World-class Bulgarian pianist and pedagogue, Velichka Savova (Wella Sawowa) studied with Leopold Godowsky during her most formative years in Berlin, Germany. She considered herself solely a disciple of Leopold Godowsky. She spoke in length about Maestro Godowsky and the "frei Gewichtkeit" as his piano-playing method. In her words, she was only a humble student and follower of the great Maestro.
where she performed for Berthold Kellerman who was one of the last students of Franz Liszt and who was "frequently acclaimed as the living embodiment of the Liszt tradition". Naturally, Kellerman also knew Clara Schumann personally and naming Ms. Savova (Wella Sawowa, as she preferred her name at that time) as the second Clara Schumann is of great significance.
In 1918, due to WWI , Ms. Savova went back to Bulgaria. In 1923, she returned to Berlin and studied with Ferruccio Busoni and his assistant and friend, Gottfried Galston. Galston in turn asked Ms. Savova to be his assistant, a position which she readily assumed for three years. In 1927, Galston left for the United States.After Galston's departure, Ms. Savova became a student and the assistant of Leonid Kreutzer. With the rise of the political changes in Germany in 1931 she left for Poland and in 1932, she returned to Bulgaria once again. In 1933, Kreutzer emigrated to Japan and invited Ms. Savova to be his assistant there. Having been entrusted by Maestro Godowsky to expand his work and methods in Eastern Eutrope Ms. Savova did not accept Kreutzer's invitation, but instead stayed in Bulgaria for the rest of her life.
In Bulgaria, Ms. Savova became a central figure in the musical scene. She formed a duo with the phenomenal Bulgarian violinist Nedyalka Simeonova and later with Todor Vazharov, who became her husband. During this time she became the lead professor in the Boarding School for Gifted and Talented and later became a professor at the National Academy of Music (Conservatory). Due to political changes in Bulgaria, she was forced to leave the Conservatory, while her husband continued his position there.
In all of the following years Ms. Savova remained the most beloved, respected and sought after private pedagogue of world class stature. In turn she authorized Professor Konstantinov to continue her work in US. The International Master Institute of Music "Leopold Godowsky", Inc. owe our most heartfelt thanks and respect to Ms. Velichka Savova because without her, we would not be in existence. Unfortunately, majority of Ms. Savova's recordings have been destroyed. One recording remains in the private collection of her favorite student, Professor Konstantinov. We invite you to hear our great Maestro Savova's recording on our YouTube channels: www.youtube.com/godowskyinstitute and www.youtube.com/aninhey. We invite you to contact us should you like to contribute any information and/or lost recordings of Ms. Velichka Savova (Wella Sawowa).
Johann Sebastian Bach
Ludwig van Beethoven
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli