Genova & Dimitrov
Genova and Dimitrov is one of the most internationally sought-after piano duos today. Already as a two-months-young ensemble, the Bulgarian-Greek descended pianists caused a sensation by winning the Grand Slam of piano duo competitions within only two years, namely the ARD (Munich), Dranoff (Miami), Tokyo (Japan) and Bellini (Sicily) competitions, a feat that has not been matched to this day.
«Originally, we both wanted to become soloists» says the dynamic duo. «Then, shortly before leaving for a solo competition in Korea, we sat down at two pianos in one room, as there were no other rehearsal rooms available at the Hanover University of Music. We spontaneously decided to warm-up by playing Chopin Etude 25/11 in sync. It was as if we had been given wings.»
Since then, Aglika Genova and Liuben Dimitrov have been celebrated by audiences and the press, performing on the most important concert and festival stages in numerous countries on all continents, such as the Library of Congress and the National Gallery in Washington, the Schleswig-Holstein, Rheingau, Ludwigsburg and Schwetzingen Festivals, the City Hall in Cape Town, the Herkulessaal Munich, the Liederhalle Stuttgart, the Gstaad Music Festival, MDR Music Summer, at the Konzerthaus Berlin, the Beethovenhalle Bonn, the Cologne Philharmonic Hall, the Passau European Music Weeks, the Varna Summer Festival, and the Sofia Music Weeks, La Roque d’Antheron and the Al Bustan Music Festival Beirut, Casals Hall Tokyo, Poly Theatre Beijing, and the Teatro Municipal Rio de Janeiro, as well as at the Ravello Festival, the Woodstock Mozart Festival, the Festival Miami and the Chopin Piano Festival, just to mention a few.
Upon the invitation of the National Olympic Committees, the duo appeared at the opening concerts for the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake City, and at the 2010 Volleyball World Championships in Trieste. Their concerts could be enjoyed at the 2000 EXPO in Hanover, at the opening concert of the 2010 Paderewski Piano Competition in Poland, and in 2013 at the musical inauguration of Bacardi’s America Headquarters in Miami. In the same year Genova & Dimitrov appeared at the WDR Cologne Radio Day “1913-2013” and were celebrated on board of the new luxury cruise liner “MS Europe 2” on the way to Dubai within the framework of its opening season. 2014 they were Artists in Residence and Mentors of the International Festival Sommets Musicaux in Gstaad. In addition, they have appeared in numerous international TV and radio broadcasts.
Under the direction of conductors such as Eiji Oue, Ari Rasilainen, Hannu Lintu, Stefan Blunier, John Carewe, Emil Tabakov, Ulf Schirmer, Yordan Kamdzhalov, Robin Gritton, Alexander Kalajdzic, Gabriel Feltz, Alexander Rudin, Andreas Herrmann, and Johannes Schlaefli, Genova & Dimitrov have played worldwide with leading orchestras and choirs, for example in Munich, Los Angeles, Orange County, Miami, Hamburg, Johannesburg, Durban, Hanover, Bonn, Beijing, Stuttgart, Cape Town, Sofia, Kiev, and Bucharest.
Among the season’s highlights are the release of the new CD with the Concertos for Two Pianos by Bela Bartok and Victor Babin (World Premiere Recording, «cpo») with the Symphony Orchestra of the Bulgarian National Radio led by Yordan Kamdzhalov, as well as the studio recordings of a further CD with the Symphony Orchestra of the Bulgarian National Radio and the Genesis Orchestra/Y.Kamdzhalov («cpo»); the numerous recital and orchestra appearances in Germany and in abroad; the Master Courses at Cloister Michaelstein (Germany) and at ISA Allegra in Russe (Bulgaria); the realization of the TV portrait movie of the Bulgarian National Television BNT about the Duo.
Aglika Genova and Liuben Dimitrov can look back at an impressive discography – 13 CDs of the duo have been released by «cpo» and «Gega New», and given glowing reviews and top ratings by international record magazines and radio stations. In addition to a number of world premiere recordings, such as the piano duo works of Dmitri Shostakovitch, Johann Christian Bach, Muzio Clementi, and Pantcho Vladigerov, recordings such as «America for Two» (Gershwin, Copland, Bernstein) and «Favourite Flavors» (Ravel) are greatly appreciated worldwide. A particular emphasis in their discography are their recordings with orchestra «Martinu and Schnittke – Concertos for 2 pianos» (NDR Radio Philharmonic/Eiji Oue), «French Concertos – Milhaud, Poulenc, Casadesus» (SWR Radio Orchestra/Alun Francis) and «Mendelssohn – Concertos 1 & 2» (Munich Radio Orchestra/Ulf Schirmer). The CD «Arensky – Five Suites for Two Pianos», which the Artists dedicated to the memory of their deceased teacher Vladimir Krainev, was designated by the media worldwide even as «trend-setting». The CD «Franz Liszt – Works for 2 Pianos» was praised by the international press as «A pure celebration of the 2 piano music, a celebration of Liszt’s music». In occasion of the Duo’s 20th birthday anniversary in 2015 «cpo» has released the Special Edition CD «Genova & Dimitrov – 20 Years», which has caused furore among the radios around the world.
Genova and Dimitrov served as jurors at the ARD Competition in Munich, at the International Piano Competition in Almaty, and at the International Schubert Music Competition in Russe, and were appointed Artistic Directors of the Dranoff International Two Piano Competition in Miami.
The artists give master classes worldwide, as e.g. the annual Piano Duo Academy in Cloister Michaelstein (Germany) in January, as well as the ISA Allegra Summer Academy in Russe (Bulgaria). Since 2009, they have been appointed Heads of Piano Duo Studies at the Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media. In 2011 they established there the piano duo forum «Twin Pack Piano».
The similarities between them reach far into their past: Aglika Genova and Liuben Dimitrov both began piano lessons at the age of five, and as 9-year-olds, both had their first public appearances as soloists with orchestra. During their soloist training at special music high schools for highly talented youngsters, and then at the Sofia Conservatory with Julia and Konstantin Ganev each won multiple prizes at international competitions. Following the personal invitation from their mentor, the legendary pianist Vladimir Krainev, they finished their post-graduate studies in his class at the Hanover University of Music.
Today Genova and Dimitrov live in Hanover, Miami, and Sofia.