"RAYS OF ARDENZA" project at the NFC
contract No: ORG2021-32/2021     


Darina Dikova

Darina was born 23 July, 2000 in Sofia. In 2019, she graduated from the piano class of Maria Bogdanova in the Liubomir Pipkov National Music School as the top of the class. Supervised by Prof. Borislava Taneva, Darina is currently continuing her piano studies at the Prof. Pancho Vladigerov National Music Academy in Sofia. She also study organ, harpsichord and composition.
Darina has won multiple national and international competitions held in Bulgaria, Austria, the Czech Republic, Italy, Serbia, Greece and Finland.
She won the "Student of the Year" prize /first place/ in the "Arts" category for 2021, as well as an Award and scholarship for excellence in the field of art and culture from the National Culture Fund. She is a winner of the Third Prize in composition at the Ardenza Foundation competition for writing a piano trio inspired by Lazar Nikolov's "Intermezzo de tre". She has performed as soloist with the Sofia Sinfonietta Orchestra, the Classic FM Orchestra, the Sofia Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, the Razgrad Philharmonic Orchestra "Prof. Dimitar Nenov", the Pazardzhik Symphony Orchestra and the Shumen Symphony Orchestra. Darina also launched her solo concerts in Sofia, Burgas, Shumen, Bratislava and Brussels.
Darina has attended the master classes of Prof. Aleksander Hintchev, Prof. Yovcho Krushev, Prof. Chantal Stigliani, Prof. Luca Trabucco, Prof. Tomislav Baynov, Rada Chomakova, Prof. Antonio di Cristofano and Prof. Agathe Leimoni.
She has been writing poetry and prose since the age of 12.

Marek Fora

My name is Marek Fóra and I´m 20. I am from Považská Bystrica, Slovakia. I was studying piano playing and acting in my teenage years, later I attended Grammar School in Považská Bystrica. Currently I am studying composition and conducting at Conservatory in Bratislava with professor MMag. Konstantin Ilievsky. In 2022 I became a winner of Young Talent of Považská Bystrica (Music Category), in the same year I won the 3rd Prize at prestigious Slovak composition competition Konvergencie. Also I have won contest with my orchestral compostion in Austria that has been played in Haydn hall at 2.nd September this year. I have many musical activities including playing and composing. I am regularly writing music for selected Slovak theatres (for example Alexander Duchnovič Theatre in Prešov).

Michael Blazek

After graduating from high school (musical instrument making) I started studying music composition at the Bratislava Conservatory. In the meantime I was active in various musical directions, e.g. pop music, jazz or music for films and TV series. Only later, during my studies, I gradually began to deal exclusively with modern classical music. I graduated from the Conservatory in 2020 and since then I have continued my occasional private studies with the Bulgarian composer and conductor Konstantin Ilievsky, who currently works mainly in Slovakia and Austria. I am trying to establish myself internationally with my music. However, I have had the greatest success in Slovakia - for example, I was a finalist in the Konvergencie 2021 and 2022 Festival competitions, my composition is performed at the prestigious Melos-Ethos Festival of Modern Music, I was nominated for the ISCM World New Music Days 2021, and I have placed in several other competitions. I live in Vienna with my wife since 2018.

Petya Toncheva

Born in 1969 in the city of Burgas, Bulgaria. She graduated there at the music high school in the theory class, majoring in viola. Since then, she participated in a circle for children's musical creativity, and every year her compositions are performed at the annual school concerts.
As a next step she studied composition and music theory at the State Academy of Music - Sofia under Prof. Alexander Raychev and Prof. Alexander Tanev. At that time, she created the women's vocal jazz trio "Carmela", with whom they became soloists in the big band of Bulgarian Nation Radio - Sofia with participation in television and radio shows; jazz concerts; "Apolonia" music festival and other events.
Carmela has an active studio and concert activity. The repertoire of the trio includes classic jazz standards (according to her vocal arrangements) and original songs, where Petya created music, lyrics, and the music arrangements.
Since 1991, Petya has been a theater composer at the first private theater "Dialog". The music she wrote for theater productions is of the musical type and is always performed live.
In parallel, she was invited as a composer to the State Traveling Theater and as a vocal teacher to the "4 X C" theater studio. She wrote music for many theater plays, which are performed in many cities and venues in Bulgaria - NATFIZ "Krastyo Sarafov", Youth Theater - Sofia, Plovdiv, Variete - Gabrovo, Pleven, Kyustendil, Botevgrad, Montana, Pazardzhik, Yambol, Blagoevgrad, etc.
Petya Toncheva is an author of children's, theater, chamber and popular music, with awards from the song contests "Melody of the Year", "Silver Eros" - Plovdiv, "Golden Orpheus +" Sofia. She also participated as an author in the contests "Burgas and the Sea", "Golden Blackbird" and "Sweet- drinking Lark". She has been invited to several annual editions of the National Children's Book Festival - Sliven and wrote original music for the festival.
In March, 2020, the XXV National Competition for the performance of the Bulgarian musical work "Vrban Varbanov" was held in Burgas and Petya was invited to write the obligatory pieces for two instruments - for flute "Samodivsko horo" and for trumpet "Ti gonish!". In the same year, a solo author's concert with her chamber works took place.
She writes regularly plays for school-aged children, which are performed at competitions and in concert programs around the country - in Burgas, Pleven, Varna.
In 2021, she won second prize in the choir competition for a choral song "prof. Georgi Dimitrov" city of Varna. During the same year, she also did premiere performances with the participation of the Sofia Philharmonic - Sofia and "Sofia Soloists" - "Pa taka" for violin, piano and string orchestra .
In 2022, under the "Erasmus" program – she did premiere performance of "Little Music Box in D " for flute and string orchestra in Krakow, Poland. She also did concert of Klasik - art quartet - Sofia, including premiere performances of "Ragtime" and "In three, on four"
During the same year, she won third prize for writing a trio "Let the Birds Go",inspired by "Intermezzo per tre" by Lazar Nikolov. The contest is organized by the "Ardenza" Foundation.
She also won the Special Award from the Ninth International Composition Competition "Prof. Ivan Spasov" with the piano cycle "Undrawn tremors".
For 2023, there will be few premiere performances in the Chamber Hall "Bulgaria - Sofia" - "Tangled Tangles", "Too Personal", in the city of Gabrovo – some works for string orchestra - "Isn't this happiness?", and a performance by the Sliven Philharmonic.
Since 2011 till today, Toncheva also works at NUMSI "Prof. Pancho Vladigerov" - Burgas as a solfeggio teacher and conductor of the school's Youth Orchestra .