Brooklyn String Competition 2013


From left to right:

Serafim Smigelskiy, cellist

Steliana Nedeva, violist

Emilia Simeonov, violinist


More about the judges:

Serafim Smigelskiy, cellist, has established himself as one of today's most promising young cellists. He appeared as soloist with the Juilliard School Symphony Orchestra, Kansas City Philharmonic Orchestra, Jupiter Chamber Players, Argento Chamber Ensemble,  ECCE, ArsViva Strings Orchestra, Axiom contemporary music ensemble, and Quartet Accorda. This year Serafim was appointed as artistic director at ECCE (East Coast Contemporary Ensemble): New York/Boston-based chamber ensemble specializing on contemporary classical music. Serafim is currently on cello faculty at Brooklyn College (New York), Great Neck Music Conservatory, Illinois Chamber Music Festival and Wesleyan University Cello Festival.

Inspired by contemporary art, Serafim performs a wide repertoire of modern music and collaborates with ensembles of new music. Working directly with such composers as Magnus Lindberg, Steve Reich, and Mathias Pintscher led to performances of their music at such venues as Carnegie Hall (Weill Recital Hall and Stern Auditorium Perelman Stage), Alice Tully Hall, Peter Jay Sharp Theater, Lincoln Center, Harvard University’s Radcliff Hall, Moscow Philharmonic Hall, and others. Smigelskiy also has a keen interest in historic performance practice and has studied Baroque cello with Bruno Cocset of the Jordi Savall ensemble. From 2003, he was a member of the New Holland Baroque Ensemble in St. Petersburg, which he joined for numerous concerts, radio broadcasts and tours. He has studied and collaborated with such prominent musicians as Mstislav Rostropovich, Natalia Gutman, Laurence Lesser, Colin Carr, Martin Storey, Richard Aaron, Eric Rosenblith, Ben Sayevich, Stanislav Ioudenitch,William Grant Naboré,Vassily Sinaisky, Julius Berger,Alban Gerhardt, Giya Kancheli,Alexey Liubimov, Daniel Muller Shott, Nicholas Kitchen, Peter Stump and many others.

Born in 1985, in St. Petersburg, Russia, he began study of cello at the age of 6 with Galina Korolyóva. At 15, he entered the Rimsky-Korsakov College where he was a student of Konstantin Kucherov. During this period he received several awards from international competitions and foundations, including the First Prize of the Russian State's Russian Music Competition, Third Prize in the International Mravinsky Cello Competition, and Second Prize in the Mussorgsky String Competition. In 2004 he entered the St. Petersburg State Conservatory, where he studied with Alexey Massarsky. During that period he studied with Alexander Richter of the Saint-Petersburg Philharmonic String Quartet and Josif Levinson of the Taneyev String Quartet. Smigelskiy also was a cellist with the eminent Rimsky-Korsakov String Quartet, chamber orchestra Divertissement and the St. Petersburg Soloists artist management organisation. Before moving to New York City in 2010, he received the Graduate Certificate at Park University International Center for Music where he was student of Martin Storey. Currently Serafim is pursuing his Master of Music in Cello Performance from The Juilliard School studying with Richard Aaron (cello) and Sylvia Rosenberg (chamber music). His other interests include photography, reading and traveling. More info at:

Steliana Nedeva, violist, received her Master of Music degree from Mannes College of Music and her Bachelor of Music from Boston University.
In summers 2003 and 2004, Ms. Nedeva participated in National Orchestral Institute festival in College Park, MD. There she performed with the National Orchestral Institute Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Mr. Michael Stern, Mr. Andrew Litton and Mr. Leif Segerstam, Mr. Leonard Slatkin and Ms. JoAnn Falletta. Since the summer of 2005, Ms. Nedeva has been the principal violist with the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. Since 2003, Ms. Nedeva has performed with numerous symphony and opera companies including the prestigious Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC, Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, Albany Symphony Orchestra and New Jersey Philharmonic Orchestra, to name a few.
Ms. Nedeva was a member of the Bassan and Montclair String Quartets with which she performed on a regular basis in Carnegie Hall, the Bulgarian, French and German Consulates and made several broadcasts on Bulgarian National Radio and TV. In 2006, Ms. Nedeva won first prize for chamber music at the International Competition “Earth and People” with the Montclair String Quartet in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Currently, Steliana Nedeva is an active performer with the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, New York City Opera, Philadelphia Virtuosi Orchestra among others. Ms. Nedeva also is enjoying a teaching career and is on the   faculty of the Stevens Institute of Technology since 2006 and The Paramus High School. She is current  member of Muse String Quartet, with which she has been  performing since 2009.

Emilia Simeonov, violinist, has graduated from the Norwegian Academy of Music / The Norwegian State Academy in Oslo, Norway (1991-1998). She has worked as a violin teacher and freelance musician in Oslo, then later in the USA.
With both Eastern European and Norwegian background, Emilia’s teaching styles give fast results. Beautiful tones and techniques are achieved more easily with both beginners and advanced students. Emilia has worked with children from the ages of 5 to 18 years old. She has also extensive experience as a conductor and instructor for the string orchestra for children and groups.
As a performing musician, Emilia, has next to play classical music and experiment with improvisation and different styles, including, Flamenco, Jazz, Tango and Balken music. As a solo violinist, she has also been involved in several theater and musical productions.
In Oslo, Emilia has acted on several stages and in theaters including Cosmopolitan, Torshovteateret, Alley and Oslo New Theater. In New York, she played at Carnegie Hall, The Players Theater, La MaMa and Joe’s Pub.
In 2002, Emilia moved from Norway to the USA. She now resides in NYC with her family.