March Music Days International Festival
- Milena Bozhikova
Bulgarian music festival. The festival began as an initiative of the Ruse Philharmonic Orchestra, the conductor Sasha Popov, and the conductor and composer Iliya Temkov, for the purpose of fostering friendship and cultural cooperation between Bulgaria and the German Democratic Republic. The first concert, given on 10 March 1961, opened with the première of the September 1923 Overture by V. Kazandzhiev. The partnership between the Ruse Philharmonic Orchestra and the musical ensembles of East Berlin Radio grew steadily over the next few years. In 1964–5 the festival was dedicated to new Bulgarian symphonic works, and in 1965 it expanded to include chamber music and other instrumentation. After 1976 the festival has been held in the second half of March. At present the festival is funded by the Municipality of Ruse and other sponsors. Since 1992 the International Music Academy takes place during the festival; the teachers, in various disciplines, have included Vanya Milanova, Mincho Minchev, John Kenny, Robert Cohen, Yuri Bashmet, Patrick Gallois, Erwin Ortner, Markus Stockhausen, Anatol Vieru, Wolfgang Schultz, Sir Neville Marriner, the Arditi String Quartet, Andreas Hermann, Emmanuel Séjourné, and Paul Badura-Skoda....