Ivo Stankov has become one of Bulgaria’s leading and most versatile artists of his generation. He is equally at home as a soloist, recitalist, chamber musician and educator.
Ivo’s CD recording of Mendelssohn’s double violin and piano concerto with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra received critical acclaim as one of “dazzling virtuosity” (Classical Music Daily) and “a disc to treasure” (MusicWeb International). His debut CD album of Beethoven’s violin sonatas was similarly described as “an excellent record” and was awarded five stars by Britain’s oldest classical music magazine Musical Opinion.
Since settling in the UK, Ivo has become an active propagator of his Bulgarian cultural heritage. He founded the London Festival of Bulgarian Culture and premiered a number of works by composers, such as Grammy-nominated Dobrinka Tabakova, with English Chamber Orchestra and London Mozart Players. He has also performed as soloist with Camerata Royal Concertgebouw, Sofia Philharmonic and with orchestras in Brazil, Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the USA. In the UK, he has given concerto performances and chamber music recitals at all the major concert halls such as Royal Albert Hall, The Barbican, Bridgewater Hall, Cadogan Hall, Glasgow Concert Hall, Queen Elisabeth Hall and Wigmore Hall.
As part of his diverse portfolio of artistic projects Ivo shared a stage with Sir Cliff Richard and has collaborated with international artists such as Mark Knopfler of Dire Straits, and the late film composer and Grammy-Award winner Johann Johannsson (Theory of Everything), with whom he regularly toured throughout Europe as first violin of Iskra Quartet. He has also performed chamber music with Chilingirian Quartet, violinist Svetlin Roussev, pianist Ashley Wass, cellists Guy Johnston and Stefan Popov.
Passionate about helping the younger generation of musicians, Ivo has been increasingly in demand as a teacher and adjudicator. He is violin professor at Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Guildhall School of Music & Drama (Junior) and he also teaches at St. Paul’s Girls’ School and Whitgift School. Some of his students’ recent success stories include wining GSMD Junior Lutine Prize Competition (2021) and performing in the finals of the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition (2022). He has adjudicated competitions in Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, Moldova, and the UK, and has given masterclasses in Europe and the USA.
Ivo’s pedagogical publications include his violin method The Violin Tips Practice Guide, which was published as a series of articles in The Strad and Music Teacher online magazines.
Ivo graduated from the Royal Academy of Music where he studied violin with Eric Gruenberg and received coaching from members of the Amadeus Quartet.
Ivo has appeared on several TV channels and was featured in one of the documentary series Very Important Bulgarians by Bloomberg TV. He was also awarded the Silver Medal from the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Gold Medal ‘Boris Hristov’ and the 'Golden Sign' Medal of King Simeon by the Bulgarian Ministry of Culture.
Ivo plays on 1787 Giuseppe & Antonio Gagliano violin.