In Varna Summer International Music Festival, one of the earliest festivals in Europe, the language of music and spirituality carry the message of love and harmony between people


In 2024, two years before the 100-year anniversary of Varna Summer International Music Festival, an extraordinary music project will officially launch the festival programme on 22 June. The opening concert will present a special multinational project with the participation of the pianist Sarkis Baltaian and Varna Symphony Orchestra. The event will be attended by representatives of the diplomatic missions in Bulgaria and it will celebrate the end of Belgian presidency of the Council of the EU. A special new music piece composed by the Belgium composer Patrick Dheur, will be premiered on stage. The soloist, Sarkis Baltaian, has gained an international reputation as a concert pianist, chamber musician, recording artist and pedagogue. He has been praised by critics for his “beautiful tone and ability to project even the most delicate pianissimos” and compared to George Gershwin and Oscar Levant for his performance of Gershwin’s Concerto in F. Dr. Baltaian made his Carnegie Hall Debut in 1999 and has performed extensively both as recitalist and concerto soloist with major orchestras throughout the United States, Europe, Asia and Australia.

The unique Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orchestra, conducted by the famous flutist Philippe Bernold, will perform on the stage of the festival on 26 June 2023.

Das Kammerorchester des Symphonieorchesters des Bayerischen Rundfunks (Künstlerischer Leiter Radoslaw Szulc) will be part of the festival programme with a concert on 29 June in the Festival and Congress Centre - Varna. A workshop and masterclasses with distinguished students will follow after the concert.

The International Symposium in the programme of the festival already had 5 successful editions under the topics: Music of Spain, French Modernism, German Romanticism, Beethoven’s 250th Anniversary and Virtuosity from Baroque to the 21st Century. The next 2024 edition of the Symposium will take place from 8 to 11 September under the topic "MUSIC ALONG DANUBE RIVER'' with the participation of renowned scholars and composers. The programme will present music of Danube countries - Austria, Bulgaria, Germany, Moldova, Romania, Slovakia, Serbia, Hungary, Ukraine. The symposium includes scientific sessions, discussions and concerts. Renowned European academic lecturers and young Bulgarian scientists will present their studies on the fascinating topic of MUSIC ALONG DANUBE. Talented musicians will participate in the concert programme of the Symposium to present great examples of music from Danube countries, among them Peter Somodari, Dora Delijska, Lia Petrova, Stefania Yankova, Milko Milkov, Josef Horvath, Stefan Milenkovic, Rudolph Leopold and others.

The Baroque module from 12 to 15 September will present selected examples of Baroque music in four concerts ranging from Italian to Orthodox music.

The festival programme will be varied by original stage settings of famous ballet and opera performances and premiers on the picturesque stage of Varna Open-air Theatre.

The chamber concerts at the Varna City Art Gallery enjoy great interest from the public, among them will be the concert of Stradivari Sextet.

The Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra will close the festival programme with a concert on 6 October.

Varna Summer International Music Festival will celebrate its 100 anniversary in 2026 and the management team set a priority of the highest level artistic programme of the festival to underline its role for the cultural appearance of Varna and the European dimension of the programme. Varna Summer International Music Festival is the oldest festival in Bulgaria. It is a classical music forum, but in recent years it is turning to the young audience. A mission and a strong priority in recent years is the inclusion of young performers and the development of young audiences through special programme modules like the International Summer Academy and the Alternative Scenes module. The Artistic Director of the Festival is Maestro Mario Hossen.

The Festival has multi-genre character and includes the following modules: Core Programme – symphony and chamber music, International Summer Music Academy, Music Lab – Varna, Renaissance and Baroque Music, Opera and Ballet, Crossover, Intermezzo – in partnership with the “Varna Summer” International Theater Festival, International Symposium, Alternative Scenes, “Varna Summer for Kids” - series of educational concerts, Parallel Programme – exhibitions, films, conferences and others.

More information:


Artistic Director

Prof. Dr. Mario Hossen

Artistic Secretary

Plamena Tsoneva


T: 00359 888 630 092
Osmi Primorski Polk, Blvd. 43,
9000 Varna

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