Nayden Todorov - Minister of Culture

Nayden Todorov was born in 1974 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. He received his first piano lessons at the age of five and made his debut as a conductor at the age of 16. Alexander Vladigerov in Bulgaria and Professor Karl Österreicher in Vienna had a great influence on his formation as a conductor. He graduated with honours from the Dobrin Petkov School of Music in Plovdiv and continued his studies in orchestral conducting in the legendary class of Professor Uroš Lajovic, choral conducting with Professor Günther Toering and opera conducting with Professor Konrad Leitner at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. In 1996, he was invited by the Leonard Bernstein Jerusalem Foundation to the Rubin Academy in Jerusalem, where he specialized under the conductor of the Israel Philharmonic, Mеndy Rodan.

In 1997 he started the Thracian Summer Festival in his hometown. A year later, he received his first permanent international engagement - in Haifa, Israel, with the North Israel Symphony Orchestra, where he was selected among more than 150 candidates to be the orchestra's permanent conductor.

In the following years, Nayden Todorov performed on the stages of many of the largest cultural centres in Europe, Asia, Africa and America, recording over 130 CDs for American, European and Israeli record companies.

In 2000, when he was only 26 years old, he was invited to become the Music Director of the Plovdiv Opera and Philharmonic, proving to be the youngest conductor in Bulgaria in such a position. In the period between 2003 and 2005 he worked as artistic director of the Burgas Opera and Philharmonic Society. A few years later he also held this position at the „Danube Sounds“ Choir in Ruse. In the period between 2005 and 2017 he was the director of the State Opera in Ruse.

In 2013, Nayden Todorov graduated as a cultural manager at New Bulgarian University, where he has been invited to lecture in recent years. Since 2017 he has been the director of the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra, with which he has performed at some of the most prestigious venues in Europe - the Bozar Hall - Brussels, the Konzerthaus and Musikverein - Vienna, the Berlin Philharmonic's Great Hall, the Liederhalle - Stuttgart, etc. In recent years he has brought some of the world's most famous singers, conductors and instrumentalists to Bulgaria for concerts of the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra, which he directs.

Nayden Todorov has worked with all Bulgarian state orchestras and opera houses, as well as with many orchestras and opera houses in Europe, Asia, North and South America and Africa, among which stand out the Vienna Symphony Orchestra, the Wiener Volksoper, the Berlin Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia of Bogotá - Colombia, the National Orchestra of Brazil, the Tokyo Philharmonic and many others.

In 2013 and 2019 he was voted „Musician of the Year“ by the listeners of the Bulgarian National Radio. He has also received the Crystal Lyre Award several times for his work. In 2014, he was awarded the Emil Chakarov Prize. In 2015 he was awarded the title of „Honorary Citizen“ of the city of Ruse. He has also received awards from the Slovak Music Fund, the Rotary Club of Vienna, the Borghese Foundation, the Sofia Prize for the production of the opera Faust at the National Opera and Ballet, the Golden Petolinie for his contribution to the development of Bulgarian music, the Golden Book for his contribution to the development of Bulgarian culture, the George Wächter Foundation Award - Switzerland, etc. In 2020 he became the fourth winner of the Bogdan Bogdanov Prize for Humanities of the New Bulgarian University. He was a laureate of the first edition of the Bulgarian National Radio's „Bulgarian Ambassadors of Culture“ campaign in 2021. Because of his mastery in creating international musical projects and for his outstanding artistic successes on stages around the world, he received the prestigious Italian Aquila d'Oro Award in the autumn of 2023.

Since 2018, Nayden Todorov has been the host of the Bulgarian National Television's educational classical music show „A Concert with BNT 2“.

In 2021, he published his first book of short stories, A Whiff of Angels.

In the period February-June 2023, he is interim Minister of Culture.