The famous Italian composer, conductor, critic and pedagogue Ildebrando Pizzetti (1880-1968) is almost unknown in Bulgaria. He worked as a conductor in Parma, Florence and was Director of the Milan Conservatoire and teacher in composition at the St. Cecilia Academy in Rome. He was also a music critic for leading newspapers and wrote essays for various specialised books and magazines. Parallel to that he wrote a number of works in different genres - operas, ballets, oratorios, symphonies, a wide range of chamber music, choral music and film music. The compositions included in the present programme of Seeli Toivio and Ivo Varbanov were written during the 1920s. This release is the world premiere of both these works.
Seeli Toivio was born in Finland. She studied in Helsinki, Budapest and London with well-known teachers. She has taken part in masterclasses with Gary Hoffmann, William Pleeth, Steven Isserlis, Steven Doane, Zara Nelsova, and Ralph Kirshbaum. She won 1st prize in BBC Radio 2 Young Musician of the Year 1997, and 1st place with a special prize in duo with Ivo Varbanov at the 25th International Chamber Music Competition - Finale Ligure (Italy), in 1998. During 2003-2004 she was invited to perform in Russia, Japan, Germany, Estonia, and Finland.
Ivo Varbanov was born in Bulgaria and studied in Milan and London with Ylonka Deckers, Sulamita Aronowsky, Frank Wibaut and Dennis Lee. He has participated in masterclasses with Lev Naumov, Alexander Lonquich, Barry Douglas, Jean-Bernard Pommier, and Peter Katin. He was winner of 1st place, and a special prize in cello/piano duo with the cellist Seeli Toivio at the 25th International Chamber Music Competition Finale Ligure (Italy) in 1998. Mr. Varbanov has travelled widely, playing concertos and giving recitals and chamber music concerts in Bulgaria, Italy, the UK, France, Ireland, Germany, Holland, Poland, Russia, and the USA. His first CD of piano works by Mussorgsky was also released by Gega New.
ILDEBRANDO PIZZETTI · WORLD PREMIERES
Sonata in Fa for cello and piano (1921)
 Largo 15'18''
 Molto concitato e angosciosso 11'16''
 Largo 9'52''
Tre canti for cello and piano (1924)
 Affettuoso 7'37''
 Quasi grave e commosso 4'09''
 Appassionato 6'26''
Seeli Toivio, cello
Ivo Varbanov, piano