Ivan Kozhuharov

Born in 1950 in the town of Tryavna. At the age of 9, he began to play the violin. Later he switched to viola because he wanted to form a quartet, and no one in the city knew this instrument.

He graduated from the Secondary Music School with a degree in Viola, Prof. Veselin Stoyanov ”in Ruse. He studied for two years at the Bulgarian State Conservatory/today the National Academy of Music – Sofia, Faculty of Theory, viola with Prof. Alexander Neynski, and choral conducting with Prof. Vasil Arnaudov.

Since 1971 he has been studying Opera and Symphony Conducting as a student of the professors: Sherman, Robinovich, Arvid, and Maris Jansons, at the State Conservatory “N. A. Korsakov ”, St. Petersburg, Russia, graduating in 1976 as a graduate. His graduation performance of Mozart’s opera The Marriage of Figaro was filmed by Soviet television in Moscow.

During his studies, he worked for one season at the Leningrad Theater of Musical Comedy – Opera, with which he toured in cities of Russia and Estonia, and taught at the Institute of Theater, Music, and Cinema.

His military service took place in SHPZO – Vratsa, and then as a conductor of the Representative Ensemble of BNA – Sofia. As a soldier, he started working at the State Opera – Burgas, where he was appointed, after his dismissal from the army, in 1978.

There he staged the operas “The Magic Flute” and “The Wedding of Figaro” by Mozart, “Rigoletto” and “Othello” by Verdi, “Porgy and Bess” by Gershwin, “Village Honor” by Maskani, and the ballets “The Three-Topped Hat” by Manuel De Faia and “Romeo and Juliet” by Sergei Prokofiev.

In 1985 he moved to the State Philharmonic – Burgas, where he was, successively, conductor, chief artistic director and director. Enriches the orchestra’s repertoire with works by Bruckner, Mahler / all symphonies, including the spectacular Eighth Symphony – with two orchestras, five people, and eight soloists – all over 320 people /, Onager, Bartok, Stravinsky, Prokofiev, and others.

When the OFD was established, in 1999 he was its music director, after its dissolution and transformation, in 2008 – the conductor was the chief conductor of the Opera. For a short time, he worked in OFD – Ruse.

In 1979 he was a semi-finalist in the competition of the Herbert von Karajan Foundation in West Berlin, and in 1980 he was a laureate and winner of the Grande Prix in the name of Bella Bartok from the Third International Competition for Conductors of Hungarian Television in Budapest. The following year he starred in a film dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the composer, produced by television in the United States, Canada, and Hungary.

He has conducted all Bulgarian opera houses and symphony orchestras / excluding Pazardzhik /, all Hungarian symphony orchestras, as well as those in Germany, the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Serbia.

Works at the National Opera Theaters in Sofia, Prague, Budapest, Belgrade, and Skopje, as well as with the National Symphony Orchestras and Philharmonic Orchestras in Sofia, Bratislava / Slovenia /, Cairo / Egypt /, Havana / Cuba /, Nicosia / Cyprus /, the Orchestra of Czech Radio in Prague, the Presidential Orchestra in Ankara / Turkey /, the State Orchestra in Thessaloniki / Greece /.

From 1999 to 2001 he was the conductor of the State Opera in Izmir / Turkey /, with which he participated in the festival in Aspendos. At the same time, he conducted the Mersin Opera.

In 2005 he worked in the Prima La Musika orchestra in Ghent / Belgium /, with which he participated in the Flemish Festival.

Since 1997 he has been regularly conducting the two orchestras of the State Philharmonic “D. D. Shostakovich ”in St. Petersburg, with whom he toured in various cities in Russia.

With the Burgas Philharmonic Orchestra he visited France and, repeatedly, Italy and Spain, and with the Opera – in Germany and Switzerland, with the operas “Troubadour”, “Othello”, “Falstaff” and Quattro Pezzi Sacri by Verdi, and at the festival on the island Rhodes – Greece with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Verdi’s Requiem.

In Spain, he toured at the head of the Plovdiv Philharmonic, and in Italy – with the Plovdiv Opera / “Aida” by Verdi /.

Together with Arts Academy – Rome conducts conducting courses in Burgas and Anzio, Italy.

In 2005 he worked in the Prima la Musika orchestra in Ghent / Belgium /, with which he participated in the Flemish Festival.

He has conducted a New Chamber Ensemble in Camerata classica, Sofia, with which he recorded a series of CDs for DIVERRIMENTO – Vienna.

He recorded film music for SIF – 309 in the First Studio of the Bulgarian National Radio – Sofia and for Digital Records – Rome, with the London Symphony Orchestra in the famous Abbey Road studio in London.
Holder of the Order of Cyril and Methodius – II degree, three Golden Lyres, and Crystal Lyre of CMTDB for the production of “Countess Maritsa” in DMT “Stefan Makedonski”.

Honorary citizen of Burgas.

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