Praised by the New York Times for his “warmth and virtuosic brilliance”, Bulgarian-born violinist Vesselin Gellev has performed throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, South America and the US. Since his concerto debut at age 9, Mr. Gellev has been a featured soloist with the Spoleto Festival Orchestra, New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Juilliard Orchestra, Plovdiv Philharmonic, Manhattan Virtuosi, and the Idyllwild International Chamber Orchestra, among others. The New Haven Register recently described his performance of the Brahms Double Concerto with the New Haven Symphony as “absolute virtuosity”.

As the first violinist of Kristjan Jarvi’s Absolute, a genre-blending “classical band” dedicated to the breakdown of musical barriers and categorisation, Mr. Gellev has recorded several CD’s on the Enja and CC’n’C labels and toured Europe, Australia, South America and the US to audience and critical acclaim. Their latest CD “Absolution” was nominated for a Grammy award in 2002.

An active performer on the New York new music scene, Mr. Gellev has often participated in the Focus! and Summergarden festivals, and gave the US premiere of Laszlo Tihanyi’s “Irrlichtspiel” for violin and orchestra with the New Juilliard Ensemble. He has also performed with Continuum, and is a member of Ensemble Sospeso, Paragon Ragtime Orchestra and American Dream Chamber Artists.

Mr. Gellev has been concertmaster of the Spoleto Festival Orchestra in Italy and The Juilliard Orchestra, guest concertmaster of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and since 2002 serves as concertmaster of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. His performances have been broadcast live on WNYC, NPR’s Performance Today series and MPR’s St. Paul Sunday.

Mr. Gellev holds Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from The Juilliard School in New York. His principal teachers have included Robert Mann, Stephen Clapp, Todor Pelev and Boyanka Shopova.