NEW! Milen is featured in the exhibition “Accordions: Expanding Voices in the USA” at the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, CA. Slavov is selected as a representative of contemporary usage of the accordion in the United States, to represent Bulgarian music and Balkan styles more generally.
Milen Slavov (Pseudonym: SLAVMAN) is a Bulgarian-American accordionist-composer-producer.
Milen was born in 1968, in Stara Zagora - the Thrace region of Bulgaria. He first played the piano accordion at 7 years old and was already performing publicly at eight. By 16 he was composing and arranging music; by 24 - producing. Since then, he’s developed a personal style that combines traditional Bulgarian/Balkan musical idioms with classical and jazz. Constantly feeling a drive to express himself as a performer, teacher, composer and producer, Milen emigrated to the USA in 1997. In 2000, the US government granted him permanent residency as an “Artist of Extraordinary Ability”.
“Milen Slavov incorporates Bulgarian, classical and jazz into his own unique, thrilling musical language.” - NAMM Museum of Making Music
“I don’t know much about this musical genre, but I know when I’m in the presence of a virtuoso.” - Benny Ambush, Theatre Artist, Narrator of the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival, 1998
"Slavov demonstrates the capacity to cross not only the boundaries of time and space but also enter the variable dimensions of human experience." - Greg Smith, Professor of Teacher Education, Lewis & Clark College, Portland Oregon
"Milen Slavov’s music is rich in East European touches, and he plays in some very odd (by Western standards) rhythms. He also loves to mix up styles, so while there may be a nod to classical pieces, he roams through the folk music of his homeland, fiery Gypsy tunes, and original compositions. For anyone with a preconceived notion of what the accordion can do, Slavov takes it far beyond." - East Bay Express, San Francisco
"Your special modality involving "World Music" is an offering of true value in these times." - Herbert Rothgarber, composer-educator
"The lecture and recital by Milen Slavov...was a demonstration of remarkable talent...the recital was absolutely incredible...he taught mixed meters, language, social customs, and fusion of Bulgarian folk music with jazz and pop." - Dr. Mark Reimer, Chair, Department of Music, Christopher Newport University, Virginia
"Milen Slavov’s compositions for accordion are a wonderful combination of references to the oldest part of the rich heritage of Bulgarian folk music and new ideas that are fresh and original." - Dr. Timothy Rice, Chair, UCLA Ethnomusicology Dept.
"You have an enormous talent and your music is vibrant and exciting and your playing...simply incredible!" - Avraham Sternklar, pianist-composer-educator
• Featured in the exhibition “Accordions: Expanding Voices in the USA” at the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Museum of Making Music, Carlsbad, CA, USA, 2018
• 500 + Musical compositions/recordings, registered with the USA Copyright Office, 1998-2013
• Appearance on the Top 5 World Music Tracks, playlist selection by rock star Bryan Adams, "Songlines" World Music Magazine, February release, UK, 2011
• First Prize, International Musical Composition Contest, Long Island Arts Council at Freeport NY, USA, 2005
• Inclusion in the "Masters of the Accordion" CD, ARC Music Productions, UK, 2003
• Performing Arts Fellowship in Music Composition from the Mississippi Arts Commission, USA, 2002
• Performing Arts Fellowship in Music Composition from the California Arts Council, USA, 2000
• Permanent Residency as an “Artist of Extraordinary Ability”, USA Government, 2000
• Guest teacher at the UCLA Ethnomusicology Department, 1998/99
• Gold Medal for Folk Song Performance, Koprivshtica National Folk Festival, Bulgaria, 1981
Read about Milen’s pseudonym SLAVMAN and how it came to be: slavman.com/pseudonym
Milen is a master piano accordionist performing and recording Bulgarian music in traditional and contemporary styles, and original world music fusion influenced by a Balkan and Eastern-European heritage interwoven with a western life experience. Milen’s music fuses fiery passages, lyrical motifs, dazzling improvisation, odd meters and melodies with no rhythm.
Milen Slavov is featured in the 2018-2019 exhibition “Accordions: Expanding Voices in the USA” at the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, CA. Slavov is selected as a representative of contemporary usage of the accordion in the United States, to represent Bulgarian music and Balkan styles more generally.
Slavov has performed and collaborated with numerous acclaimed musicians throughout the world, and he has appeared at the National Folk Festival (USA), San Antonio International Accordion Festival, Montmagny International Accordion Festival (Canada), San Francisco World Music Festival, California Academy of Sciences, Stockton International Folkdance Camp, and more.
Milen Slavov is an award-winning composer, creating music for live entertainment and audio-visual productions. He’s developed a personal style that incorporates traditional Bulgarian/Balkan, classical and jazz idioms, to create original world music fusion reflecting common human emotions and characters. Naturally, he also specializes in vocal and instrumental music in traditional and contemporary Bulgarian styles.
“Milen Slavov incorporates Bulgarian, classical and jazz into his own unique, thrilling musical language.” - NAMM Museum of Making Music, USA
Slavov has developed a multimedia production philosophy with a universal scope surpassing borders and nationality - no matter their ethnic background, people have more similarities than differences. He has produced musical products and cultural events promoting the preservation of cultural traditions and embracing the exploration of high-quality cultural, artistic and entertainment innovation.
Milen has developed and executed digital media production concepts; created promotional and marketing strategies; established quality artistic and entertainment criteria; managed content productions; evaluated objectives and budgets; guided digital media production crews and casts; developed presentation plans; arranged multimedia licensing, broadcasting and record deals.