The Artist

 

 

 

The one, who “attracted the attention of the  Bulgarian composers to the harp and they began to compose for her”(Lazar Nikolov, preeminent Bulgarian composer), showed her musical talent at a  very early age. She  played harmonica, accordion, piano, but the harp was her love from  first sight. When Nicanor Zabaleta heard her playing, he was fascinated and recommended the young harpist to the  Italian pedagogue Liana Pasquali, at this time professor at the Bucharest Conservatory.

Ravnopolska’s outstanding participation in a series of important international competitions, including those of Gargilesse in Berry, Munich, and Jerusalem amazed Susann McDonald, distinguished professor of music in Julliard school, New York and the Indiana University School of Music, Bloomington. McDonald invited Anna-Maria to continue studying with her in the US. There she was accepted in the Artist Diploma program “for outstanding performers” and  was able to complete it in only one year  becoming the first Bulgarian harpist to receive the Artist Diploma “for superior artistic achievement in harp performance”.

Anna-Maria "received a rousing welcome" (Musical America) when she made her New York debut at Carnegie Hall's Weill Recital Hall in 1992.  She had previously been introduced to American audiences on the McGraw-Hill Young Artists Showcase of WQXR radio in New York as one of the leading musical talents of her generation. Now Ravnopolska-Dean  was elected to the visiting artist roster of the North Carolina Arts Council before returning to her native Bulgaria to help founding  the American University in Bulgaria, where she teaches harp, piano and several theoretical courses.

Ms. Ravnopolska-Dean continues to appear as a soloist at leading venues and forums such as the World Harp Congresses in Vienna, Copenhagen, Seattle, and Prague, and at Munich's Gasteig. At the  Eighth World Harp Congress, Geneva, she prooved that even having a  partial paralysis of her left hand she can be the leading  harp and have a separate solo performance. She has developed a huge repertoire that includes many of her own transcriptions and compositions and works composed especially for her.  To date she has given the world or regional premieres of about eighty compositions.  Her discography includes seven compact disc releases devoted to music for solo harp on the Gega New and Arpa d'oro labels.