ILLINOIS PHILHARMONIC ORCHESTRA
"...Stilian Kirov led his most impressive and -- by far -- best-played concert to date since taking the reins of the [Illinois Philharmonic (Chicago Southlands)] in the fall of 2017. [...] Saturday's magnificent performance of Rachmaninoff's Symphony No. 2 showed this partnership hitting its stride, with a virtual sea change in the orchestra's fortunes. [...] Kirov showed himself a Rachmaninoff conductor of the first rank in this performance. From the brooding opening bars to the final joyous coda, the hour-long symphony unfolded as if in one breath, seamlessly and logically, with ideal tempos throughout."
CHICAGO CLASSICAL REVIEW
SYMPHONY IN C
"The Brahms Symphony No. 2, which ended Saturday's program, had a strong conceptual framework that cleared a path for the young musicians to play with a kind of purpose and freedom that reanimate the piece for listeners... For some conductors, this is an airy, pastoral symphony. This reading, for all of the singing qualities, was the opposite, with a particularly strong pulse, vigorous tempos, and sharply contoured gestures... Every time a musical idea ran its course in the first movement, Kirov gave the final notes a subtle melancholy. At the opposite end of the interpretive spectrum, the brass entrances of the final movement had more than the usual sense of triumph, but, thanks to a strong sense of continuity, it wasn't simply an effect but an illustration of the composer's dazzling musical invention."
"Kirov conducted with great vitality and energy as well as a fine sense of both balance and timing, and got exciting performances from all hands – chorus, soloists, orchestra." [Orff Carmina Burana]
CHAUTAUQUA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
"Stilian Kirov did a beautiful job with the music, finding hints of Schumann among the traditional Russian melodies. The performance of the orchestra was excellent."
"… Under [Kirov’s] baton, the concerto sounded fresh and illustrated the romantic personality, which was obvious thanks to the lightness and sophistication of the structure. There was something more: a dialogue between the soloist and the orchestra seemed to be a kind of the opera dialogue, making the initial Allegro grow into an opera scene – a sort of hesitation between aria and recitative. Knowing Chopin's musical preferences – he would like this interpretation ..."
POLSKIE RADIO BIALYSTOK