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Forte String Quartet makes Bulgaria proud in London

December 15, 2010 by · No comments

Stoyan Botev
International Press Center
London – 11.24.2010


The Forte String Quartet – Hristo Popov, violin; Stanislav Nikolov, violin; Krasi Ivanov, viola; Kalin Ivanov, cello – arrived from New York on November 16 to participate in the 1st London Festival of Bulgarian Culture – November 2 – 26.

The concert took place on November 19th at 7:30pm in the famed St. James Piccadilly Church in the center of London. This famous tourist spot needs no further representation as it contributed greatly to the celebratory atmosphere of the Festival.

The audience was a sophisticated group of people who admire classical music and the String Quartet particularly, and who also harbor special feelings towards Bulgarian culture abroad.

The listeners had a chance to enjoy the artistic presentation of the musicians enveloping themselves in the burnish colors and brilliant passages of the string instruments. The Forte String Quartet gave it their all showing the world the wealth of Bulgarian culture and talent.

In the first half of the concert the audience was taken to the world of Shostakovich with the performance of his String Quartet No. 4. The musicians received raving applause for their expertly played performance. The following piece was the premiere of String Quartet No. 1 by Bulgarian composer and conductor Martin Georgiev, who demonstrates the persona of a talent who continues to bring success to Bulgarian art.

During the intermission the audience was openly commenting on the presentation of the first half with great delight and satisfaction and was eagerly awaiting the beginning of the second half when we witnessed a remarkable performance of Schumann’s Piano Quintet with pianist Sarkis Zakarian. The quartet and the pianist sounded triumphant in this monumental work. The finale of the fourth movement was played with great excitement and electrified the audience into spontaneous applause.


Some audience members were so pleased with the performance that remarked on the long classical music traditions of Europe and quoted the author Stefan Zweig: “Europe ends where people stop listening to classical music.”

One of the fans of the Festival, a native of London, commented after the concert that this performance distinguished itself because of the artistic presentation and spirituality and energy demonstrated in the unique style of The Forte String Quartet. It was a pleasure to see and to hear the reaction of the audience and as a result the audience was rewarded with an encore – a repeat of the Scherzo from Schumann’s quintet.

It is also worthy to mention that this year the Forte String Quartet celebrates 20 years with concerts in the United States and Europe with great accolades from not only in the “Old Continent” but on American soil as well.

The idea of the organizers, sponsors and performers of the London Festival of Bulgarian Culture is to create a new tradition of excellence of presenting Bulgarian Art for many years here in London.

The main organizer of the Festival is the Stankov family. Ivo, a superb violinist, and Vania, a wonderful singer, have lived in Great Brittan for ten years. It was their idea to create this festival and popularize Bulgarian culture, which is widely unknown in England, and present in distinguished venues in London.

The Festival sponsors and supporters include the Bulgarian Embassy in London, Sonya Rove – Uvlieva (wife of the late Peter Uvliev), the famous football player Dimitar Berbatov, the mayor of Sofia,Yordanka Fandakova, the Bulgarian Minister of Culture Vejdi Rashidov, and Prince Cyril Koburg.

On November 21, early in the morning, The Forte String Quartet flew back to New York from Heathrow International Airport and they will continue to represent Bulgarian Performing Art on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean.

Best wishes to these musical talents in their quest to promote Bulgarian Culture around the world.

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