"Kirov conducted with great vitality and energy as well as a fine sense of both balance and timing, and got exciting performances from all hands — chorus, soloists, orchestra." [Orff’s Carmina Burana]
A prize winner at Denmark’s 2015 Malko Competition, Stilian Kirov has just accepted two prestigious appointments effective with the 2015/2016 season: most recently, the Music Directorship of the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra in California; and in May, the position of Music Director of the Symphony in C, one of America’s premier orchestras for young professionals (former music directors have included internationally known conductors, such as Alan Gilbert). Having recently completed a highly successful tenure as Associate Conductor of the Seattle Symphony, Mr. Kirov has also served as Associate Conductor of the Memphis Symphony and Music Director of the Memphis Youth Symphony Program.
Among Mr. Kirov’s guest engagements are the Amarillo Symphony, Lansing Symphony, the National Repertory Orchestra/Breckenridge, and the New World Symphony in Miami. Following his highly acclaimed debut in 2012, he also appears regularly as guest conductor at the Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle.
During the 2013/2014 season, Stilian Kirov was engaged as an assistant conductor to Bernard Haitink with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as well as a cover conductor for Stéphane Denève, the late Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Christoph von Dohnányi, and Andrew Davis, all with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Also during that season, he stepped in to replace Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos with the Seattle Symphony, conducting “spectacular” performances of Orff’s Carmina Burana. Recent and upcoming guest conducting engagements include performances with the symphonies of Bakersfield, Hamilton/Ontario, Tucson, and Victoria/British Columbia, among others.
Worldwide, Mr. Kirov has appeared with the Leopolis Chamber Orchestra/Ukraine, Orchestra of Colors/Athens, Orchestre Colonne/Paris, Sofia Festival Orchestra, State Hermitage Orchestra/St. Petersburg, Thüringen Philharmonic Orchestra, the Zagreb Philharmonic, and the Musical Olympus International Festival in St. Petersburg, and more.
Stilian Kirov’s numerous awards and prizes include an Emmy for the Memphis Symphony’s Soundtrack Project, the Orchestra Preference Award, and Third Prize at the 2010 Mitropoulos Conducting Competition, as well as Juilliard’s Bruno Walter Memorial Scholarship and the Charles Schiff Conducting Award for outstanding achievement. He is also the recipient of France’s 2010 ADAMI Conducting Prize, culminating in a showcase concert at the Salle Gaveau with the Orchestre Colonne. Following the performance, Mr. Kirov was invited to conduct the orchestra’s opening concerts of the 2011/2012 season in Paris.
Mr. Kirov is a graduate of The Juilliard School in orchestral conducting, where he was a student of James DePreist. In 2012, he studied at the Aspen Academy of Conducting, and in 2013, was one of two Conducting Fellows at the Tanglewood Music Center. In 2010, he was awarded the Chautauqua Music Festival's David Effron Conducting Fellowship, and returned in 2012 as a guest conductor with the festival orchestra.
Mr. Kirov holds a master's degree from the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris, where he studied with Dominique Rouits. He has participated in master classes with such distinguished conductors as Kurt Masur, Michael Tilson Thomas, Gianluigi Gelmetti, George Manahan, and Asher Fisch.
Also a gifted pianist, Stilian Kirov was the Gold Medalist of the 2001 Claude Kahn International Piano Competition in Paris.