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Toronto, ON, Canada
B. Mus., M. Mus., PhD
classical, improvisation, soundtrack
Dimitar Pentchev is a concert pianist, composer, and interdisciplinary artist currently living and working in Toronto, Canada. Ever since he gave his first solo recital at the age of 12, he has performed more than 30 recital programs in his native Bulgaria, Greece, Czech Republic, UK, USA, and Canada. His performances and music have been recorded at the Bulgarian National Radio, Bulgarian National Television, BBC, and Voice of America.
In 2007 his score for the legendary silent film “Pandora’s Box”, starring Louise Brooks and directed by G.W. Pabst was included in the 2-DVD luxury edition of the movie by Criterion Collection (New York). Barry Paris, the biographer of Louise Brooks called it “the definitive score for Pandora’s Box”. The soundtrack received rave reviews from critics and continues to be in circulation many years later.
Dimitar proudly acknowledges his pianistic heritage as a student of the Bulgarian Piano School. His teachers include Anton Dikov, a student of Artur Rubinstein, Nadia Boulanger, and Robert Casadesus; Julia Girginova, a student of Lev Oborin; Carol Leone, a pupil of Mieczysław Horszowski, and Alfred Mouledous, a student of Walter Gieseking.
Dimitar Pentchev loves boundary states as a composer. The moment of the story when everything comes to focus, The Reveal. In all of his music, instruments and voices are treated as characters, who interact with each other, pushed and pulled by cooperation, conflict, or a higher purpose, sometimes obscure even to myself, the accidental creator. He likes to explore extremes in texture and emotion. The boundary between formally composed conceived and carried to term music and the improvised, the performer's whim, input, collaboration.
Dimitar’s unique background as a combination of classically trained pianist and composer, photographer, poet, and radio journalist, has naturally led him to explore the possibilities of language beyond its surface meaning. Language as music, the sound of the human voice as an instrument, as raw material for composing and sound design. For the last 8 years, he has dived deeper into free improvisation, not only as a musician but as a visual artist through video and photography. Experimenting with melting different art forms together has been deeply satisfying in each project along the way. His 60-minute multimedia piece Gleams, for live piano, electronics, two actors, a dancer, and video improvisation was Dimitar’s first big successful attempt at balancing creative elements resulting in a coherent idea and realization. Other recent projects have involved multimedia improvisations, collaboration at Coexisdance and Audiopollination events in Toronto, Canada, and his collaborations with Ixchel Suarez as part of Soundweavers Collective. The first big project, The Sound of Threads (2019), explored ideas of memory, identity, forgetfulness, childhood, dementia, relentless change of seasons, and storytelling.
Dimitar is currently working on “Departure Points”, an album of 12 newly composed pieces for piano based on iconic works from the classical piano repertoire, which he prepares to tour in Canada and all over the world. “Without Us”, a multimedia 60-minute piece on the theme of Humanity’s extinction, climate change, and pollution, and “M. On The Earth With Child” - an opera on the subject of assisted suicide.
Departure Points: Dimitar Pentchev
J. S. Bach Prelude in A Minor No. 20, Well-Tempered Clavier II, BWV 889 | Piano Improvisation
Beethoven Recital - Sviatoslav Richter - (Moscow, 1976)
Premiere Performances of Hong Kong
Gabriela Montero improvises with the audience (Hong Kong Debut)
Brad Mehldau - After Bach (Live at Philharmonie de Paris), Part 1
Michel van der Aa
Michel van der Aa - Up-close (Official Video)