In this series of ‘Class of 2015’ features we take a look back to last year’s leavers and find out what they have been doing since graduation. In this article, we catch up with Music - BMUs alumnus Svetoslav Todorov who is currently spending a year at the Manhattan School of Music as part of his postgraduate studies at Royal College of Music.

Tell us about your time at Edinburgh College of Art

Destiny sent a tourist from Edinburgh to my home country where we met each other accidentally. Then I discovered that Edinburgh is one of the top Universities in the world, and I chose to go there because it felt very extravagant to me. My four years at Edinburgh were fabulous, each year better than the previous one. I met lovely teachers, made wonderful friendships and enjoyed the beauty of the city. One of my precious memories is when I was invited to perform on the piano for HRH The Princess Royal at Holyrood Palace - an unbelievable experience. At the Usher Hall, I met the violinist Nigel Kennedy, who invited me to play some jazz for him and his friends at an afterparty. Since then we kept in touch. He has mentored me, and gave me valuable advice and experience in making the music of the KapustIN Project.

In my last year I met the best local family in town, which made me feel as warm and welcome as being home!

Tell us about your experiences since leaving the university

I have continued my postgraduate studies at the Royal College of Music (RCM) in London. At the moment, I am at the Manhattan School of Music in New York City, US, where I am representing the RCM for a semester, and gaining some valuable experience. The first year at RCM was very exciting and busy for me, with performances in lots of concert venues such as the Royal Festival Hall, the Bulgarian Embassy and others. I was also awarded 1st prize at the international music competition ‘J S Bach’ in Fukuoka, Japan 2015. In June 2016 I released my debut video ‘The KapustIN Project’ which I dedicated to the Queen’s 90th Birthday combining my improvisation on ‘God Save The Queen’ with Nikolai Kapustin’s Pastoral Etude and adding bass and drum sections to it. My idea is to keep releasing videos and to keep inspiring more and more people.

Could you tell us about how and why you make music? What influences you? What approaches do you take to making compositions?

I create music by thinking and listening to my heart. Many things, people and artistic projects influence me every day and give me ideas to develop my own creativity. I compose by creating my own interpretation of musical pieces.

How did your experiences in Edinburgh prepare you for postgraduate studies?

It gave me opportunities to perform regularly in concert venues across the city, and the staff gave me a lot of support. 

How did you get the opportunity at the Manhattan School of Music? What experiences are you gaining there?

As part of the exchange program between RCM and MSM, I was the only one selected to represent the RCM after interviews and auditions at both institutions for 2016-17. I was attracted to accept the offer by the new, diverse cultural and life experience that I will get from being in, perhaps, the most multicultural city in the world.