Anton Apostolov

Guitar Instructor

  • Instrument

    Guitar

  • Education

    South West University, Bulgaria
    Majored in Classical Guitar and Pedagogy

Biography Anton Apostolov

This week we continue our Instructor Spotlight series with Guitar Instructor, Anton Apostolov.

Born in 1968, Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria, Anton Apostolov was exposed to music at a very early age. His father was a carpenter and a guitar crafter, as well as an amateur guitar player. At six Anton began playing musical instruments – mandolin, tambura (Bulgarian traditional string instrument) and guitar – all made by his father. He was self- taught from the beginning and learned by ear Bulgarian folk music, and, at the same time, learned the music of The Beatles.

At the age of twelve Anton studied classical guitar at the Varosha Art Center in Blagoevgrad. He was accepted to study guitar with the most prestigious orchestra in town, the Guitar-Mandolin Orchestra, Pirinski Zvutzi where he became a soloist. He participated in numerous projects and collaborations, performances, and six recordings of music – all that mixed traditional Bulgarian folk genres with modern and classical music styles. In 1994, Anton attended South-West University, Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria where he took master classical guitar classes from maestro Dimitur Doichinov.

In 1995, Anton settled in Atlantic City, New Jersey where he taught guitar, performed regularly as a solo guitarist, and became a member of the American Federation of Musicians.

A Toronto resident since 1998, Anton composes, performs and teaches guitar in the Greater Toronto Area. His students have won top prizes at the Kiwanis Music Festival in Toronto.

Anton Apostolov had collaborated with such notable international artist musicians as Valeri Dimchev, Theodosii Spassov, Stoyan Yankulov, Dennis De Souza, Karsh Kale, Erdal Akaya. Anton was recently awarded two Canada Council grants for both writing and recording original compositions that drew from his Bulgarian roots and other forms of world music.

How did you first hear about Arcadia?

I went to visit a friend who was working at a travel agency located in a plaza. There was also Arcadia Academy of Music there. From curiosity, I went in and asked if they were looking for guitar teachers. I had just arrived in Canada at that time; it was 1998. I didn’t know many people here and my third day, I had an interview with the Founder of Arcadia, Mr. Carmine Di Rauso. I was invited to join the Arcadia team right away! So, lucky to say, I had a job in the first week after I arrived in Toronto. This is my first job in Canada and I am still part of the Arcadia team to this day.

Do you teach other instruments besides your main instrument?

I prefer to teach my main instrument, guitar, but yes I have some knowledge in bass, piano tamboura ( traditional Bulgaria lute) and drums.

Why did you decide to become an Instructor?

It is great to share the knowledge and experience with other people who are willing to learn from you.  The reward is really special when you see some of your students actually succeed in their career as musicians and they become really good. This gives me satisfaction and happiness that somehow I was part of their success. My students success is also my success! Another positive aspect of that to be an instructor is meeting with so many different people. I am the kind of person who likes to socialize with people.

How long have you been teaching with Arcadia and how has your experience been with Arcadia so far?

As I said in one of the previous questions I started with Arcadia back in 1998 and I am still teaching at Arcadia Academy of Music. I always received support and respect from Pat and Maurizio Di Rauso  who are the CEO’s of Arcadia Academy of Music. They make me feel like part of their family and I appreciate their trust and gesture.

What can you tell us about your current projects, and are there any upcoming events?

I am in the process of promoting my newest project called Green Sky Project. Recently I recorded my new album called “Star in a Jar”.  We did participate in quite a few festivals and just performed last month at Small World Music Centre. We have invitations to do some concerts in Europe for 2016. I am also part of other projects.

What advice would you give to our young students that are trying to get a band started?

Respect each other, be passionate about the music you create and work hard together with patience and dedication. The result will be amazing.

How has it been balancing your professional music career and your teaching career?

So far I manage to balance that. Both are working for me. I do some small tours and maybe this is why I still am able to balance both. Sometimes even my students are part of my performances. They come and visit some of my concerts and this makes me happy. What really makes me proud, is that some of them get inspired and want to learn some of my original compositions. This a real treat that I moved someone with my music.

Tell us about the Green Sky Project and what your role in the band is.

Green Sky Project is a jazz fusion band comprised of musicians from various cultural backgrounds and musical  training. In 2010 I organized the Balkania Orchestra and was awarded two grants by Canada Council for the Arts to write and record original compositions. Out of that venture blossomed the Green Sky Project. Whoever is interested to check the music and the information about the group can visit the website: www.greenskyproject.com  and also my personal website: www.antonapostolov.com

If you had to recommend to a student a great song (any genre), what would it be?

This is hard to answer. I like so many different genres of music and everybody is different with their taste of music. I would say listen to classical and jazz. Learn classical music because it gives you a strong foundation in any genre. I also like Bach! If I have to suggest music to some of my students that would be classical, because classical music is the foundation for any style of music, in my opinion.

What advice would you give to young musicians who want to attend/audition at a college/university music program?

OK now we talk serious. To attend audition at a college or university you must be prepared practical and theory! The audition is only the first step but accepted you have to manage to keep up with the program and if you are not well prepared you will struggle and this is not going to be fun.  The competition is very strong out there. My advice is: Dedication and hard work!

Are you working on anything new? Any plans for travelling, education, album recordings?

Just finish the arrangement and the recording of a Bollywood song. Soon we will post the video with the new Bollywood sensation Jonita Gandhi who is one of the top Bollywood singers at the moment. I would like to say here that I received support from Arcadia Academy of Music on this project. Special thanks to Pat and Maurizio Di Rauso for their contribution to help make it happen.

I also have a plan for new recordings with new ideas. I have an invitation to perform in the month of May 2016 in Trinidad and also the summer in Europe. Next month, February 6th, I will be performing with the project “World on a String” at Small World Music Centre. For more info visit: http://smallworldmusic.com/shows/world-on-a-string/

Any last thoughts, comments, suggestions?

I love music and I am happy and blessed to say that I still make a living with music. Music is my life. Thanks for letting me share some of my thoughts!

Thank you, Anton!

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