Avguste Antonov, pianist

Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in music?

I started music and piano studies at the age of 5, and until 15-16, I was doing it because that was what I was supposed to do…..What changed and inspired me to fully pursue a career in music is not one specific event, but multiple events over many years. In no specific order:

a) thanks to my parents who at the time were cellists in the Orchestre de Bordeaux, the opportunity to have private lessons/masterclasses with many concert pianists such as Gerhard Oppitz, Jean-Claude Pennetier and Gregory Sokolov to name a few

b) at 15-16 years of age, I went to a concert of Andre Watts who performed Rachmaninoff 2nd piano concerto with the Orchestre de Bordeaux and that performance did mark me

Who or what have been the most important influences on your musical life and career?

a) My mom and step-father who are both professional cellists and currently working in the United States.

b) My piano teachers from the Conservatoire de Bordeaux: Alain Motard, Jocelyn Degrave and especially Herve N’Kaoua

What have been the greatest challenges of your career so far?

Due to the specific repertoire I perform in recitals (American living composers) and the fact that I didn’t win any major competitions, the biggest challenge I have encountered and continue to encounter is getting my name out there, getting my name and the quality of my performances in front of presenters and orchestra directors.

Which performances/recordings are you most proud of?

A few years ago, I recorded my first CD of music by American living composers called “An American Journey” of which I am proud due to the specificity of the repertoire, but also because the recording was done after 2 concerts on the same day. And it was done in a 6 hours straight session.

The CD and individual tracks can be purchased at https://avgusteantonov.com/store

Which particular works do you think you perform best?

In solo recitals, I perform best modern works, specifically American living composers. In performances with orchestras, I believe I perform well all repertoire.

How do you make your repertoire choices from season to season?

My solo repertoire choice is made based on whether I like the music and especially on whether the repertoire has an easy to remember melody

Do you have a favourite concert venue to perform in and why?

No favorite concert venue. All venues are wonderful to perform in

What is your most memorable concert experience?

All of my concerts are memorable, but there are 3 events that top the list:

-performance of Carter Pann “Concerto Logic” with the San Jose State University Wind Symphony

-World and US premiere of Matthew Saunders Piano Concerto

-concert at the residence of the Bulgarian Ambassador in Washington DC

As a musician, what is your definition of success?

Sharing what I love with the audience

What do you consider to be the most important ideas and concepts to impart to aspiring musicians?

Besides the art of music, it is the art of performing, of stage presence.

Born in Bulgaria,  Avguste Antonov has studied piano performance in Bulgaria (Dobrich), France(Ecole Normale de Paris, Conservatoire de Bordeaux Jacques Thibaud) and the United States(University of Missouri-Kansas City, University of Kansas, Texas Christian University).

Pianist Avguste Antonov is a dedicated performer of 20th and 21st century American living composers, and has performed World and USA premieres at venues across North America. Over the years, he has worked with composers Carter Pann, Raina Murnak, Matthew Lewis, Till Meyn, Matthew Saunders, Robert Rollin, William Vollinger and others. 

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