Pleven – Vienna – Beijing

Dare to dream, play music and enjoy traveling

The journey begins

Starting to study in Vienna was one of the most important decisions in my life. As a young guitarist coming from a small town in Bulgaria, “Vienna – the city of music” seemed to me a very far dream, almost impossible to achieve. Hard work, ambition, determination and a little bit of luck of course made my dream come true. The beginning was filled with mixed emotions of excitement, curiosity, surprises, homesickness…

flowers
Bozhana shortly after arriving in Vienna

What helped me most to overcome the problems and adapt fast to the new life-style in Austria? The answer is very simple – good friends, colleagues, professors and their understanding and support. Knowing that my family is ready to help me every time even with just one encouraging word from many kilometers away was very important to me, as well. So this is how the journey of my life begun.

Guiseppe Verdi Walk of Fame
At Guiseppe Verdi’s star on Vienna’s Walk of Fame

Developing my skills at an international level

Luckily for me again, the profession of musicians is linked with lots of travels around the world.

Venice, Italy
Bozhana in a neat little alley in Venice, Italy

As a student at the MDW, I received a grant, which financed my trips to international competitions, master classes and festivals in Europe. I had the opportunity to visit Italy, Germany, Montenegro, Croatia, The Czech Republic, Albania, Slovakia and other countries.

Beach in Croatia
At the beach in Omis, Croatia

Becoming positive feedbacks and prizes at renowned cultural forums kept me even more motivated to continue my career and pursue my goal to travel, play beautiful music and be a performer. The success at these festivals led to another chapter in my live – performing as a concert guitarist.

Tirana, Albania
The skyline of Albania’s capital Tirana

I got invitations for performing and giving master classes at some festivals and one of the most interesting and inspiring invitations came from a very exotic and unknown part of the world for me to that moment: incredible China.

How a Bulgarian living in Austria was playing in China – or how to cross the world with a guitar

One of the most memorable adventures for me up to now is the concert tour with Guitar Duo Artistic in China in September 2014. One month together with my colleague Aleksandar Visokomogilski we were traveling and performing in some of the most stunning theatre halls we have ever seen.

Guitar Duo Artistic
Bozhana with her Chinese guide Siqi Xiao and her guitarist partner Aleksandar Visokomogilski

After landing in Beijing we had a couple of days for a rest. However, we hardly got used to the new atmosphere of rushing people, thousands of cars and trucks, enormous buildings and avenues, grills and food directly on the streets, people pointing and smiling at us and taking photos of their kids with us. It was a big surprise to discover that the main attraction at the Zoo of Beijing and Panda House was exactly me, because of my European complexion 🙂

Zhengzhou, China
Performing in Zhengzhou, China

After these first impressions in the capital we took off to the next city Hohhot. We were playing for the first time in front of such a numerous audience (around 500 seats). The experience was amazing and we were eager to play the next concert. Anxiety and stress disappeared at the moment we saw so many faces, expressing thankfulness and admiration to our music. How unforgettable moments!

Afterwards our friendly Chinese guide Siqi Xiao and her team have organized concerts in 12 more cities. Some of them were Taiyuan with its amazing food, Zhengzhou, which lies on the southern bank of the beautiful Yellow River, Chongqing with all its colors and contradictions and a population of more than 30 million people in the whole municipality, Hefei and its futuristic theatre hall, where we were honored to perform, Qingdao, lying across the Shandong Peninsula and looking out to the Yellow Sea.

Changshu, China
Visiting the city of Changshu, China

So many nice memories and emotions… And all of this could happen thanks to the magic of music, which spreads around the world and conquers every heart! I cannot be more thankful, that I had the opportunity to touch this magic, to be surrounded by it every day, to be under its influence and to be able to reveal it to others, playing the guitar.

What comes next?

Filled with energy and inspiration I cannot wait to travel abroad again. What is more, my next journey has already been planned. On 30th of November I am flying to my home country to become a part of Pleven Guitar Festival 2016. This is an international festival and competition for young guitarists, which program is very interesting and various.

Pleven Guitar Festival
Flyer of Pleven Guitar Festival 2016

As a winner of the past edition in 2015, I will have the opportunity play at the opening ceremony of this year’s festival. Then we continue with the competition, where I will be a part of the jury for the junior groups.

Moreover, there will be a guitar exhibition, where luthiers from different countries will present their instruments to the guitarists and listeners. It is an undescribable feeling to travel and live abroad and then come home again where I came from, meet old friends and make new ones, share my experience and learn from others, exchange new ideas and go back to my roots.

Pleven Guitar Festival
Performing at Pleven Guitar Festival in 2015

 

Watch a video recording of mdw’s International Guitar Festival Vienna in the media centre:

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