Varna International Music Academy

Support the power of music!

Since 1999, Varna International Music Academy (VIMA) has offered in-depth music training and performance opportunities to conductors, vocalists, and instrumentalists from the United States and around the globe. The strategy of our music academy has been to place participants where they can learn from masters in a musically rich European environment and better prepare for a professional career in music.

Through the years, VIMA has provided modest scholarships to those who need it most. However, as the cost of basic undergraduate and graduate education skyrockets, we have observed an increased need for financial support. To ensure these experiences are accessible to tomorrow’s conductors and musicians, we relaunched VIMA as a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization in 2018. This allows interested individuals and organizations to invest in ensuring the legacy of true art continues to have a lasting and far-reaching impact on classical musical training and education. Gifts of any size are meaningful to us because we are encouraged by your support of our mission. However, we have identified a few key needs that may be of interest to you.

Support a musician

The artistic level at which musicians participate at VIMA allows them to grow exponentially. The average program cost for each participant who attends the music academy for three weeks (including travel and lodging) is $5,200. Your donation, whether partial or full, will ensure a new generation of artists will be equipped to enter the professional world of music.

Sponsor an artist

We recruit the most experienced and highly-regarded faculty for our academy from prestigious venues like the New York Metropolitan Opera and the London Royal Opera House as well as from US and international universities. Your gift honors their expertise, talent and time by securing their stipend, travel and lodging expenses. A gift of $7,500 fully funds one artist-in-residence, but we value all contributions as critical to hiring the world-renowned faculty that makes our academy unique.

Give in honor of Marin Chonev

Professor Marin Chonev dedicated his life to providing affordable music education to musicians throughout Bulgaria. As a way of continuing his legacy, this endowment ensures qualified Bulgarian students will always have an opportunity to participate in VIMA through the scholarships it provides.

Participants Say

“Truly extraordinary … remarkable ...very well performed”

The Opera Academy was truly extraordinary. For the program to present three fully staged operas with orchestra, and a masterworks concert in only four weeks is remarkable. The productions were all very well performed, costumed, directed, sung, conducted, and the sets were great.

Lydia Bechtel

opera singer (Soprano)
“I gained experience”

I got to sing two full operatic roles at an opera house with their full-time orchestra, chorus, director, conductor, props, costumes, sets, make-up artists and wonderful teachers/coaches. I gained experience as if I had a fest contract in an opera house!

Evan Dunn

opera singer (Bass)
“Second to none”

The amount of podium time afforded to each Conducting Fellow and Associate is second to none, and the benefits were immediate. Not only was my technique refined under the excellent tutelage of Larry Wyatt and Dian Tchobanov, but remarkable professional opportunities emerged upon my return home.

Randall Speer, D.M.A.

Professor of Music, Randolph College