Internationally acclaimed pianist Elitsa Desseva begins her musical path in her hometown Sofia, Bulgaria. At the age of four she starts singing in different choirs throughout the country and two years later becomes her first piano lessons. Later on, Elitsa combines her two lifelong passions – vocal and piano music – making her one of the most sought after Lied pianists of her generation.
She is the first bulgarian pianist to win three of the world’s most important Lied competitions: ”Wigmore Hall/Independant Opera Song Competition” (London), ”International Hugo Wolf Art-Song Competition” (Stuttgart) and ”International Franz Schubert and Modern Music Competition” (Graz) in a duo with Mikhail Timoshenko, baritone. Furthermore she received the First Prize at the International Lied-Duo Competition (Groningen) and the International ”Karl-Adler” Music Competition (Stuttgart), together with Polina Artsis, mezzo-soprano. The Duo Timoshenko-Desseva has won also the Second Prize and the Audience Prize at the “International Schubert Lied-Duo Competition” (Dortmund) and the Third Prize and the Yamaha Audience Prize at the International Chamber Music Competition “CIMCL” (Lyon). For her solo performance Elitsa Desseva was awarded several prizes at competitions in Bulgaria and abroad, including Bela Bartok Prize at the 19th International Piano Competition “Ille de France” (Paris), as well as the First Prize at the 6th Piano Competition “Liszt-Bartok” (Sofia). She is an Yehudi Menuhin Live Music Now artist and has received grants from the foundations Yordan Kandzhalov, Luba Encheva, DAAD,Deutschland Stipendium.
On her artistic way, Elitsa found inspiration and a teacher in many acclaimed musicians such as Piotr Anderszewski, Bojan Vodenicharov, Dalton Baldwin, Brigitte Fassbaender, Susan Manoff, Graham Johnson, Helmut Deutsch, Nataliya Trull. She studied at the National music school ”Lubomir Pipkov” in Sofia with Mikhail Slavov and continued honing her craft at the University of Music Franz Liszt Weimar in Germany, where she received her Bachelor and Master’s degree in piano performance and chamber music in the class of Balazs Szokolay and Thomas Steinhöfel.
Her curious nature and passion for the art-song led her to Vienna. Currently she is finishing her Master’s in song accompaniment under the tutelege of Charles Spencer and Markus Hadulla at the Vienna University of Music and Performing Arts.
More recently Elitsa Desseva has performed at Musikverein (Vienna), Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Konzerthaus (Berlin), Wigmore Hall (London), Liszt Ferenc Hall (Budapest), Bulgaria Hall (Sofia). She played recitals at the festivals International Music Days Balabanov Haus (Bulgaria), Eppan Lied (Italy), Hitzacker Music Festival (Germany), Grachten Festival (Holland), Young Artists Bayreuth (Germany) and has recorded for Radio France, Dutch Radio 5, Südtirol Radio, Bulgarian National Radio, Radio SWR, Radio NDR.
After auditions in more than ten cities in Europa and the US, Elitsa is invited for one year residency at the prestigious Academy Orsay-Royaumont in Paris, that will culminate in a CD-production and a concert tour. Other highlights of season 2021-22 include recitals in London, Barcelona, Paris, Vienna, Basel, Bern, Lille, Kazan and Linz. She will also take part in charity concerts in Russia organised by the non-profit organisation ”Маяк”. Through those events Elitsa wants to rise money for building a boarding-school for mentally handicapped youth.