The Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra is proud to announce the selection of Stilian Kirov as its new music director and conductor. The decision follows an exhaustive two-year process, 160 applications and six guest conductors featured in concerts during the 2014-2015 season.
“This was a collective effort by the BSO musicians, board members and our community,” said BSO President and CEO Bryan Burrow. “The community showed strong support for this process as we experienced higher attendance not seen in decades.”
Kirov will officially assume his role Wednesday, July 1. The 31-year-old Bulgarian-born conductor was most recently the associate conductor of the Seattle Symphony and was named music director of New Jersey’s prestigious Symphony in C earlier this year.
“The BSO concerts have created a lot of excitement this season and frankly surprised many in our community on how incredible the concert experience can be,” Burrow added. “We believe that Mr. Kirov will bring new ideas and enthusiasm to Bakersfield.”
Kirov echoed Burrow’s sentiment, “I am thrilled to be joining the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra and leading this outstanding organization to a very exciting new chapter,” he said. “It is a true joy to have the opportunity to make music with the orchestra’s brilliant musicians, working with Bryan Burrow and the whole BSO family to bringing joy and excitement through some outstanding music in Bakersfield.”
Kirov’s work is extensive and includes guest engagements with the Amarillo Symphony, Lansing Symphony and the New World Symphony in Miami.
Worldwide he has appeared with the Leopolis Chamber Orchestra in Ukraine, Orchestre Colonne in Paris and the Musical Olympus International Festival in St. Petersburg.
Kirov’s numerous awards and prizes include an Emmy for the “Memphis Symphony Soundtrack Project,” the Orchestra Preference Award, as well as The Juilliard School’s Bruno Walter Memorial Scholarship and the Charles Schiff Conducting Award for outstanding achievement.
He 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.
Kirov holds a master’s degree from the Ecole Normale de Musique in Paris.
Also a gifted pianist, Kirov is the Gold Medalist of the 2001 Claude Kahn International Piano Competition in Paris.
The conductor search officially began in mid-2013 after the announcement of John Farrer’s departure, who was with the BSO for nearly 40 years. A committee of 11 people, including five orchestra members, four board members and two community members launched the search.