The Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra is a leading orchestra in Bulgarian musical culture and in the community of European radio formations. The musicians on its staff have graduated from the most prestigious musical academies: those of Moscow, St Petersburg, The Julliard School, and the National Academy of Music "Professor Pancho Vladigerov".
The orchestra’s serious development to the standards of prestigious professional orchestras started under the great Bulgarian conductor Vassil Stefanov (1913-1991). After the beginning in 1948, with a small ensemble for a year, Stefanov took over the orchestra in 1954 and worked with it for more than 30 years. He made it a leading cultural institution in Bulgaria. Making contributions of their own to the development and artistic growth of the Orchestra were Vassil Kazandjiev, Alexander Vladigerov, Milen Nachev and Rossen Milanov.
The Bulgarian National Radio Symphony Orchestra has been engaging in busy concert activities both in Bulgaria and abroad. The Orchestra has been invariably taking part in the major international music festivals in Bulgaria: the March Music Days in Ruse and the Varna Summer. The Orchestra’s concert tours have included South Korea, France, Spain, Germany; it has taken part in the cultural programme of Mondial ’98 (France), the inauguration of the Europalia Festival in Brussels, a concert under the Acropolis within the frameworks of the cultural Olympiad in Athens, participation in Cypria – the most outstanding cultural festival in Cyprus. In January 2008, the orchestra had an exceptionally successful concert tour with Rossen Milanov and Bulgarian star Vesselina Kasarova in some of the largest concert halls of Europe: in Munich, Dortmund (Germany), Valladolid (Spain) and in the Concertgebouw (the Netherlands).
Music recording is among the most important activities of the orchestra. Apart from making recordings for the fund of the Bulgarian National Radio, it also records for foreign companies.