The Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra has long established itself as one of the leading institutions in Bulgaria’s musical life, representative of the overall contemporary musical culture of the country. The orchestra’s high artistic achievement is associated with prominent figures, such as Sasha Popov, Konstantin Iliev, Dobrin Petkov, Vassil Stefanov, Vladi Simeonov, Vassil Kazandjiev, Dimitar Manolov, Emil Tabakov, Julian Kovatchev and Nayden Todorov. Unforgettable in the chronicle of the Philharmonic are the collaborations with conductors Bruno Walter, Hermann Abendroth, Kurt Masur, Gennady Rozhdestvensky, Valery Gergiev, Yuri Simonov, Yuri Temirkanov, Igor Markevitch, Carlo Zecchi, Karl Österreichher, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Neville Marriner, Charles Dutoit, Marin Alsop, Frédéric Chaslin, Gianluigi Gelmetti and others. Soloists who have performed with the orchestra include David Oistrakh, Sviatoslav Richter, Emil Gilels, Alexis Weissenberg, Dmitri Shostakovich, Mstislav Rostropovich, Vladimir Spivakov, Ruggiero Ricci, Ghena Dimitrova, Jose Carreras, Julian Rachlin, Placido Domingo, Sarah Chang, Thomas Hampson, Yuri Bashmet, Tabea Zimmermann, Elena Bashkirova, Alexandrina Pendatchanska, Sonya Yoncheva, Patricia Kopatchinskaja, Maxim Vengerov, Svetlin Rоussev, Angela Gheorghiu, Vadim Repin, Paul Badura-Skoda, Joshua Bell, Dmitri Ratser, Elīna Garanča, Sharon Kam, Ivo Pogorelić, Martha Argerich, Viktoria Mullova, Mischa Maisky, Shlomo Mintz, Gidon Kremer and many more world-renowned artists.
The repertoire of the Philharmonic comprises works from the entire historically available range of music—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 guest-performed with great success in the major musical centers across Europe (Austria, Belgium, Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, Luxembourg, Netherland, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovenia, Turkey, France, Croatia and Switzerland), Asia (China, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Japan) and North America, and it has received frenetic acclaim even from the most demanding of audiences. The Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra has been awarded many prestigious accolades, including Musician of the Year, the Golden Lyre, Golden Stave, Golden Quill, Crystal Lyre, the Honorary Sign of Sofia and the Honorary Sign of the President of Bulgaria.
Maestro Nayden Todorov has been the general director of the Sofia Philharmonic since 2017.