Vassilena Serafimova is a percussionist. After graduating from her father’s percussion class in Bulgaria, she trained at the CNSMD in Paris and at the Juilliard School in New York. Between 2003 and 2010, she won several international prizes, among them 1st prize at the World International Marimba Competition in Stuttgart and 2nd prize at the ARD International Music Competition in Munich.
In 2014, she made her debut at the Carnegie Hall in New York. A year later, with the jazz pianist Thomas Enhco, she was the first marimba player in history to perform at the French awards ceremony Victoires de la Musique Classique. In 2016, the duo recorded their first album, Funambules, for Deutsche Grammophon.
Vassilena has performed as a soloist and chamber musician at numerous festivals and has recorded for Radio France, Bayerischer Rundfunk and Bulgarian National Radio. She has performed at the Carnegie Hall and Alice Tully Hall in New York, at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées, Théâtre du Châtelet and Salle Pleyel in Paris. She is an Adams Musical Instruments and a Zildjian artist, and has created her own mallet series with Vibrawell.
In the present recording, the Laterna Magica ensemble extends the intentions of one of the greatest Italian opera composers by offering previously unpublished arrangements of famous Handel arias reworked for two recorders and basso continuo. Even more than Bach, Handel drew his inspiration from the repertoire, unscrupulously plagiarising themes or entire passages without making major changes, with the aim of giving new life to the original, integrating it perfectly under a new garb, without stylistic hiatus.
DSCH – Shostakovich Ensemble
The DSCH – Shostakovich Ensemble is a chamber music project based in Lisbon since its creation by the pianist Filipe Pinto-Ribeiro in 2006, the centennial year of the birth of the composer Dmitri Shostakovich, to whom the ensemble owes its name, using his famous musical signature DSCH. A mixed-format chamber ensemble, the Shostakovich Ensemble constitutes a platform for the meeting and interaction of excellent musicians. The vast repertory of the Shostakovich Ensemble includes works by composers from various periods and musical styles, from Bach to Schumann, from Mozart to Messiaen, from Brahms to Ravel, from Beethoven to Dvořák, including Portuguese composers, and contemporaries such as Sofia Gubaidulina, with whom the Ensemble has established a close collaboration. Since its debut in 2006, the Shostakovich Ensemble presents its concert season in Portugal and became Ensemble in Residence at the Belém Cultural Center in Lisbon in 2008. It has performed in several countries, such as Spain, France, Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Sweden or Russia, obtaining a great receptivity of the public and excellent reviews of the musical critic. Throughout its existence, it has had the participation of musicians such as Corey Cerovsek, Adrian Brendel, Renaud Capuçon, Pascal Moraguès, Jack Liebeck, José van Dam, Benjamin Schmid, Isabel Charisius, Michel Portal, Gary Hoffman, Eldar Nebolsin, Tatiana Samouil , Adriana Ferreira, Gérard Caussé, Cerys Jones, Christian Poltéra, Rosa Maria Barrantes, Lars Anders Tomter, Nicolas Altstaedt, Kyril Zlotnikov, Edgar Moreau, Tiago Pinto-Ribeiro, Pedro Carneiro, Silvia Careddu, Marcelo Nisinman, Anna Samuil, Ramón Ortega Quero and Filipe Pinto-Ribeiro, among others. The Ensemble recorded concerts for Radio Antena 2 and for the Mezzo channel. The DSCH – Shostakovich Ensemble has the artistic direction of Filipe Pinto-Ribeiro.