Lyubomir Denev Jr, son of the Bulgarian jazz pianist and composer with the same name, was born in Sofia in 1988. Since 2010, Denev has been the principal conductor of the Pioneer Youth Philharmonic, the oldest European youth orchestra, with which he has performed at festivals and halls throughout Europe and Bulgaria, including the Young Euro Classic at Konzerthaus Berlin in 2016, Vienna’s Musikverein, MuTh, and Minoritenkriche in 2022 and 2023, as well as concert halls in Hungary, Serbia, Turkey, Greece, and Bulgaria. Under his direction, the orchestra has won several national awards. In the beginning of 2023, Denev became the new principal conductor of the Shumen State Symphony.
In 2014, Denev co-founded the Four For Music company with George Strezov, Boris Radilov, and George Elenkov. He was the principal conductor of the company’s Sofia Session Orchestra and Choir from 2012 until 2019 (the orchestra started its history before the company’s foundation).
Denev won third prize at the Los Angeles Conducting Competition in 2019 and received the Stefan Linev prize for young Bulgarian conductor in 2021. Denev Jr started his career at the age of 21 after being spotted during the last tour of the Blue Danube Opera Conducting Competition in 2011. He was invited as a guest conductor with the Rousse State Opera House for Verdi’s “La Traviata” and was invited right after that for “The Elixir of Love” by Donizetti.
Lyubomir Denev has also been a guest conductor with the Sofia Philharmonic, the Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir, the Big Band of the Bulgarian National Radio, the Vratsa Symphony, the Pazardzik Symphony, the Burgas State Opera House, the New Symphony Orchestra, Vienna’s Schola Cantorum Choir, Vienna’s Mariahilf Choir, and many others.
As a composer, Denev is the author of concert music, film music, and numerous orchestrations and arrangements. Since 2020, Lyubomir Denev has been orchestrating for the London Musical Theatre Orchestra. His music has been performed at Miami University, and his orchestrations for American singer Charleene Closshey were featured on the Christmas Eve broadcast on FOX television in the USA in 2019. The Sofia Philharmonic performs his music at the French Cathedral in Berlin in 2019. Other orchestras that record and perform music by Lyubomir Denev include the Symphony Orchestra of the Bulgarian National Radio, the Big Band of the Bulgarian National Radio, the Cyprus Symphony Orchestra, the orchestra of the Sorbonne in Paris, and the Sofia Session Orchestra for FPM Music UK, among others.
Denev started playing the piano at the age of 5. He graduated from the National School of Music in Sofia with the piano under the direction of the world-famous pianist Ivan Drenikov (Arturo Michelangeli’s student). He studied conducting with Deyan Pavlov (Karl Osterreicher’s student), Prof. Colin Metters, Neil Thomson, Dr. Scott Wiss, Jin Wang, Martin Akerwall, and Plamen Djourov. Denev graduated with a Master’s degree in Opera-Symphony Conducting from the National Academy of Music in Sofia and earned his doctoral degree in 2017 with the theme – Conductorial Problems in the Recording Session of the Symphony Orchestra. He also studied orchestration with one of Bulgaria’s most prominent composer, Alexander Tekeliev. Lyubomir Denev has worked with many soloists, including Svetlin Roussev, Emanuil Ivanov, Sava Stoyanov, Lisa Gerrard, Juan Garcia Herreros, Kaludi Kaludov, and Mariana Tsvetkova.