Sofia Music Weeks
In the 2008 will take place the 39th Sofia Music Weeks International Festival - a long termed and rich tradition, expected each year with great interest by the music society of the capital city.
The Festival opens its gates for the first time on 24 May 1970. Step by step it establishes itself as the most important international event for Sofia and the country. Aiming at its main purpose - presenting to the Bulgarian audience the most remarkable things from the world's and Bulgarian music art of the highest level - the Festival receives an international recognition by becoming a member of the European Festivals Association for Music, Theatre and Dance (1982), which members are prestigious festivals from whole Europe.
A proof for the high authority gained by the Sofia Music Weeks is the participation in the Festival of symphony orchestras, such as the Vienna, Berlin and Leningrad Philharmonic, opera theatres and ballet companies from Italy, France, Sweden, and other countries, conductors of world-wide eminence (Claudio Abbado, Genady Rozhdestvensky, etc.), prominent musicians and singers (Henric Shering, Leonid Kogan, Alexis Weissenberg, Janos Starker, Elena Obraszova, Mirella Freni, Pierro Capucille, etc.), world-known chamber ensembles (Virtuosi di Roma, Moscow Virtuosi, Amadeus Quartet, Smetana Quartet, etc.), and many others. The Bulgarian presence is defended with dignity by the Sofia Philharmonic, Sofia Opera, Svetoslav Obretenov Bulgarian
A Capella Choir, Bulgarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Mixed Choir, Sofia Soloists Chamber Ensemble, Dimov Quartet, choirs and orchestras from outside the capital (Plovdiv, Rousse, Varna, Bourgas), well-known musicians and singers (Mincho Minchev, Georgi Badev, Anton Dikov, Nikolay Giaourov, Rayna Kabaivanska, Alexandrina Milcheva, etc.).
Besides concerts, opera and ballet performances, the Festival programmes include also other events: scientific conferences (round-table talks) in the field of music theory, photographs exhibitions, shows of filmed operas, master classes for young musicians and singers. In the Festival we celebrate anniversaries of great Bulgarian and foreign composers and realize first performances of remarkable music works (including new ones). The Stage of the Young Musicians cycle gives an excellent opportunity for manifestation to talented young people from Bulgaria and abroad.
The Festival is held in the best concert halls of Sofia: Bulgaria hall (big and chamber), halls of the National Palace of Culture, the National Gallery if Fine Arts, etc., which creates possibilities for using the interior and exterior areas for advertising purposes.
Co-organizers of the Weeks are Sofia Municipality, Ministry of Culture, National Palace of Culture. The Festival collaborates very actively with the foreign embassies and cultural institutes in this country. The Festival events have a wide publicity in the electronic and mass media.
The Festival has its page (with the programme and a space for advertising) in the annual brochure of the European Festivals Association, which is printed in 50 000 copies and is distributed all over the world. The Association presents the programme each year in Internet.