Cellist Lachezar Kostov and pianist Viktor Valkov have performed together for more than 10 years and have appeared at concert venues in the USA, Germany, Italy, and Bulgaria. In 2002 they were named winners of the “Grand Prix of the Music and Earth Competition” in Sofia, Bulgaria. After their early success the Duo performed a series of thematic concerts devoted to the music of Hungary, France, Germany, and Russia. Prior to establishing themselves in the USA Kostov and Valkov appeared in several European festivals, such as “Russian Music Days” in Dortmund, Germany.
The Duo’s first major performance in New York City was sponsored by the “Bulgarian Treasures” foundation and took place in Weill Recital Hall in 2008. Following their critically acclaimed debut at New York’s Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall in 2009, the Duo has received high accolades for their inspired and unique performances. Critic Harris Goldsmith described them as “prodigiously skilled protagonists” and praised their “formidable virtuosity”. Devoted to rediscovering rarely performed works from the cello and piano repertoire, they perform compositions by Dmitri Kabalevsky, Camille Saint-Saens and Nikolay Roslavets, as well as many arrangements and transcriptions from the violin, viola, and piano repertoire. Some of the most successful arrangements performed by the Kostov-Valkov duo are Robert Schumann’s Violin Sonata in A minor, the Hungarian Dance No.5 by Brahms, Roslavets’ Viola Sonata, and the famous Hungarian Rhapsody No.2 by Franz Liszt. In 2010 Mr. Kostov and Mr. Valkov toured several German cities including Hasselburg, Waldorf, and Bad Saeckingen, performing to sold-out halls in celebration of the 200th birth anniversaries of Chopin and Schumann.
In October 2011 the duo entered the Fifth Liszt-Garrison International Piano and Duo Competition of the American Liszt Society at Baltimore-Washington, USA. The Kostov-Valkov duo was unanimously awarded the First Prize, as well as Best Interpretation Awards for the Performance of a Work by an American composer for John Corigliano’s “Phantasmagoria”, and for the Performance of a Work by Franz Liszt for their own arrangement of the composer’s “Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2”. In addition to several concert engagements, the Lachezar Kostov & Victor Valkov duo received the event’s special 2011 FRANZ LISZT AWARD for “Exceptional Performance on the Franz Liszt Bicentennial Year Celebration”.
In 2012 the Kostov-Valkov Duo will make appearances in several US states, including Maryland, Ohio, and North Carolina. A New Year tour in South East Asia will complete their 2012 concert engagements. Their repertory will include several of their most successful arrangements, as well as milestones from the cello-piano literature.