Austrian Music Weeks 2021 in Bulgaria

The 9th of May not only signifies the day of victory in the Balkan states but also – in the 2021 – the 25th anniversary of the “Austrian Music Weeks” in Bulgaria. David Holzinger was invited by the festival, the Autrian embassy and the Elias Canetti Society, to perform Beethovens 9th symphony with the chorus and orchestra of the State Opera Ruse for this occasion.

25 years ago, the pianist Maria Tschervenlieva initiated concerts with Austrian repertoire in the Plovdiv. In the following year 1997 further concerts in the Bulgarias capital Sofia followed. Due to the growing interest of the public, more concerts with renowned Austrian artists collaborating with Bulgarian orchestras and ensembles were organized. Since the year 2006 the festival is known as the “Austrian Music Weeks” in Bulgaria and is at the same time the largest cultural project funded by the Austrian foreign ministry.

9th of May 2021 at the Concert Hall in Ruse

L. v. Beethoven – Symphony No. 9 in d-Minor

Soprano – Tsvetelina Vasileva

Alto – Petya Tsoneva

Tenor – Boris Lukov

Bass – Plamen Beykov

Chorus and Orchestra of the State Opera Ruse

Conductor – David Holzinger

Chorus leader – Stiliana Dimitrova-Hernani

“Hansel and Gretel” 2020

The director of the +PlusOpera Vienna Sylvia, Saavedra-Edelmann, completed the team of her opera studio with renowned stage director Leonard Prinsloo and David Holzinger in order to stage the performance of “Hansel and Gretel” by Engelbert Humperdinck in a chamber version, realized on the piano by the pianists Mariam Bombrun and Uliana Cheklina on November 9, 2020. The studio offers young talents and voice students a platform to grow their on- and off-stage experience in opera performance. However, due to the Covid-19 restrictions it was not possible to perform at the Off-Theater Wien publicly. But the efforts should not have been in vain. Filmdirector Flo Convey and his team recorded the “ghost-performance”.

The Otto Edelmann Society is now providing the link to the video recording and asks for a small contribution, in order to support the opera studio throughout these difficult times and offer music and culture to its audience.

State Opera Ruse 2020

In September 2020 David Holzinger was invited by the State Opera Ruse, Bulgaria, to conduct the rehearsals to the opera production “Gianni Schicchi” by Giacomo Puccini. He was scheduled to conduct a performance on November 27, which had to be postponed due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Director: Mihaela Panainte

Sets and Costumes: Mihai Panaintesku

Conductor: Dimitar Kosev / David Holzinger


Gianni Schicchi: Dobromir Momekov

Lauretta: Daniela Karaivanova

Gherardo: Ivan Penchev

Gherardino: Zhana Zheleva und Emil Tchokurski

Zita: Andreana Nikolova

Nella: Teodora Tchukurska

Simone: Momchil Milanov

Ser Amantio di Nicolao: Emil Zhelev

Rinuccio: Alexander Baranov

Betto: Vladimir Marinov

La Ciesca: Petya Zoneva

Guccio: Stiliyan Tzvetkov

Maestro Spinelloccio: Stoyan Stoyandzhov

Marco: Teodor Petkov

Pinellino: Ivan Bogoev

Coping with SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic in 2020

In late fall 2019, common interests led to an beneficial artistic collaboration of the voice teacher and founder of the +PlusOpera Studio Vienna Sylvia Saavedra-Edelmann and David Holzinger.

During the crisis, which led many performing artists to the edge of their existence, the team found ways and possibilities to keep the opera studio and the voice coaching up and running.

They started a video production service for all voice students. A conducting David Holzinger was filmed, performing the pre-ordered arias. Later the music was added to the video by the pianist Uliana Cheklina, a collaborative pianist of the team of the +Plus Opera Studio.

That way, students were presented with audiovisual material they could use for their coaching, instead of heaving to consult audio media only.

Planned concerts for the 2020 season and guest appearences with the INSO Ukraine in February and the Sichuan Symphony Orchestra Chengdu in April, among others, had to be postponed because of the measures taken by states in order to fight the pandemic.

Artistic Director 2019/20

In spring 2019, David Holzinger joined the “Beethoven plus Festival” as its artistic project director in Bad Aussee, Styria. The success of the Beethoven Chorus Fantasy, featuring the renowned soloist Ariane Haering under the direction of David Holzinger at the Congress Hall in Bad Aussee led to the artistic connection of the conductor and chairman of the organization “Musikfreunde Inneres Salzkammergut”, Karolos Trikolidis.

As a former scholar of Hans Swarowsky, Tangelwood-Fellow, winner of numerous competitons, winner of the renowned Besancon Conducting Competition – among others, and honorary prize holder of the “Goldenes Ehrenzeichens für Verdienste um die Republik Österreich”, Maestro Trikolidis commits himself tirelessly not only as a conductor but even more so as mentor and teacher to the authentic preservation of our musical heritage.

The artistic collaboration of these two conductors led to the organization of concerts at the “Beethoven plus” summer festival in the geografical middle of Austria with renowned artists such as:

L. v. Beethoven: Mass in C mit der Capella Savaria and the Schola Cantorum Vienna, June 8 2019, St. Paul’s Curch, Bad Aussee

L. v. Beethoven: “Fidelio” – featuring the soloists and orchestra of the Oper Burg Gars, July 9 2019, St. Paul’s Church, Bad Aussee

C. Saint-Saens: RequiemBrucknerchor Linz and the Sinfonietta Klagenfurt, November 2 2019, St. Paul’s Church, Bad Aussee