Grigor Palikarov (born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria in 1971) graduated from the National Music Academy - Sofia with Master of Music Degree in: Orchestral Conducting with Prof. Vassil Kazandzhiev and Prof. Ivan Voulpe, Composition with Prof. D. Tapkov, Piano with Prof. Kr. Tasskov and Choral Conducting with Prof. St. Kralev. Later on he continued his composition study during two Summer Academies in Austria with Erich Urbanner (Professor at University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna).
His debut as an opera conductor was in April 1994 (at the age of 22) with Verdi’s “Rigoletto” at two major opera houses in Bulgaria.
In 1998-1999 season Grigor Palikarov made his debut on the stage of the National Opera and Ballet - Sofia, conducting a Gala-concert with the special participation of the famous Bulgarian opera singer Ghena Dimitrova† upon her personal invitation. Later on he has made many concerts and performances with other world famous opera singers like Anna Tomowa-Sintow, Elena Obraztsova†, Krassimira Stoyanova, Ferruccio Furlanetto, Kurt Rydl, Alexandrina Milcheva, Nadia Krasteva, Nickola Giuzelev† etc.
Since January 2001 Mr. Palikarov works as a full-time conductor at the National Opera and Ballet – Sofia, conducting a rich variety of repertoire. It includes more than 60 opera and ballet titles by Mozart, Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti, Weber, Verdi, Wagner, Ponchielli, Mascagni, Leoncavallo, Puccini, Gounod, Delibes, Bizet, Borodin, Rimsky–Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, Prokofiew, Orff, Bulgarian classical and contemporary composers etc.
Since the beginning of 2005/06 season Mr. Palikarov has also taken the position of Managing and Artistic director and conductor of the Symphony orchestra – Pazardzhik and since September 2008 he is also the principal conductor of “Classic FM” Symphony orchestra – Sofia.
In the following years he has made concerts and performances with many famous soloists like the members of Vienna Philharmonic: Albena Danailova (concertmaster), Wolfgang Schulz†, Franz Bartolomey, Dieter Flury, Robert Nagy, Glenn Dicterow (former concertmaster of New York Philharmonic, Svetlin Roussev (concertmaster of the French National Radio orchestra) and others.
Nowadays Mr. Palikarov is often invited as a guest – conductor of many orchestras, opera theatres and national and international music festivals in Bulgaria and abroad, including countries like Germany, Austria, Belgium (with the National Orchestra of Belgium), France, Italy, Luxemburg, Poland, Macedonia, Greece, Slovenia (with the National Opera and Ballet - Ljubljana), Switzerland, Taiwan (with Century Orchestra - Taipei), Russia (with State opera Krasnoyarsk), UK, USA (with Opera Circle - Cleveland), South Korea (with “Janacek” Philharmonic), Japan, Mexico etc. His debut in USA has been mentioned by the critics there as one of the most important musical events for year 2009. Grigor Palikarov also makes regular recordings of orchestral pieces, opera arias and ensembles as a guest conductor of the Symphony Orchestra of the Bulgarian National Radio. Some of his recordings can be found on CDs and DVDs produced by different companies.
Together with his conducting activities Mr. Palikarov composes music and plays as a piano soloist with different orchestras in Bulgaria. He also leads the students’ orchestra at the National Academy of Music - Sofia. Maestro Palikarov is a prizewinner of many national and international piano and composition competitions. Some of his works were performed at music festivals and recorded at the National Radio - Sofia.
Grigor Palikarov is also a certified member of MENSA (the international organization of highly intelligent people) and has been a Chairman of its Bulgarian branch for two consecutive mandates.