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Velitchka Yotcheva, one of Canada’s most gifted young cellists, enjoys a brilliant career as a soloist with various orchestras in Europe, Russia, South America and Canada. She also performs as a chamber musician to great acclaim throughout Canada, as well as Russia, Bulgaria, France and the United States.

Velitchka Yotcheva was trained in the Russian school of cello playing, as represented by Mstislav Rostropovich and Simeon Kozolupov. Born in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria, she started her musical studies at the age of five with Professor Tacho Tachev. At 18, she left for Moscow to attend the Tchaikovsky Conservatory, where she studied with Marina Tchaikovskaya (former student and assistant to Rostropovich) and later worked under the direction of Valentin Feigin. She also studied chamber music with Alexander Korchagin (member of the Shostakovich Quartet). In 1992, she obtained her Master of Fine Arts degree from the Tchaikovsky Conservatory of Moscow. After moving to Canada in 1995, Velitchka Yotcheva completed her Doctorate Studies in Music in 2000, at the University of Montreal, under the supervision of Yuli Turovsky. She is the winner of two Bulgarian national competitions, and also a top prize winner at the Orford Arts Centre International Competition.

Velitchka Yotcheva has given numerous concerts in Russia, Bulgaria, France, Canada and the United States. She has performed as a soloist with various orchestras, and in recital, and as well, in a duo with her spouse, the pianist Patrice Laré. These performances have received great public and critical acclaim. Through her great love for chamber music, Velitchka, with Patrice Laré, founded the Montreal Chamber Music Society, of which she is the artistic director.


More recently, she has participated in prestigious festivals such as the Festival de Musique du Mont-Tremblant, the Weathersfield Music Festival and the International Chamber Music Festival of Niagara.She has also played for the Pro Musica Society in Montreal, and the Montreal Chamber Music Society, of which she is the artistic director. In Bulgaria, she has participated in the Musical Weeks of Sofia, and the International Music Festivals of Varna, Plodiv and Stara Zagora. More recently, Velitchka Yotcheva performed a concert for the International Festival “Bravissimo” in Guatemala City (Central America), gave a concert and a master class at the North Carolina School of the Arts, and toured French Polynesia.

Velitchka Yotcheva is also a well-established teacher. She often gives Master classes in Bulgaria, Canada and USA. Mrs Yotcheva has held classes in summer academies in Canada and the United States, such as International School for Musical Arts (Niagara-on-the Lake, Canada), Montreal International Music Camp and Weathersfield Music Festival (Vermont, USA).

Velitchka Yotcheva has already recorded four CDs as a soloist and chamber musician. In early 2004, together with the Trio Rachmaninoff de Montreal, she released a CD under the ATMAclassique Label (Canada). This recording includes the trios of Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich. The second CD, which consists of virtuoso pieces for cello and piano, was released in April 2005 under the Label XXI-21 Records (Canada). Velitchka Yotcheva also recorded the complete J. S. Bach Cello Suites. This double album was released in December 2005 under the Label XXI-21 Records. To highlight this occasion, Mrs Yotcheva performed the Six Suites by J. S. Bach on December 11, 2005 at the “Chapelle Historique du Bon Pasteur” in Montreal. The fourth album was released in March 2008 and includes the Sonatas for Cello and Piano by C. Franck and J. Brahms. In early 2010, she recorded the Rachmaninov trios with violinist Jean Sébastien Roy and pianist Patrice Laré. Mrs. Yotcheva has just released the first CD of the I Cellisti orchestra, an ensemble of twelve cellists, which she created in 2008.