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Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra

Nayden Todorov, principal conductor
Derek Gleeson, principal guest conductor
Brendan Shea, violin

Founded in 1892 as Guards Symphony Orchestra, since 1945 the Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra has been the national orchestra of Bulgaria, one of the leading cultural institutions representative of the overall contemporary musical culture of the country.

The repertoire of the Sofia Philharmonic comprises works from classical to contemporary opuses, including premiere performances of numerous works by Bulgarian composers. The orchestra has garnered substantial recognition all over the world. It has performed with great success in major musical centers across Europe, Asia, and North America and has received great acclaim from the most demanding of audiences.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Overture to Don Giovanni, K 527
W. A. Mozart: Violin Concerto no. 3
W. A. Mozart: Symphony No. 41 in C Major, K 551 (The Jupiter)

Brendan Shea is an internationally recognized soloist, chamber musician, and teacher. He began his studies at the age of 3 in Brussels, Belgium. He attended the Beijing Conservatory, studying with Zhao Wei, between the ages of 5 and 8. He made his debut with orchestra at the age of 11 in Washington, DC, playing the Paganini Concerto No. 1 in D Major. He also performed Sarasate’s Carmen Fantasy the same year in Carnegie Hall. He has since performed with orchestras in Brussels, Sendai, Indianapolis, South Bend, Seattle, and Boise. His award winning duo, The Shea-Kim Duo, tours internationally and performs recitals in Asia, Europe and North America. Their awards include the Ackerman Chamber Music Award and Gold Medal at the Manhattan International Music Competition. Their third CD, All Roads, was released by Blue Griffin Records in the fall of 2023, and has been reviewed favorably by Strings Magazine, Gramophone, The BBC, and others. Their previous CD, The Sound and the Fury, also released by Blue Griffin, was also favorably reviewed by numerous international publications.

Brendan is also an active chamber musician, performing and teaching at Encore Chamber Music Institute in Cleveland and Zephyr Chamber Music in Courmayeur, Italy. He has performed at festivals across the United States and Europe as an artist faculty, including the Anchorage Chamber Music Festival, Annapolis Chamber Music, Harborfront Chamber Music, Evergreen Chamber Music, and others. He premiered Frederic Rzewski’s Night, Death, and Devil with the Emmy Award winning 8th Blackbird. He has been a finalist and semi-finalist at the Queen Elisabeth, Isang-Yun, Seoul, Sibelius, and Carl Nielsen, and has taken first place with Honors at the Glazunov International Competition in Paris. His quartet chamber music awards were won when he played with the Wasmuth Quartet (Now Verona) and include the Bronze Medal at the Osaka International Chamber Music Competition, Gold Medal and Audience Award at the Chesapeake International Chamber Music Competition, Silver at the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, and Grand Prize at the Coleman Chamber Music Competition. He was also a violinist in the award winning Euclid Quartet and was in residence at Indiana University, South Bend, and visiting faculty at the University of Notre Dame.

Brendan Shea currently serves as concertmaster of the Boise Philharmonic and is an Artist-in-Resident at the College of Idaho with the Langroise Trio. He resides in Ellensburg, Washington. He currently performs on a violin made for him by Samuel Zygmuntowicz, and a bow by Delphine Petitjean.

If you can, show your love for the arts by purchasing an "Advocate" ticket; the additional ticket cost directly benefits Krannert Center.

Endowed Underwriters

  • Clair Mae & G. William Arends
  • Avis & Dean Hilfinger
  • Carole & Jerry Ringer

Patron Underwriters

  • Carol & Willis Colburn

Patron Sponsors

  • Judith & Richard Kaplan
  • Cynthia Swanson

Patron Co-sponsors

  • Sherry & Nelson Beck
  • Anne Mischakoff Heiles & William Heiles
  • Peggy & Christopher Huson
  • Ann & Stephen Long
  • Stephen Sligar & Mary Schuler
  • Karen & William Wilkinson

With deep gratitude, Krannert Center thanks all Patron Sponsors and Corporate and Community Sponsors.

If you believe in the life-affirming experiences that Krannert Center and the performing arts at Illinois make possible, please make a gift: advancement@krannertcenter.illinois.edu, KrannertCenter.com/Give, or faa.illinois.edu/giving.

Event Details

Foellinger Great Hall
Sa Mar 02, 2024 - 7:30pm CT
Advocate 70 / Standard 38 / SC 33 / STU 15 / UI & YTH 10 Choral Balcony: 15 / UI & YTH 10