What do Beethoven, Bartók and Bulgaria’s national composer Vladigerov have in common? This is the question posed by Bulgarian pianist Alexander Tchobanov on his new album ECLECTIC SOUNDS – and what appears to be a harmless question soon turns into a mighty quest. Performed with an ambitious blend of vigor and exactitude, Tchobanov unveils their inner workings with previously-unheard, razor-sharp clarity.
Today, Alexander is our featured artist in “The Inside Story,” a blog series exploring the inner workings and personalities of our composers and performers. Read on to learn how he discovered his passion for the piano at an early age, and how this album helped him unearth pieces of his heritage and culture…
What does this album mean to you personally?
This project expresses my life long dream to create an artistic legacy that would reach a wider audience. It is fantastic that through today’s technology, this dream has become reality. This album also represents my own struggle for beauty and perfection. It’s the culmination of many sacrifices and efforts.
Who was your favorite artist(s) growing up?
I grew up with the recordings of Sviatoslav Richter and other legendary artists from the golden age of piano. I was mesmerized by his musicianship, virtuosity, and unique individual qualities. To this day I have not heard anyone who can communicate like him. The pianists from that era have been a huge inspiration for me, as I was growing up in post communist Bulgaria.
Is there a specific feeling that you would like to communicate to audiences in this work?
Not really, I am here to give and each listener can decide what to take out from this release. My duty is to convey the story of each work and hopefully get closer to the way that the composer intended it to sound like.
When did you realize that you wanted to be an artist?
At the age of 6, my mother and grandmother spent their last savings to buy me a used Russian piano and within a year of lessons, I was accepted in the Music School of Gifted Children in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. From there on, it was quite obvious that piano was my passion and my path in life. I won my first competition prize at the age of 10, and a few years later I moved to the United States.
What was your favorite musical moment in this album?
Well, I decided to discover my own culture and heritage by including works from Bulgarian composers Pantcho Vladigerov and his son Alexander. This was a very special and exciting moment for me and I hope that my album will contribute to popularizing those wonderful works around the world.
If you could make a living at any job in the world, what would it be?
If i was not a musician, I would have picked any profession that involves traveling, adventure, and communication with people from different nationalities and cultures. A career in aviation or media and broadcasting would have surely been attractive to me.