Bulgarian flutist Yana Nikol began her musical journey playing by ear with a mini, electric piano, followed by formal piano lessons at the age of seven. At ten, she immersed herself thoroughly in a classical music education program where she discovered and pursued the flute. Her formative flute teachers include Nikolay Yordanov, Ivona Nedeva and prof. Lydia Oshavkova.
During her high school and college years, Yana won first prize in several national and international competitions, among them “Svetoslav Obretenov,” “Classical and modern” and “Young Virtuosos.” She continued developing her musicianship in the master classes of world-renowned flutists Andrash Adorian, Wolfgang Schulz, Brian Luce, Gary Schocker, and Marianne Gedigian. Yana’s dedication provided her the rare opportunity to appear as a soloist with professional orchestras performing: such works as Mozart’s “Concertos in D and G,” Vivaldi’s Concerto, “Le Tempesta di Mare,” and Reinecke’s “Concerto in D.” In 2006, she was the sole recipient of Gallery “Young Talents” scholarship for Woodwind instruments.
Yana holds flute performance degrees from the National Academy of Music in Bulgaria (BM) and the University of South Florida (MM) where she was presented with an Outstanding Merit Award in “recognition of outstanding student citizenship and exemplary performance during the 2007-08 academic year.” She completed two years of postgraduate studies at George Mason University, which included jazz lessons with Kenneth Rittenhouse, a member of The United States Army “Blues” Jazz Ensemble.
Expanding upon her extensive classical training, Yana has passionately embraced jazz and world music and she is an active freelance musician in the Washington D.C. area sharing her musical prowess as a participant in various projects and ensembles that incorporate a vast array of musical genres. Recent performances include a flute and piano recital presenting music by Bulgarian composers with pianist Dr. Ina Mirtcheva, performances at the Mansion at Strathmore, the Kennedy Center Millenium Stage, Blues Alley, George Mason University Center for the Arts, Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club, and Twins Jazz club, to name just a few.
In 2017 Yana recorded the Nightingale with composer and pianist, Mark Christopher Brandt. The Nightingale features her incredible abilities along side the equally gifted cellist Katherine Colburn, and it includes a piano/flute duo version of one of Yana’s own compositions, Up to You.
Yana performs regularly with guitarist/composer Cristian Perez and she is a featured member of his multicultural chamber/world music group, the Cristian Perez Quintet. In 2016 Perez’s CD, entitled Anima Mundi featured her flute playing prominently and spawned a tour covering multiple venues in South Korea, as well as 3 performances at the Bolivia Festijazz International.