World-renowned pianist and pedagogue MILENA MOLLOVA belongs to those few Bulgarian musicians fortunate to have formed as artists in the school of such giants of musical performance and artistry as prof. Emil Gillels, Prof. Dimitar Nenov and Prof. Panka Pelishek. Her path on the concert stage is strewn with successes, accolades, concert tours and artistic peaks, with numerous concerts in all countries of Europe, in Japan, the United States, and Canada.
Milena Mollova began playing when she was barely five years of age, and at thirteen she debuted as a soloist of the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra with Beethoven’s Third Concerto for piano and orchestra under the baton of the great conductor Sasha Popov. Laureate and winner of many awards from authoritative international competitions such as: The first international Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky competition in Moscow, the Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud international competition for pianists and violinists in Paris, the international Munich competition of the ARD – the largest public media in Germany, and the Ludwig van Beethoven international piano competition in Vienna.
Her impressive repertoire includes works from different styles and epochs, and extends over a wide range from solo music and chamber performances in various formations to partnership with chamber ensembles and large orchestral formations.
Over the many years of her brilliant career Milena Mollova has been soloist of the most significant symphony orchestras of Bulgaria and Europe, and played under the baton of great Bulgarian conductors such as Sasha Popov, Konstantin Iliev, Dobrin Petkov, Vassil Kazandzhiev, as well as under world celebrities such as Kiril Kondrashin, Kazuyoshi Akiyama, Rudolf Baumgartner, Georges Tzipine, among many others.
An emblematic highlight in the repertoire of Milena Mollova is the integral performance of Beethoven’s 32 sonatas, presented in a series of nine concerts – a particularly substantial artistic task, hitherto accomplished by few pianists. In addition to the presentation of Beethoven’s piano sonatas, Milena Mollova also presented two series of integral performances of Beethoven Sonatas for violin and piano – in collaboration with Dina Schneidermann and then with Prof. Georgi Badev.
Along with the interpretation of the classical repertoire, she takes up the challenges of premiering works by contemporary composers from America, Bulgaria and other European countries. Mollova is responsible for premiering music by a number of Bulgarian authors such as Krasimir Kyurkchiyski (Concerto for piano and Orchestra No. 1 and Concerto for piano and Orchestra No. 2, dedicated to the pianist), Dimitar Hristov (Concert Miniatures), Todor Stoykov (15 Etudes of Superior Difficulty), also presenting the first performances of music by unknown and forgotten Bulgarian composers Menachem Benswan and Vassil Bozhinov, the Bulgarian premieres of Sonata No. 3 by Paul Hindemith, the Piano Sonata by Bella Bartok, the Sonata for violin and piano by Alfred Schnittke and others.
The experience gained by Milena Mollova in her active performing career overflows into her intensive work as a piano pedagogue. She has been a long-time lecturer at the National Academy of Music ‘Professor Pantcho Vladiguerov’ in Sofia; at the Northern Greek Conservatoire in Thessaloniki, as well as head of the Department of Music and a honorary professor at the New Bulgarian University. Leader of master classes in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Turkey and Bulgaria, Mollova has received invitations to act as jury panellist on major international competitions. She is active as organizer of international festivals in Bulgaria and Switzerland.
Her extremely comprehensive social activity includes memberships in scientific and public organizations: Chairman of the School Board of the Lyubomir Pipkov National School of Music, Sofia; Chairman for Bulgaria of the EPTA – European Piano Teachers Association, Member of the Expert Council of the St. St. Cyril and Methodius Foundation; founder and President of the Bulgarian section of the Protection of Children Organization in Bulgaria; a founder and donator of Pantcho Vladiguerov Foundation, Shumen; Member of the Presidium of the Superior Commission of Attestation under the Council of Ministers (1997-2003), Member of the Council for music of the Ministry of culture (1997-2002), Deputy Chairwoman of the Chopin Society in Bulgaria (1998), Member of the Orpheus International Academy.