Born in 1909 in Novo Selo, a small town in Southern Bulgaria. He started violin with his father, amateur violinist, and later continued in the Sofia Music Academy, graduating in the class of the famous professor Nikola Abadjiev (father and teacher of the great Bulgarian virtuoso Vasco Abadjiev). There he discovers his passion for pedagogy and psychology. He studies In depth different violin schools of the time (1930s - Russian, Franco-Belgian, Galamian and others) and, understanding their value, he realizes none of them is specifically addressed to small children.
Milanov senses that the approach to music must be made as agreeable and attractive as possible. He knows infancy is one of the most important phases in a person’s life, and he wants the learning and teaching of an instrument to be happy and pleasant without sacrificing quality or depth. He recognizes the importance of discipline and dedication but also recreation and play in teaching children.
With this in mind, he starts the development of a method that will become completely revolutionary at the time. He travels all over Bulgaria collecting well-known popular songs to be used later as inspiration for his work. The aim was to offer the children a musical material that would be very familiar and at the same time carefully structured and organized to smoothly guide students and teachers in the learning of the violin.
In 1945 he established the first school of music in Plovdiv and shortly after he opened in Sofia the first boarding school for talented children. His method gathers recognition. His “experimental” classes become very attended and soon his students start playing all over the country, gathering prizes in national and international competitions.
Daughter of Trendafil Milanov and one of his first students, she is without doubt one of the most internationally known and outstanding violinist to come out of Bulgaria. Her brilliant career has included first prizes in international competitions like the Queen Elisabeth in Brussels and Carl Flesch in London.
Her recording of both Prokofieff violin concertos has been acclaimed by critics and received the Grand Prix du Disque from l’Académie Charles Gros in France and the Radio Télévision Belge in Bélgium.
Her name is included in Margaret Campbell’s book “The Great Violinists”: “This carefully researched and definitive book recreates the magic of the greatest violinists in history”.
David Oistrakh, who invited her to Moscow in 1965 as one of his selected students, wrote:
“… during my work with Stoika I have seen the results of your method. Her technique is harmonically developed, she commands all the technical tools needed for the musical discipline. After reading your book I appreciate the serious and deep view you bring to the teaching process. I very much like your method for various reasons: for the chosen musical material, for the organization of the difficulties and, most important, it is clear that this is the work of a musician and pedagogue with great experience and knowledge."
(Letter to Trendafil Milanov, January 27, 1965)
Yova Milanova starts very early her violin studies with her grandfather Trendafil Milanov. She takes her first tour when she was six years old as soloist with a chamber orchestra and plays her first solo recital at 10 years. At 11 the plays her debut in the Queen Elizabeth Hall (London) and records various pieces with symphony orchestra. She continues studies with her mother Stoika Milanova and later with André Gertler in Brussels and Walter Verdehr at Michigan State University in Lansing, Michigan, USA, graduating with Honors in the Lubomir Pipkov National School of Music, Pancho Vladigerov National Academy of Music (both in Sofia, Bulgaria), She was prize winner in the International Music Competition Maria Canals in Barcelona, Spain, and the Cobb Award Scholarship for her graduate studies at Michigan State University. Between 2013 and 2016 she was artistic director at Grace Notes Music Studio in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA. She has frequently performed as soloist in Bulgaria, Portugal, France, Hungary, Germany, Spain, Holland, Venezuela and the USA. All through her teaching career she has been a firm promoter of the Milanov Method, In 2011 she had her Carnegie Hall debut (New York, USA) playing music of the Greek composer Dinos Constantinidis.
As the heir to a very important musical tradition, she is currently making every effort to make her grandfather's method popular in Spain.