Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra

Our Conductor – STILIAN KIROV


We are pleased to announce our new Music Director / Conductor for the BSO is Stilian Kirov. This last season brought in the best six conductors from over 160 international applicants. Mr. Kirov has just completed his tenure as Associate Conductor of the Seattle Symphony. Earlier this year Mr. Kirov was named Music Director of Symphony in C in New Jersey.

Stilian Kirov’s Bio:

“Kirov conducted with great vitality and energy as well as a fine sense of both balance and timing, and got exciting performances from all hands — chorus, soloists, orchestra.” Melinda Bargreen | Seattle Times

A first prize winner at Debut Berlin Competition and a prizewinner at Denmark’s 2015 Marko Competition, Stilian Kirov is Music Director or three prestigious music organizations: The Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra in California, New Jersey’s Symphony in C, one of Americas premier orchestra for young professionals and since 2017-18 Season- The Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra. Having completed a highly successful tenure as Associate Conductor of the Seattle Symphony, Mr. Kirov also served as Associate Conductor of the Memphis Symphony and Music of their Youth Symphony Program. In 2017, Stilian Kirov makes his debut with the German National Orchestra at the historic Berlin Philharmonic. He has also appeared with the Thüringen Philharmonic Orchestra/Germany, Victoria Symphony/Canada, State Hermitage Orchestra/St. Petersburg, West Virginia Symphony, Leopolis Chamber Orchestra/Ukraine, Orchestra of Colours/Athens, Orchestre Colonna/Paris, Sofia Festival Orchestra and the Zagreb Philharmonic, among others.

During the 2013/2014 season, Mr. Kirov was engaged as an assistant conductor to Bernard Haitink with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as well as a cover conductor for Stéphane Denève, the late Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Christoph von Dohnányi, and Andrew Davis, all with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Also during that season, he stepped in to replace Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos with the Seattle Symphony, conducting “spectacular” performances of Orff’s Carmina Burana.

Stilian Kirov’s numerous awards and prizes include an Emmy for the Memphis Symphony’s Soundtrack Project, the Orchestra Preference Award, and Third Prize at the 2010 Mitropoulos Conducting Competition, as well as Juilliard’s Bruno Walter Memorial Scholarship and the Charles Schiff Conducting Award for outstanding achievement. He is also the recipient of France’s 2010 ADAMI Conducting Prize, culminating in a showcase concert at the Salle Gaveau with the Orchestra Colonne. Following the performance, Mr. Kirov was invited to conduct the orchestra’s opening concerts of the 2011/2012 season in Paris.

Mr. Kirov is a graduate of The Juilliard School in orchestral conducting, where he was a student of James DePreist. In 2012, he studied at the Aspen Academy of Conducting, and in 2013, was one of two Conducting Fellows at the Tanglewood Music Center. In 2010, he was awarded the Chautauqua Music Festival’s David Effron Conducting Fellowship, and returned in 2012 as a guest conductor with the festival orchestra.

Mr. Kirov holds a master’s degree from the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris, where he studied with Dominique Rouits. He has participated in master classes with such distinguished conductors as Kurt Masur, Michael Tilson Thomas, Gianluigi Gelmetti, George Manahan, and Asher Fisch.

Also a gifted pianist, Stilian Kirov was the Gold Medalist of the 2001 Claude Kahn International Piano Competition in Paris.

A prize winner at prestigious 2015 Malko Competition, and recently completing a highly successful tenure as Associate Conductor of the Seattle Symphony, Stilian Kirov has just been appointed Music Director of the Symphony in C. One of America’s premier orchestras for young professionals, its former music directors have included numerous internationally known conductors, such as Alan Gilbert.

In 2015, after a two years search and out of one hundred and sixty applications, Mr. Kirov has also been appointed Music Director of the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra in California, becoming the youngest Music Director in the orchestra’s 83-years history.

He has also previously served as Associate Conductor of the Memphis Symphony and Music Director of the Memphis Youth Symphony Program.

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