Nikolai Ivanov Dimitrov: The Bulgarian expat violinist at the impact crater

Written by on March 18, 2017 in People - Comments Off on Nikolai Ivanov Dimitrov: The Bulgarian expat violinist at the impact crater

It came with a lot of speed, 65 million years ago. It did exceed the speed limit, when it approached a blue sphere, which was hanging there, in space, the final frontier. That sphere, which turned out to be a planet with water, trees, mountains, dinosaurs and McDonald’s restaurants, was in the way. So, of course, the fast object had to crash into it at full throttle.

The explosion was bigger than anything the dinos had seen before. Those who were not wiped out at impact were killed due to the consequences of that encounter in space. According to scientists, that big and fast asteroid crashed into the sea, close to the Mexican peninsula Yucatán. The latter is not just the name of that peninsula, but also of a federal entity, well, a state, located on its northern tip.

Yucatán. That’s where the asteriod crashed, but it’s also where Nikolai Ivanov Dimitrov ended up, who is Bulgarian by birth, and who has “Russian blood from my mother’s side of the family”, as he told The Yucatán Times, an English language expat publication made in the city of Mérida.

Dimitrov is part of the Symphony Orchestra of Yucatán as well as the International String Quartet of Yucatán, a group comprised of one Russian cellist and three violinists. One of the latter is a “gringo”, meaning a U.S. citizen, another is British and the third one is Dimitrov.

Dimitrov (right) with his string quartet colleagues in Mexico. Photo by ISQY.

He was born into a family of musicians in Sofia, during communist times. Very early on, at age 4, little Nikolai got his first viola, which he would never put down. His teachers were Anna Georgieva and Professor Dimitar Chilikov at the National Academy of Music. Vladi Simeonov was the director of the Philharmonic Orchestra, which he joined at age 12.

Later on, Dimitrov, the Bulgarian expat, worked with an orchestra in Spain, but also toured all over the place, from the U.S. to Morocco, and from San Marino to former Yugoslavia.

He told The Yucatán Times, he had noticed there were several Bulgarian concert masters leading important orchestras around the world. Probably true. And there are even more Bulgarian musicians playing in those orchestras, from Leipzig to London, in Paris and Philadelphia, and in Yucatán. That is where he comes in.

At age 10, Nikolai Ivanov Dimitrov decided to play the viola, rather than the violin, because “it is considered the tenor of the violin family”, because it was slightly larger and had a more serious sound, compared to the violin.

Dimitrov, the viola hero in south-western Mexico, speaks five languages. It was 15 years ago, when he was asked to join the Symphony Orchestra of Yucatán, which was just being founded, back then. And that is pretty much why Dimitrov got stuck in Yucatán. Well, there is another reason: His wife is a flutist from Xalapa in the Mexican state of Veracruz. The two have a three-year-old daughter.

Well, Bulgarians are known to live all over the planet, one million of them. The musician Nikolai Ivanov Dimitrov picked one of the most exotic places. The one where that thing came down from the sky, 65 million years ago.

A Yucatán Times interview with Nikolai Ivanov Dimitrov 

Photo at the top by ISQY.

 

 

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About the Author

Imanuel Marcus is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe. He is German and lives in Sofia. Contact: imanuelmarcus (at) gmail.com