Община Варна - култура и изкуство
Candidature of Varna for European Capital of Culture
It was launched on 13 June 1985 by the Greek minister of culture, the famous actress and singer, Melina Mercouri. Initially, the initiative was called European City of Culture in a special motion of the Council of Ministers of the Union.

The official document stated that the European City of Culture was to present a culture which in its historical roots and contemporary development was characterized both by common elements and a heritage which had been due to differences.


Bulgaria’s European Capital of Culture
In 2019, a Bulgarian city and a Italian city will be the European Capitals of Culture. The designation procedures are described in Decision No 1622 of 24 October 2006 by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union.

The applications are assessed by a special commission of 13 members. Seven of them are from European institutions and six are appointed by the applicant-country.



Festivals and Competitions

Varna Summer International Music Festival

24 June - 22 September 2016

The Varna Summer International Music Festival was established in 1926 under the name Summer Music Celebrations. The initiative was of the Cultural and Educational Society – Varna with the active involvement of Dobri Hristov, Pancho Vladigerov, Vasil Stavrev, Gercho Gerchev,Ivan Kamburov, Dimitar Slavov… It was the first festival in Bulgaria. After a break in the periods 1932-1935 and 1940-1956, in 1957 the festival was revived as a cultural season Varna Summer including a wide range of arts. In 1966 after a special resolution of the government it was instituted with its present name and at the same time it limited its genre profile featuring symphony, choral and chamber music, as well as opera and ballet. Since 1967 it has been held every year usually in the period 15 June – 15 July. Originally the festival was organized by the Cultural and Educational Society – Varna. In 1930-1931 it was implemented with the active involvement of the Varna Municipality and after 1935 – by the Varna Philharmony. In the period 1957 – 1966 main organizer was General Directorate Musika and since 1967 until now – Varna Municipality. The present programme includes not only the established music forms but also a variety of thematic events – Early Music and Young Talents, Summer Scientific Meetings and International Summer Music Academy. Since 1987 the festival has been a member of the European Festivals Association. The first editions of the festival were held in the former Open-air theater in the Sea Garden (on the place of the present N. Kopernik Observatory). In the 50s and 60s the main festival venue was the new Open-air Theater. Later the events took place in the Drama Theater, the Palace of Culture and Sport, House of Amateur Art – until 1990, Zlatni Pyasatsi Open-air cinema, St. Constantine and Helena Open-air cinema – until 1989, House of Transport Workers – until 1989, Internatsional Hotel (Golden Sands Resort) – until 1991 and Cherno More Inter Hotel – until 1991, St. Atanasiy Church until 1990, foyer of the Town Hall (1992-1999), Festival and Congress Center, City Art Gallery (after 1989), Fr. Joliot Currie International House of Scientists and the courtyard of the Archeological Museum.

For contacts:
Varna Municipality, Cultural and Intellectual Development Directorate
Varna, 43, Osmi Primorski Polk. Blvd.
tel. +359 52/ 603 504 – Jana Andreeva – Director of Cultural and Intellectual Development Directorate
tel./fax +359 52/ 659 123 – Plamena Tsoneva – Chief Expert – Musicologist; tsoneva@varnasummerfest.org

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