Pianist and musicologist, organist
Yanko Marinov was born in 1975 in the town of Bourgas, Bulgaria in a family of musicians. He completed his Secondary education (in the piano class of Vanya Popova) with honors at the School of Music, Bourgas. He studied organ with Prof. N. Krysteva, and piano in the classes of Prof. Stela Dimitrova and Margarita Krasteva. As a pianist he won the First Prize at “Dimitar Nenov” National Piano Competition, 1991; First Prizes at the festivals of Bulgarian works, 1989; Second Prize at “Svetoslav Obretenov” National Competition etc. As an organ player, he was a prizewinner of the “Shore of Hope” Festival, Dobritch. He had an integral performance of toccatas by Bach and Buxtehude (1997), and recitals with works by M. Reger, as well as various participations in mixed concert programs.
In 1997, 1998, 1999, 2002 and 2005 Yanko Marinov participated in Jean Guillou’s Masterclasses in Zürich. In October 1997 he attended the Organ Festival held in Athens’ “Megaron” Hall, where he took part in the masterclasses of J. Geffert, N. Hakim, B. Drage and N. Kynaston. During the festival he had a concert at the Anglican Church in Athens.
On the recommendation of Prof. Elena Toncheva (Herder Prize winner), in 1999 he was awarded the Herder scholarship. In the period 1999-2000 he did a specialization in Greek Palaeography at the University of Vienna (Prof. Dr. Ernst Gamillscheg and Prof. Dr. Otto Kresten) and studied Byzantine notations with Prof. Gerda Wolfram. In parallel he studied organ in the class of Prof. Dr. Rudolf Scholz and Maria Bajdanova. Within the frameworks of the Handel Academy in Karlsruhe (2002) he participated in the harpsichord master class of Robert Hill and baroque concerts with the orchestra of the Academy as well as in the premiere of R. Kaiser’s operas.
In May 2002 he took part in a special concert dedicated to the visit of His Holiness, Pope John Paul II in Bulgaria. Since then he has been organist of the Catholic Church “St. Joseph”, Sofia, where he is also leading a choir and a course on Western and Byzantine medieval music notations.
Founder of the early music consort Concerto antico (2001-), he gives numerous successful concerts in Bulgaria, both with Concerto antico and Saltarello ensemble. Together with Concerto antico he participated in some of the most prestigious international festivals of early music: Festival de Música Antigua, Barcelona, Spain (2007, 2008); Festival Oude muziek, Utrecht, Netherlands (2008, 2009) and Sofia Baroque Arts Festival (2007-2010). He led the project “Music of the Spheres”, funded by the Culture 2010 Program of the Sofia Municipality.
In April 2015, together with Concerto antico, he participated in the “Renaissance and Baroque Singing” Master Class and concerts of the Grande Dame of the art of early singing Emma Kirkby in Rome. In the final concert at the church Santi Dodici Apostoli they presented works by Leonel Power, Josquin des Pres, Claudio Monteverdi and Sigismondo d’India.
In 2015 he was distinguished with the annual prize of the Bulgarian National Radio Musician of the Year 2014 in the category of artistic activity. With the financial support of the Cultural Program for the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2018 of the Bulgarian National Culture Fund he realized the project “Ab Oriente Lux – Music of the Christian World”.
Currently Yanko Marinov is the organist of the Catholic Church “St. Joseph” in Sofia and is going to defend his doctoral thesis at the Institute of Art Studies, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, in the field of medieval music and Greek palaeography. He has a leading role in projects dedicated to digitizing and studying musical manuscripts and is the author of numerous scientific publications. He has participated in a number of projects of digitizing and study of musical manuscripts and made numerous musicological studies. He has released recordings for the Bulgarian National Radio and Bulgarian National Television. His repertoire includes the complete organ works of Max Reger, Fr. Liszt, J. S. Bach, D. Buxtehude as well as many other works by Baroque masters, composers of the Romantic and contemporary period. He has performed in Austria, Germany, Slovakia, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Greece, Poland, Cyprus, Ukraine, France and other countries.