Stilian Kirov, Music Director

“…the playing of the IPO under Stilian Kirov was consistently impressive—polished, strongly projected, and bristling with virtuosic energy. As Kirov begins his third season as music director, it is clear that the young maestro is taking his southwest suburban orchestra to a new and exciting level.”        
                                      Lawrence A. Johnson | Chicago Classical Review

Now in his seventh season as Music Director of Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra (IPO), Stilian Kirov is a First Prize Winner of the “Debut Berlin” Concert Competition, prizewinner at Denmark’s 2015 Malko Competition as well as the 2010 Mitropoulos Competition and made his debut at the Berlin Philharmonie in 2017. A former Music Director of Symphony in C in New Jersey (2015-2020), he is also a recipient of numerous Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Awards (2016-2019). In addition to leading IPO, Kirov is also currently Music Director of the Bakersfield Symphony.

Highlights of Mr. Kirov’s guest performances include appearances worldwide with the Seattle Symphony, Israel Camerata, Xi’An Symphony, Minas Gerais Philharmonic Orchestra, Sofia Philharmonic, Leopolis Chamber Orchestra/Ukraine, Orchestra of Colors/Athens, Orchestre Colonne/Paris, Sofia Festival Orchestra, State Hermitage Orchestra/St. Petersburg, Thüringen Philharmonic Orchestra, the Zagreb Philharmonic, the Musical Olympus International Festival in St. Petersburg, Victoria Symphony/British Columbia, Omaha Symphony and the Memphis Symphony, among others.

Stilian Kirov assisted distinguished conductors such as Bernard Haitink with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as well as Stéphane Denève, the late Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Christoph von Dohnányi, and Andrew Davis, all with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Mr. Kirov is a graduate of The Juilliard School’s orchestral conducting program, where he was a student of the late James DePreist. He has also studied with the late Kurt Masur, Michael Tilson Thomas, the late Gianluigi Gelmetti, George Manahan, Robert Spano and Asher Fisch, among others.

Also a gifted pianist, Stilian Kirov was Gold Medalist of the 2001 Claude Kahn International Piano Competition in Paris.