Respected and admired by audiences and musicians alike, Rossen Milanov is currently the Music Director of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Princeton Symphony Orchestra, and the Orquesta Sinfónica del Principado de Asturias in Spain.
In 2017, Milanov was awarded a Columbus Performing Arts Prize from The Columbus Foundation to present Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony as part of the CSO’s 2017 Picnic with the Pops outdoor summer series.
In Columbus, the 2017-18 season will focus on two principal themes—nature and creative women—and expand upon the idea of connecting music with community-wide initiatives. Milanov will present two festivals dedicated to Russian music; a concert production of Aida in a collaboration with Opera Columbus and the Columbus Zoo; and a Spanish Flamenco Festival. Among the guest artists will be violinists Joshua Bell, pianist Inon Barnatan, and Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Caroline Shaw.
Continuing a tradition of sophisticated programming in Princeton, Milanov will be collaborating with the Westminster Choir and creative artists such as Simone Dinnerstein, Joshua Roman, and Ilya Keller, as well as commissioning new music by Phillip Glass and Saad Haddad.
In Spain, season highlights will include performances of Bruckner’s Ninth, the orchestral music of Hindemith, world premieres of newly commissioned works, and expansion of the orchestra’s education and community outreach programs.
Milanov has established himself as a conductor with considerable national and international presence. He has appeared with the symphonies of Colorado, Detroit, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, Baltimore, Seattle, and Fort Worth, as well as the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall “Link Up” education projects with Chicago’s Orchestra of St. Luke’s and Civic Orchestra.
Internationally, Milanov has collaborated with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra de la Suisse Romand, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Aalborg, Latvian, and Hungarian National Symphony Orchestras. He has also conducted orchestras in Toronto, Vancouver, Mexico, Colombia, Sao Paolo, Belo Horizonte, New Zealand, and the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic in South Africa. In the Far East, he has appeared with the symphonies of NHK, Sapporo, Tokyo, and Singapore, the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra, the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic.
Milanov has collaborated with some of the world’s preeminent artists, including Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, Midori, Christian Tetzlaff, and André Watts. During his 11-year tenure with the Philadelphia Orchestra, he conducted more than 200 performances. In 2015, he completed a 15-year tenure as Music Director of the nationally recognized training orchestra Symphony in C in New Jersey. In 2013, he completed a 17-year tenure with the New Symphony Orchestra in his native city of Sofia, Bulgaria. His passion for new music has resulted in numerous world premieres of works by composers such as Derek Bermel, Richard Danielpour, Nicolas Maw, and Gabriel Prokofiev among others.
Noted for his versatility, Milanov is also a welcome presence in the worlds of opera and ballet. Most recently, he collaborated with Komische Oper Berlin (Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtzensk), Opera Oviedo (Spanish premiere of Tchaikovsky’s Mazzepa and Bartok’s Bluebeard’s Castle that was awarded best Spanish production for 2015), and Opera Columbus (Verdi’s La Traviata).
An experienced ballet conductor, he has been seen at New York City Ballet and collaborated with some of the best-known choreographers of our time such as Mats Ek, Benjamin Millepied, and most recently, Alexei Ratmansky in the critically acclaimed revival of Swan Lake in Zurich with the Zurich Ballet and in Paris with the La Scala Ballet.
Milanov studied conducting at the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School where he received the Bruno Walter Memorial Scholarship.
A passionate chef, he often dedicates his culinary talents to various charities.
Photo credit: Stephen Pariser