Just a few years ago Bella Hristova was a student of the Steans Music Institute. Her devotion and hard work over the years has paid off tremendously when she returned as a headlining artist of the Rising Stars 2011/2012 season. We contacted Bella after her performance to share her feelings about her return to the Bennett Gordon Hall and this is what she had to say...
It was really special to be back in Bennett Gordon Hall and to play a full recital. During the institute we would usually just perform one piece at a time and it was really nice to play a whole program in the hall. Also kind of surreal was to look up at the balcony and see where I used to sit with all the participants during masterclasses, concerts, etc.
From my time at the Steans I most remember the private lessons and the Ravinia concerts we were able to attend. Also, meal times with visiting artists were particularly memorable. Two memories about Leon Fleisher stand out - sharing a table with him in the cafeteria and him taking a nap on a bench in the Steans lobby while a bunch of us were sight-reading chamber music.
After her fantastic performance, she signed autographs for her fans in front of the hall entrance. Congratulations Bella, we wish you continued success, and we hope to see you again sometime soon. Click here for the gallery.