Their lives were enriched by rising to perform at previously-unattainable levels…

Dale Morehouse, Musical Administrator

Invest in the Future of Classical Musicians!

Since 1999, the Varna International Music Academy (VIMA) has offered aspiring musicians of all levels an opportunity to hone their craft while exploring the rich history and culture of Varna, Bulgaria.

VIMA is one of the few international summer academies offering a comprehensive program combining unparalleled music instruction and fully-staged productions with costumes, sets, and accompanied by a professional orchestra. Throughout the program, soloists, choral singers, conductors, and instrumentalists attend a variety of masterclasses and individual coaching while preparing to perform in these fully-staged choral-orchestral productions.

Donors are a vital component of our organization, and your gift will help keep these priceless experiences affordable and accessible to participants from all socioeconomic backgrounds. By supporting VIMA, you are helping to ensure that the legacy of true art continues to have a lasting and far-reaching impact on classical musical training and education.

 Support the Power of 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. We are asking generous donors to invest in the musicians of tomorrow by giving to our General Scholarship Fund. Your gift provides essential assistance for creative and passionate young talents while also supporting classical music and its beautiful legacy.


Professor Marin Chonev, the father of our CEO and International Director, dedicated his life to providing affordable music education to musicians throughout Bulgaria. As a way of continuing his legacy, The Marin Chonev Endowment ensures qualified Bulgarian students will always have an opportunity to participate in VIMA through the scholarships it provides.


  • Musicians from 17 US states and 9 countries attended VIMA 2019.
  • VIMA 2019 awarded $42,000 in scholarships to 29 participants.
  • VIMA 2019 faculty provided over 2500 hours of unparalleled music instruction to participants.
  • VIMA 2019 participants have been selected to audition for prestigious opera houses, including the Anchorage Opera, Cincinnati Opera, and the Atlanta Opera, to name just a few.

How to Give

VIMA is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law. To give the gift of classical music to future generations, please click on the button below.

To pay by check, make check out to:
Varna International Music Academy
1225 Laurel St., Suite 331
Columbia, SC 29201

Sponsors and Collaborators

Sharing the Legacy


Participants Say

Testimonials
“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