Metropolitan of Stara Zagora Kiprian

Metropolitan of Stara Zagora Kiprian
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His Eminence Metropolitan Kyprian of Stara Zagora (Ognyan Dobrinov Kazandzhiev) was born on 08.03.1976 in the town of Kazanlak. He graduated from secondary music education in 1995 in his hometown. He accepted monasticism on 01.09.1996 in the Rila stauropegial monastery from the Dragovitian bishop John, with the spiritual elder Stara Zagora Metropolitan Pancratius. He was ordained as a hierodeacon on 08.09.1996 in the town of Pavel Banya, and as a hieromonk on 14.09.1996 in the church “St. Nikolay”, Stara Zagora. From October 1996 to the end of 1998, he performed the ephemeral obedience in the Kazanlak Monastery “St. Mother of God” and in parallel completed the two-year course of the Sofia Theological Seminary “St. Ioan Rilski”, after which he was accepted into the clergy of the Diocese of Vratsa as acting abbot of the Tržiška Monastery “St. Prophet Elijah”. Since 2000, he has been appointed protosyncellus of the Metropolitanate of Vratsa.

During his studies at the Faculty of Theology at the SU “St. Kliment Ohridski” and by decision of St. Synod he was elevated to Archimandrite dignity on 31.08.2003. In February 2006, by decision of St. Synod, he was sent to obedience as protosyncellus of the Diocese of the USA, Canada and Australia, which position he held until 01.08.2007, when he was again appointed protosyncellus of the Metropolitanate of Vratsa.

By decision of St. Synod was ordained as a bishop with the title of “Trayanopolski” on 03.03.2008 in the cathedral in the city of Vratsa and appointed vicar of the Metropolitan of Vratsa. He held this position until his election as the Metropolitan of Stara Zagora on 11.12.2016 by St. Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church – Bulgarian Patriarchate

Metropolitan Kyprian of Stara Zagora is the recipient of church honors and numerous music awards. Even as a protosyncellus and later as a vicar bishop of the Diocese of Vratsa, he was noted as a skilled conductor of the diocesan choir “St. Sophronius Vrachanski”. He became a laureate at the Festival of Russian Church Song (Sofia, 2002), at the International Competition “Singing Soul” (Bialystok, Poland, 2003), won the grand prize at the International Festival of Orthodox Music “It Is Truly Meet” – 2004, 2005, 2008, 2009 and 2011 in Pomorie. Under the leadership of the bishop, the choir won a bronze medal and the special award for the best performance of Orthodox music at the International Choir Competition in Preveza, Greece, in 2013. In 2015, it won a silver and a bronze medal at the European Choir Games and the “Grand Prix of Nations” in Magdeburg, Germany. The choir has toured in Italy, the Czech Republic, Hungary, North Macedonia, Greece, Turkey, Romania. In 2012, it gave concerts in the cities of Crotone and Catanzaro, region Calabria, Italy with Mozart's Requiem, and in 2014 he returned to the Italian stage again with concerts in Verona.

A healthy and fruitful cooperation links Metropolitan Cyprian of Stara Zagora and the team of the State Opera – Stara Zagora. In January 2017, Metropolitan Kyprian and priests from the diocese consecrated the stage and the opera hall in Stara Zagora. There are many musical performances of the modern Bulgarian bishop-conductor here: Pre-Easter concert of the Stara Zagora Opera in 2017; Requiem by V. A. Mozart; The solemn concert of the State Opera – Stara Zagora, dedicated to the 140th anniversary of the battles for Stara Zagora; For the first time participation of the opera choir under the direction of Metropolitan Kyprian in the International Festival of Orthodox Music St. Mother of God – “It Is Truly Meet” in 2018; “Supplication for Stara Zagora” – a performance dedicated to the 141st anniversary of the epic battles for the city during the Russo-Turkish War and 140 years since the Liberation of Bulgaria – July 31, 2018 at the Memorial Complex “Defenders of Stara Zagora” with inclusion in the program of the oratorio “Supplication” by Prof. Nayden Andreev and “Festival Overture 1812” by P. I. Tchaikovsky performed by the orchestra and choir of the Stara Zagora Opera, the Municipal Brass Orchestra and the orchestra of the Second Tundzhan Mechanized Brigade; On August 28, 2020, at the Ancient Forum “Augusta Traiana”, Metropolitan Kyprian of Stara Zagora conducted the oratorio “Passion of Matthew” by Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeev). In 2021, the Choir of the Stara Zagora Opera House was awarded the “Crystal Lyre” in the “Choral Art” category for the performance of this oratorio. It was performed again on April 20, 2022 (Holy Wednesday) at the State Opera – Stara Zagora.

At the end of 2019, Metropolitan Kyprian created the Bishop's Choir at the Stara Zagora Metropolitanate with conductor Maria Denkova, and the bishop himself became the chief conductor. At the beginning of 2020, this choir participated with great success in the tenth edition of the Moscow Christmas Festival of Religious Music. In May 2022, the choir presented itself with a concert program and participation in the Holy Liturgy at the Festival of Choral Art in Constanta, Romania, and in June participated in the International Festival of Orthodox Music “St. Mother of God – It Is Truly Meet” in the town of Pomorie. In September of the same year, he adorned the celebrations on the occasion of the 120th anniversary of the consecration of the Nativity of Christ temple-monument in the town of Shipka. On January 21, 2023, he performed brilliantly at the “Bratya dvoitsu” concert in the capital's “Bulgaria Hall”.

Most recently, on April 11 (Holy Wednesday) at the State Opera – Stara Zagora, His Eminence conducted “Stabat Mater” by Gioacchino Rossini with great success.

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