics, this totally helped me to change my attitude and the perception about what persistence, passion and will are necessary to be demonstrated as well as to be ready to pass through everything in order to make your dream comes true. After having watched this movie deeply inside I already knew that I would not be the same person anymore…
Where’s the strangest place that you have ever performed?
The strangest place I have ever performed was in a trolley in Sofia!! When I was awarded from her Majesty Queen Sofia the prize “The best violinist in the violin class of Prof. Zakhar Bron” in Escuela Superior de Musica Reina Sofia – Madrid, Bulgarian National Television made a film for me and I was asked to play something short in the trolley like an experiment to compare what would be the reaction of the people to the classical music out of the concert hall.
Something not many people know about you?
I think many people don’t know that at the age of 10 I started painting. I had a really good teacher while I was still living in Pleven and I was very surprised and happy to win two international prizes despite the short period of time – Grand Prix from a competition in Tokyo and silver medal from another competition in India. But unfortunately I had a very short “career” as a painter, because the next year I moved to live and study in Sofia.