Biography

• Born Sofia, 1970.

• First violin lessons aged 5.

• 1978 – First public performance at the “Flag of Peace” Children’s Assembly in Sofia and released first LP record with Sofia Philharmonic Orchestra. Acting debut same year in role of the young Leonardo da Vinci at Ivan Vazov National Theatre.

• 1979 – Auditioned and won lead role in the movie “Sun over Childhood”, with Nevena Kokanova playing his ‘mother.

• 1980 – Sent by the Government of Bulgaria to further his education at the Central School of Music of the Moscow Conservatory.

• 1987 – Won the first (of three) major international violin competitions – Jacques Thibault in Paris, France.

• 1988 - Moved to and settled in London as youngest post-graduate at the Guildhall School of Music. Won multiple Prizes at Carl Flesch International Competition in London, UK

• 1989 – Winner of Paganini Competition in Genoa, Italy, and All-UK Inter-College Music Competition. Moved to continue studies for second post-graduate degree at Royal College of Music.

• From age of 19, aside from recitals and concertos in Europe and Asia, also appeared frequently as guest concertmaster of top London orchestras including London Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonia and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

• Appointed “Super Soloist” of the Lyon Opera House in France at 21 years of age.

• At 23, became youngest leader and first ever Concertmaster of the Royal Opera House in London, where he continues to work.

• For last 3 years, he has held the position of Creative Producer of the Royal Opera House.

• Performed in more than 20 countries. He speaks Russian, English, and Spanish.

• Founder of Laureate – an instrumental group made up exclusively of international prize-winning instrumentalists with whom he
has given numerous concerts and made recordings.

• In 2000, launched his first album with Laureate trio ‘Total Immersion’, on his long-awaited return to Bulgaria.

• Formed FreeMix with his longtime collaborator, Pamela Nicholson

• Discography:
1997 – Brahms Complete Sonatas for Piano and Violin (with Pamela Nicholson)
1998 - Schubert Trout Quintet (with Covent Garden Soloists and Boris Beresovsky)
1999 - The Original Four Seasons (with Vanessa-Mae)
2000 – Total Immersion (with Laureate)
Tango for movie ‘The Man Who Cried’ (with Pamela Nicholson)
2001 – Virtuoso Vivaldi (with Laureate)
2002 – Voodoo Violin (Solo)
2003 – Love Affair for piano and orchestra (with Pamela Nicholson)
2005 – Andersen’s Fairytales (with Covent Garden Soloists)
2007 – Free (with FreeMix)
2010 - Magic Music (with Chambao)
2012 - Viva Vivaldi


• Over the years, he has worked with many musicians of other disciplines and styles, including Placido Domingo, Sting, Ronnie Wood, Vanessa-Mae, Paco Pena, and Erasure.

• Conducting debut in 2005 at the Royal Albert Hall in London. Currently Artistic Director of Covent Garden Soloists and the London Chamber Orchestra and tours variously with both groups as soloist and conductor.

• Ice Dance Pairs World Champions Albena Denkova and Maxim Stavinski won a historic second World Championship with Vasko Vassilev’s recorded performance of Libertango. In 2006, he performed Libertango (on skates) with them in Nagano, Japan.

• Aged only 19 when he began to mentor the training and brilliant career of Vanessa-Mae, Vasko now conducts Masterclasses for Violinists at the Royal College of Music and Trinity College of Music in London and Castellon Conservatory of Music of Spain, and he is Visiting Professor at the latter two institutions.

• On October 20, 2010 his book “Vasko @ 40” was released.

• Occasionally single.