Bulgarians are known throughout the world for their musical talent. The age-old tradition of music-making can be traced back to the ancient Thracians and the legendary Thracian musician and healer, Orpheus. Nowadays Orpheus is a symbol of the magical and healing powers of music. Ever since antiquity, the present-day Bulgarian lands have been home to various cultures, each of which has left its mark, creating the rich and complex traditional Bulgarian music that we enjoy today. Bulgarians also have a rich tradition of a cappella Orthodox church music.
After the liberation from the Ottomans in 1878, in the course of just a few decades classical music became an integral part of Bulgaria’s cultural life. The first Bulgarian symphony orchestras and opera companies appeared at the turn of the 20th century. Founded in Sofia in 1908, the National Opera went on to become one of the leading opera houses in Europe. A constellation of Bulgarian opera singers were destined to achieve world fame: basses Boris Christoff, Nicolai Ghiaurov and Nicola Ghiuselev, sopranos Ghena Dimitrova, Anna Tomowa-Sintow, Raina Kabaivanska, and more recently, Krassimira Stoyanova and Sonya Yoncheva, to name but a few.
Today, more than 100 years after the first attempts, every major Bulgarian city has an opera house (six in all), symphony orchestra, and mixed choir. There are also numerous ballet companies, chamber orchestras and small choral ensembles.
We offer visitors excellent opportunities to discover the beauty and mystery of Bulgaria’s musical talent, attend the performances of our opera companies and symphony orchestras, and enjoy the festivals, Orthodox chanting, choir concerts, and chamber music and solo recitals. We can also arrange private concerts, meetings with prominent soloists, and backstage tours.