Pavel started playing the guitar at the age of ten and took his first classical guitar lessons two years later, quickly turning this activity into an outlet for his already existing passion for music. He has also dabbled in drumming from an even younger age and rhythm remains an important part of his musical ideas. Soon after beginning guitar lessons, he was accepted to study under Milena and Valentin Valtchev at the National School of Music and Dance Arts “Dobrin Petkov” in Plovdiv, Bulgaria. On graduation, as a result of winning a number of competitions and leading an active musical life at the school, he received the principal’s award for high musical achievements. He then went on to study in the class of Prof. Michael Lewin at the Royal Academy of Music on a full fees scholarship.
Pavel has participated in masterclasses with world-renowned guitarists such as Fabio Zanon, David Russell, Marcin Dylla, Edoardo Catemario, George Vassillev to name a few, and he has met and played for the legendary Julian Bream. He has also performed live for both the Bulgarian National Radio and Television, and in venues like the Plovdiv Philharmonic House, Bulgarian National Opera, Duke’s Hall at RAM, and the House of Commons in the British Parliament. Pavel has performed and led masterclasses in both the Dobrin Petkov School of Music and the Academy of Music and Dance Arts in Plovdiv. In 2018 Pavel made his concerto debut playing Joaquin Rodrigo’s “Fantasia para un Gentilhombre” at the Proms at St. Jude’s under the baton of John Ashton Thomas. Desiring to further the development of modern Bulgarian guitar music he has presented the premiere performances of pieces by Stanislav Hvartchilkov and Kiril Boshikyov. With the latter, he has formed a guitar duo currently working on new arrangements of music by Bulgarian and French impressionist composers, with the idea of extending their work into other epochs.
As a teacher, Pavel also enjoys a busy schedule, both privately and in a number of schools. Most notably he has worked with The Da Capo Music Foundation, where he was trained to deliver early years music classes and guitar lessons using DaCapo's excellent Kodaly and Dalcroze inspired methods.
In the autumn of 2018, Pavel is commencing a Postgraduate course at the University of Surrey as the only guitar performance student of guitarist-composer Prof. Stephen Goss.
7/8 Guitar Duo
7/8 is the guitar duo formed by Pavel Ralev and fellow Bulgarian guitarist Kiril Boshikyov. They are currently working on the repertoire for a CD of original arrangements of French and Bulgarian impressionism by Kiril.