The 'percussion princess‘ as called by the press, belongs to one of the most interesting classical soloists of her generation. With her first step, entering the stage, she capture’s her audience’s attention instantly. Rather then merely rhythmic drumming she manages to create divine music with distinctive sounds and profound phrasing.
(Photo credits: Adriana Yankulova)
Born in Germany into a Bulgarian family of musicians in 1994, Vivi Vassileva grew up in an ideal environment for a musical career. Her first “percussion” lesson however, was on a secret beach; inspiration from the passionate local artists, who gave Vivi her first contact with colorful and exotic gypsy rhythms, ignited a spark in her playing that has burst into exciting fireworks. Beside her brilliant technique and astonishing virtuosity she holds an exceptional musicality combined with poetic expression. It is like she is seeking a new way of approaching the world of percussion instruments.
She began professional training at the age of ten with Claudio Estay, currently solopercussionist at the State Opera of Munich. After winning the First Prize at the national competition Jugend Musiziert in Germany, she became the youngest member of the National Youth Orchestra of Germany at a mere age of 13. Simultaneously she had her orchestral debut as a soloist with the Hofer Symphoniker.
At 15, with the help and support of the Bayerischer Rundfunk (the leading German classical music radio station), she recorded her first CD.
Following this, she was accepted as a student in the University of Performing Arts in Munich and started studying with her personal idol, Prof. Dr. Peter Sadlo. More successes followed – such as winning prizes at international competitions in Paris 2009 and Nuremberg 2010, also the Ingolstadt Music Cultivation Prize 2013 and two Special Prizes as youngest Semifinalist at the prestigous ARD-Music Competition in 2014.
As a soloist, in 2016 she went on tour with the Youth Orchestra of Bavaria playing in halls like the Gasteig Philharmonie and the Philharmonie in Bamberg.
In the same year she won the Kulturkreis Gasteig Prize with her own composition and arrangement of the Bulgarian Folk Song 'Kalino Mome'.
In 2017 she was awarded Musician of the Year in Bavaria.