Bio

Dr. Milen Kirov is an award-winning Bulgarian-American composer, pianist, and educator with an inimitable artistic voice and celebrated creative output. His career redefines the role of the performer-composer in 21st century by transcending genres, labels, and artistic boundaries. Combining his Bulgarian music heritage and concert pianist background with contemporary composition, jazz, and improvisation, Kirov has carved a thriving career as a well-known and respected artist.

As a composer and pianist, Milen Kirov has won awards from the Bulgarian National Radio Composition Competition; Bulgarian National Music Competition “Sv. Obretenov” – Provadia; MTNA Performance Competition – Nevada; Reno Chamber Orchestra Concerto Competition; Liberace Scholarship Competition; J. Huntzinger Concerto Competition, and has received numerous grants and commissions from organizations such as the American Music Center and Montecito Music Festival among others. In June of 2015 Dr. Kirov was awarded a Certificate of Congressional Recognition by the United States Congress for his work as a director of international music ensemble, and for showcasing Bulgarian culture and continuing Los Angeles’ tradition of multiculturalism. Milen has performed throughout Europe and North America and has written and recorded music for several films including “Human Error” – a Robert M. Young film, official selection of the Sundance Film Festival; “A Cigar At the Beach” – an award-winning film by Triskalion Entertainment, and “Woody Allen: A Documentary” directed by Emmy-winning filmmaker Robert Weide, part of the celebrated PBS’ American Masters series.

As an artist and producer, Dr. Kirov has released 4 albums and several singles on his own Ruino Vino Records label. The records include “broken” featuring his compositions for solo Fender Rhodes piano, a self-titled album by his own Balkan-jazz trio Bulgarian Moonshine Co., and “Peasant Funk” (2011) and “Orkestar MÉZÉ” (2015) – two records by his 11-piece Balkan funk ensemble Orkestar MÉZÉ. Kirov’s compositions and performances have been featured on many radio and TV stations on four continents, as well as on numerous other recordings. Some of the diverse artists he has performed and/or recorded with include Perry Farrell, Ellis Hall, Miroslav Tadic, Dragomir Yosifov, Steve Ferrone, Mike Keneally, Doug Lunn, John Bergamo, Theodosii Spassov, Vicki Ray, Stefan Karlsson, Arthur Jarvinen, Money Mark, “A.i.”, and James Gadson, to name a few.

Born in Plovdiv, Bulgaria in a family of musicians, Milen Kirov started playing the piano at age four. He attended High School of Music “D. Petkov” and Academy of Music, Dance, and Fine Arts in Plovdiv, and holds degrees from California State University, Northridge and California Institute of the Arts. Currently Dr. Kirov resides in Los Angeles, California where he is an Assistant Professor of Piano, Composition, and Theory at Los Angeles City College. He is active as a performer, composer, and producer in the United States and Europe.

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