Emilia Mihaylova and Valentina Seferinova 4 Hand Duet

Programme
Debussy, Achille-Claude

The Complete Works of Claude Debussy for 4 Hands Piano - "Integrale".

 

Emilia Mihaylova and Valentina Seferinova 4 Hand Piano Duet partnership began in 1997. At that time they were colleagues at The ‘Pantcho Vladigueroff’ National Academy of Music, Sofia, Bulgaria – Emilia, at the time, an Associate Professor in the “Piano” Department; and Valentina an Assistant Professor in the same Department.
Beginning in 1991, Emilia Mihaylova began a project to accomplish the whole of Debussy’s piano works, for the first time in Bulgaria.  It took her years to find the right partner to complete Debussy’s “Integrale” Piano Music for 4 hands.  Her meeting with Valentina Seferinova was a pivotal milestone in this project; with Valentina also taking the project to her heart.
In September 1998, Emilia and Valentina played the complete piano works of Debussy for four hands (“Integrale”) in a concert at Hall “Bulgaria”, Sofia, and the premier performance in Bulgaria.  This concert was recorded digitally and subsequently issued on CD; and also broadcast on Bulgarian Radio and by Bulgarian National Television.
Following the issue of this CD, Emilia and Valentina were invited to play Debussy’s “Integrale” again - in the Yvonne Lefébure Auditorium at the Claude Debussy House and Museum, St. Germain-en-Laye, Paris on 21st. August 1999; an accolade rarely granted and given more significance by the anniversary of Debussy’s birth date being 22nd August.  This appearance was a double premiere itself; the first time "Integrale" had been performed there; and the first appearance of any Bulgarian pianists there (pictured below - sitting at the piano).
For Emilia Mihaylova this was an emotional return to her student roots, as the auditorium has been dedicated to one of her mentors – Yvonne Lefébure (whose picture hangs on the wall behind them - below); and the culmination of her original dream.

For her pioneering work, and other contributions, Emilia was awarded full Professorial status by her peers in 2005.

Sadly Emi passed away in 2016 after a short battle with Cancer : she, and her talent, will be sorely missed by all. R.I.P. Emi : this page is maintained as a tribute and respect to her.


Emilia and Valentina pictured in The Claude Debussy House & Museum

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Valentina and Emilia outside the Yvonne Lefébure Auditorium on the 2nd floor of The Debussy House & Museum, St. Germain-en-Laye, Paris - August 21st. 1999.

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Emilia Mihaylova - Short Biography

Emilia Mihaylova was born in Sofia, Bulgaria.  She completed her studies at the “Pancho Vladigeuroff” National Academy of Music, Sofia, as a specialised piano student of Prof. Mara Balsamova (together with Master Classes), and in Chamber Music with Prof. Ema Bojinova. She also studied under the direction of world recognised piano professors from the Paris Conservatory (Yvonne Lefébure – French Music), and with Prof. Eugenie Malinin (in Weimar, Germany).
Her playing career began at a very early age as a soloist with philharmonic and chamber orchestras.  Her wide and varied repertoire covers many musical works and styles; from Classic to Modern music, being the first performer of many of them in Bulgaria.
She has delivered many successful concerts in Russia, the Czech Republic, Germany, France, Hungary, Belgium, and U.K.
Emilia Mihaylova has participated in, and received awards from, many International Competitions, including the “Magarita Long and Jack Tibot” International Competition, Paris; the “Fr. Bouzoni” Competition, Boltzano, Italy; the “International Competition”, Munich, Germany; the “Queen Elizabeth”, Brussels, Belgium; the “Claude Debussy Competition”, St. Germain-en-Laye, Paris (VI prize with medal); the “Svetoslav Obretenov” National Competition, Bulgaria (awards in 1966, 1969, 1975); the “Union of Bulgarian Composers” (III prize); the “Fourth Bulgarian National Competition for Singers and Instrumentalists” (IV prize).
Beginning in 1991, Emilia Mihaylova began a project to accomplish the whole of Debussy’s piano works, again, for the first time in Bulgaria.
In September 1998, together with Valentina Seferinova, she performed the Bulgarian premier of the complete of works of Debussy for 4 hands (“Integrale”) in Sofia.
Upon hearing a recording of this performance, the custodians of “The Claude Debussy House and Museum”, St. Germain-en-Laye, Paris, immediately invited the pair to repeat their recital there on the anniversary of Debussy’s birth date in August 1999; a rare accolade indeed.  For Emilia Mihaylova this was an emotional return to her student roots, as the auditorium has been dedicated to one of her mentors – Yvonne Lefébure.
The professionalism of Emilia Mihaylova has been recorded many times for Bulgarian National Radio, and National Television.
At present Emilia Mihaylova continues to live and work in Sofia, as an Associate Professor of Music at the “Pantcho Vladigeuroff” National Academy of Music, Sofia.
Because of her work, and achievements, with Debussy’s music it is probable that she will be soon accorded full professorial status by her peers.
P.S. Update Spring 2005: Emilia Mihaylova has been accepted by her peers to full Professorial status.

2016 : Sadly Emi passed away in 2016 after a short battle with Cancer : she, and her talent, will be sorely missed by all. R.I.P. Emi : this page is maintained as a tribute and respect to her.