Maria Chirokolyiska
Maria Chirokolyiska was born in 1975 in Plovdiv (Bulgaria). She owes her first encounter with music to her grand father, a painter and passionate music lover. At age 4, her uncle gives a hand made guitar, “to calm this young and energetic child and bring piece to the household!”.
After being noticed for her musical talents, she enters a local special school for young musicians at age 9 and faces a dilemna: there are no guitare teachers and needs to choose between the oboe and the doublebass. Her pragmatic mother chooses the later, arguing that it is close enough to the guitare, her chronical bronchitis access wouldn’t be good for a wind instrument and above all, there would be no need to transport the instrument home to study… Maria takes up the piano at the same time. It is at age 19 that she enters the National Music Academy of Sofia and studies with N.Nikolov. She graduates in 1999 with Superior Diploma and then enters the postgraduate course.
After an audition for the Schleswig-Holstein’s Festival, the manager encourages her to study abroad. She is awarded the Deutsche Akademische Austauschdienst (grant) and enters G.Klaus class at the Frankfort’s Hochschule, regardless of her French bow hold!
She gets her Master of Arts in 2001 followed by her Concert Diploma in 2004.
While studying, she gets a lot of orchestra experience with Philharmonie der Nationen, Philharmonica Hungarica, Klassiche Philharmonie Bonn, Köln Ensemble and the Frankfurter Sinfonietta. She gets a position a the Frunkort National Opera in 2001. The same year she is also appointed co-assistant leader at the Monte-Carlo Philharmonic (Marek Janowski).
In 2003, she is awarded a 1st Prize and a special Jury Prize and the renown G. Bottesini International competition. She was the 1st woman ever to win this competition.
This will bring her international fame. In 2007, she is appointed concertmistress of the l’Orchestre National de France, thus becoming the 1st woman to lead this prestigious orchestra, created in 1934. After having lived in the eastern block, known the two Germany and the fall of the Berlin wall, she fulfills her dream of playing under the baton of the legendary Kurt Masur. She will then play with conductors such as R.Muti, D.Gatti, Sir C.Davis, D.Zinman, S.Ozawa ou Sir J.E. Gardiner…
Beside her orchestral career she is regularly invited to play with ensembles such as Luzerner Sinfonieorchester, Royal Flemish Orchestra, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, European Camerata, Les Dissonances…
She also loves chamber music and often performs in Radio France Concerts, the Opéra-Comique,
séries de l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, the Festival de l’Emperi, Centquatre, Salle Gaveau, Cité de la Musique, Musée du Louvre…
She is very eclectic and also records sound tracks, performs and tours with pop-stars.
But above all her a diverse and rich musical adventures, she admits having a soft nostalgia of the days she used to proudly play beside her grand father, in her very first orchestra…