Percusionist (Paris, France)
Born into a family of musicians in 1985, Vassilena Serafimova is the first Bulgarian percussionist to be awarded the Second Prize of the 56th ARD International Music Competition in Munich and the First Prize of the Fifth World International Marimba Competition in Stuttgart. She won the Grand Prix of the 10th International Competition Music and Earth as a soloist as well as the First Prize as a member of the Percussion Ensemble Accent, founded by her parents Avgustina and Simeon Serafimov. She received the Young Musician of the Year Award in Bulgaria in 2008 as well as the First Prize of the Music Critics in the 18th International Festival of Central Europe in Slovakia.
In 2014, Vassilena made her debut in Carnegie Hall of New York. One year later, together with Thomas Enhco (piano), she was the first marimba player in history to perform at the French Awards Ceremony Victoires de la Musique. In 2016, the duo recorded their first album titled Funambules for Deutsche Grammophon. Their second album Bach Mirror will be released in march 2021 for SONY CLASSICS.
Artistic director of International Marimba and Percussion Festival in Bulgaria as well as co-artistic director of the Paris Percussion Group, she is keen to defend the percussion repertoire all over the world.
In 2017 Vassilena and the renowned French electronic music producer Chloé were invited to create a Tribute to Steve Reich for the music series Variations. They were invited by Xavier Veilhan at the French Pavilion - Studio VENEZIA during the Venice Art Biennale 2017. The band toured extensively, recorded a 7" for French radio and are working on an album to be released in 2021 for Lumière Noire.
Vassilena has recorded for Radio France, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Bulgarian National Radio, RTBF and the Slovakian National Radio. Vassilena has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall (New York), Théâtre de Champs Elysées, Théâtre de Châtelet, Salle Pleyel (Paris), Hermitage Theater (Saint-Peterburg), Muziekgebouw (Amsterdam and Eindhoven), Herkulessaal (Munich), and Bulgaria Music Hall (Sofia)... She has been invited to numerous festivals including Les Flâneries Musicales de Reims, Classique au Vert (France), Middelheim Jazz Festival (Belgique), REpercusionES (Costa Rica), Focus! 2011 Festival (Etats-Unis), and TransART (Bulgaria)). She has been invited to teach masterclasses in Europe, Central and North America, and Asia.
Her curious nature lead her to participate in the Pyxis transdisciplinary project, searching and discovering a dialog between different art forms. This complex work significantly developed her imagination and is reflected in her way of performing.
Vassilena performs on ADAMS Alpha Series Marimbas. She is a Zildjian artist since 2014, and has created her own marimba mallets series with Vibrawell Mallets France.
She is teaching at HEMU in Lausanne and Maurice Ravel Conservatory in Paris.