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Our Teachers

Todor Nikolaev

Todor Nikolaev was born in Sofia, Bulgaria and started studying violin at the age of five. In 2000 he completed his education with distinction at the National School of Music in Sofia and at 17 became the first student at the history of the School to perform Elgar’s Violin Concerto. In the same year Todor won a bursary award from the Corporation of London to study at the prestigious Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where he completed his Bachelor's and Master's degrees with honours in the violin classes of Professor Yfrah Neaman and Professor John Glickman.
Todor participated in master classes with Yfrah Neaman, Rivka Golani, Zvi Zeitlin and Mary-Tempere Bezrodny. As a member of different chamber ensembles he has worked with artists such as Melos and Takacs Quartets, Rachel Podger and Sir Colin Davis. He won prizes a several violin competitions including the International Enescu Violin Competition (1998, Romania); the International Jan Kocian Violin Competition (1998, Czech Republic) and the National Competition for Interpretation of German and Austrian music (1997, Bulgaria).
Todor is a regular soloist with several orchestras in the UK and Bulgaria and also gives chamber recitals in both countries. He has participated in many international festivals for classical and jazz music and has made recordings for the Bulgarian National Television and Radio, BBC1, BBC Radio 3 and RAI Due. His repertoire includes works from nearly all periods of music, as well as contemporary and jazz.  In 1999 Todor was invited by Nigel Kennedy to play with him on his concert in Sofia, as part of his European tour.
Todor is established as a violin tutor at the Conservatoire, as well as the University of Southampton and St Swithun's School in Winchester. As a member of the Young Music Makers (YMM) organisation, he also teaches at the William Ellis School, London.

Todor is a founder member of Inspirity, a classical ensemble that entered the video charts of NME Magazine with a recording of Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet in 2010. In 2011 Inspirity Quartet, with the clarinettist Victoria Soames Samek, recorded their first critically acclaimed CD for the Clarinet Classics Label, with music by Richard Rodney Bennett.  In 2012 Inspirity will be playing at the Varna Summer InternationalMusic Festival in Bulgaria, recording a jazz CD with Acquaphonica Quintet in Holland and releasing their second CD for the Clarinet Classics Label with music by Horowitz.  

"I love to teach because it is noble and the knowledge should be passed on!"