Plamen Karadonev

Assistant Professor
Affiliated Departments

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Plamen Karadonev is a jazz pianist and accordionist with experience playing a variety of genres including jazz, classical, fusion, world music, R&B, and gospel. For more than 20 years, Karadonev has been performing in many different ensemble settings including big band, small and large jazz and contemporary ensembles, string orchestras, vocal ensembles, duos, and solo.

Career Highlights
  • Performances with Randy Brecker, Jerry Bergonzi, George Garzone, Hal Crook, and Gene Perla
  • Recordings as a leader include Beyond Hope, 2014 (featuring Jerry Bergonzi), and Crossing Lines, 2008 (featuring George Garzone and Hal Crook)
  • Major publications include pieces in Wire Magazine (UK), All About Jazz, the Boston Globe, and on Radio Bulgaria
  • Private studies with Joanne Brackeen, Hal Crook, Laszlo Gardony, Tony Germain, Doug Johnson, Joe Lovano, Danilo Pérez, Petre Petrov, and Dave Samuels
  • Jazz Performance Award, Berklee College of Music, 2006
  • Jazz Performance Award, Berklee College of Music, 2005
  • B.A., Berklee College of Music, piano performance
  • A.A., Quincy College
  • State Academy of Music (Sofia, Bulgaria), music education and jazz performance studies
In Their Own Words

"I strive for my students to be able to walk out of their piano lessons with creative ideas and new skills that would equip them with the necessary tools that develop young musicians into prosperous performing artists. As a piano performer myself, I have worked through a wide range of technical exercises, improvisation techniques, and harmony using a variety of rhythms in regular or odd meters, and my ultimate goal as a teacher is to be able to add at least another piece of training that would help my students play and improvise with dexterity as well as write, arrange, and deliver music with freedom and joy."

"When I teach, I always try to find that special niche that shapes my students stylistically with an approach that brings inspiration into their learning process."

"I share with [students] my experience in the most relevant way that combines both our class topic and their interests while we simultaneously work thoroughly on the required proficiency material."