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Minutes before the start of the first 2018 concert of the New Symphony Orchestra held on the 24th of February in the Bulgaria Hall,

H. E. Ms. Ana Maria Sampaio Fernandes, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federative Republic of Brazil to the Republic of Bulgaria, received the award "For Outstanding Contribution towards the Orchestra's Development". Throughout 2017, she had been an honorary patron of the New Symphony Orchestra, with music director and conductor Petko Dimitrov.

After the emotional moment the concert program began. It included the works of Ralph Von Williams - "Fantasia on a theme by Thomas Tallis", Samuel Barber's Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra, op. 22 /Premiere for Bulgaria/, Jean Sibelius - The Return of the Lemminkainen, op. 22 /premiere for Bulgaria/, Arvo Friart - "Silouan’s Song" /premiere for Bulgaria/ and Bedrich Smetana - "Blanik". The emphasis of the evening was the debut in the Bulgaria Hall of our highly talented young cellist Mihail Petrov, whose performance impressed the audience.

The concert was dedicated to the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council of the EU and passed under the honorary patronage of Mrs. Ekaterina Zaharieva, Deputy Prime Minister for Judicial Reform and Minister of Foreign Affairs.