IMG_4289



Described as "Virtuoso-violinist extraordinaire" (Musical Horizons), Hristo Popov made his orchestra debut at the age of nine with Plovdiv State Philharmonic Orchestra and since then has performed as recitalist, chamber musician and concerto soloist at major performing arts venues in the U.S. and throughout Europe. He has had the honor to perform for two U.S. presidents, the Pope, the Rolling Stones, the NBA Basketball Convention, and the Olympic Gold Medalists.
 
His Carnegie Hall debut was hailed by The Strad Magazine as "…alert and energetic." Hristo Popov was a prizewinner at the Kocian International Violin Competition, Silver Medalist at the California Young Artist Competition, winner of the Grand Prize at the International Institute of Music (Germany, USA), and first place winner at the American String Teachers Association Chamber Music Competition. He was selected as Artist of the Month at the Obama for Arts and Entertainment Organization in April of 2009. 
 
Born in a family of musicians and educators of four generations, he began studying the violin at the age of four in his native country, Bulgaria, where he attended “Dobrin Petkov” Music School. Later he was accepted as a full scholarship recipient at the Idyllwild Arts Academy where he finished High School with Honors. He holds bachelor's degree and Artist Diploma from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music where upon graduation he performed Paganini’s Violin Concerto No. 1 with orchestra, and a doctorate from the University of Kentucky where he served as Teaching Assistant and member of the Niles String Quartet. Very important to his musical education was attending summer programs at Park City International Music Festival and Oberlin at Casalamaggiore.

 
Hristo Popov performs music from the standard repertoire as well as significant works of the contemporary genre. He performs concertos of all historical periods and maintains a wide variety of recital programs. His performances have been documented on TV and radio stations in the U.S., Mexico, and Bulgaria and he has recorded albums for TC Recordings and Bravante Records. He has performed with members of the Juilliard Quartet, Miami Quartet, Miro Quartet, Berlin Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic and the Cleveland Orchestra, among others. He has worked with such conductors as Christofer Hogwood, Marin Alsop, Robert Spano, Leonard Slatkin and many others.
 
Dr. Popov has led residencies at universities, including Columbia, Case Western, Oberlin College, on Early 20th Century Eastern European Composers and the violin focusing on specifically on the composers Bela Bartok, George Enescu, and Pancho Vladigerov. The New York Concert Review praised his 2013 Carnegie Hall performance of these composers as "outstanding from start to finish," saying "Mr. Popov played with sensitivity, panache and fire, and his singing tone in the high register was unfailingly exceptional…Hristo Popov is a musician's musician."
 
He continues to receive rave reviews, as described recently by the Plain Dealer, "…the performance benefited from the elegant purity soloist Hristo Popov invested in every phrase. Popov traced the lyrical and vibrant lines (Mozart, Violin Concerto No. 5, Turkish) with unruffled assurance. He enabled the music to float where necessary and made easy work of the acrobatic demands."


In 2020, during the corona virus pandemic, he video recorded from his home the Complete Sonatas and Partitas by J. S. Bach available on YouTube. Following the pandemic he is working on a release of Classical Violin Concertos by Joseph Bologne Chevalier de Saint-George with conductor and scholar Marlon Daniel.
 
Dr. Popov has been a fierce advocate for the arts in many communities. During his tenure in Cleveland he was a pioneer in creating educational musical programs for audiences and students that have been replicated and adopted by many prominent organizations in the area. Ha served as Artistic Director of Chagrin Music Series for 15 years, one for the premier concert series in the Cleveland area and served as Professor of Violin at Kent State University and Youngstown State University. Currently he teaches full time at Bellissima Music Academy in Florida and serves as Treasurer for the Florida State Music Teacher’s Association and Recording Secretary for the Palm Beach Music Teacher’s Association.