"The true summit for the evening, however, was the final piece on the program, Shostakovich's Symphony No. 11, "The Year 1905." This performance was the absolute best this reviewer has ever heard the Eugene Symphony sound."
Grand Rapids Symphony
"There's no denying the Bulgarian-born conductor can light a fire under an orchestra and smoke out exciting musical moments. This version [of Stravinsky's Suite from The Firebird] for a standard-size orchestra sounded even bigger, and Rachev told a story that left you eagerly wondering how it would end."
GRAND RAPIDS PRESS
"A recent work by German composer Wolfgang Rihm established an immediate rapport between the orchestra and guest conductor Danail Rachev…Rachev milked the humor and brashness with sweeping baton swings and communicative gestures. Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 6 isn’t on the hit parade of Schubert favorites, but judging from this reading, perhaps it should be. ASO was in top form, crisp and bouncy in the opening movement, supple and delightful in the Andante. Rachev led with flair and precision, the orchestra responding in kind to the work’s charm and engaging melodies."
THE BIRMINGHAM NEWS
“The test for any orchestra with Brahms' Fourth Symphony comes a few pages into the first movement … Rachev achieved the perfectly translucent texture here and the leggiero that Brahms demands. Detail and balance were a priority in the Andante moderato, and there was a real glow to what might be seen as slightly reticent scoring. The mighty Allegro energico last movement gave us yearning strings and striding vigour in a marvellously sustained finale to the concert.”
NEW ZEALAND HERALD
“… the orchestra, under the baton of guest conductor Danail Rachev, reminded us that Beethoven had a gentle side to his bombastic nature [Pastorale Symphony] … [He] performed the Beethoven almost as an antidote to the Fifth with well-tempered, almost cascading, string passages that floated melodically toward some unseen nature setting. Rachev let the work live up to its name.”
ARIZONA DAILY STAR