Biography

Galina Vracheva is a Swiss concert pianist, composer, and improviser with Bulgarian roots. She is one of the select few classical musicians that specialize in improvisation.

To keep the music alive is Galina’s ultimate motivation. Each of her concert is a new creation; whether it is an improvised cadenza to one of Beethoven’s piano concertos or an instantly created piece of music on a theme spontaneously proposed by a member of her audience. Ms. Vracheva composes her own pieces live on stage, at the spur of the moment. She is particularly devoted to Franz Liszt, her primary role model. While Liszt put pen to paper and immortalized his brilliant compositions, he would also freely improvise at the piano, and his spontaneous fantasies took his audiences’ breath away.

Ms. Vracheva was educated at the conservatories of Moscow, Sofia, and Munich. She took first prize in several international competitions. She has taught master classes in piano and concert improvisation in Munich, Berlin, Kiev, Amsterdam, and Bangkok and is a guest professor at the Conservatory of Italian Switzerland in Lugano.

She discovered her personal love for classical music through her improvisations and made this talent the centerpiece of her concert performances. As a soloist, she invents new, never before heard cadenza at every rehearsal and every concert. She composes without a prepared score, on the podium.

Concert locations include the Zurich Tonhalle, the Tchaïkovsky Hall in Moscow, and the Beethoven Festival in Bonn. The highly respected German radio channel Bayerische Rundfunk regularly features Galina’s Wish-Music series: 2-hour sessions improvising on themes phoned in by listeners, and broadcasted live. The Swiss radio channel SRF Kultur also regularly invites her to live sessions in its studios.

Ms. Vracheva composed numerous works for piano and 2 full operas, The Gift of the Magi, first performed in Zurich in 2006, and Gottfried Keller, to celebrate the 200th birthday of Zurich’s most prominent literary figure in 2019.

Ms. Vracheva improvises not only on the concert stage but also when recording CDs to be published without edits. The result is a unique discography which includes piano concertos from Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin and Tchaïkovsky. Most recently, Galina has recorded improvisations on famous opera arias by Verdi, Puccini, Wagner and Bizet (Piano Arias), as well as Christmas carols (A Moment of Christmas). In October 2014, the German company Nightfrog published a documentary about Galina called Music of the Moment.

Galina Vracheva

Galina Vracheva

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