The European Music Festival was founded in 2001. Its goal is to present to Sofia concert-goers prominent Bulgarian and international classical music stars. The festival’s program is designed to include a variety of musical genres. In combining different approaches to classical music, the festival aims to expand its audiences’ knowledge and experience. Every year, each new edition builds upon the idea of bringing to life values of the past in a new era. Over the years, festival participants were world-renowned artists and ensembles, such as Nigel Kennedy, Richard Clayderman, Mischa Maisky, Gidon Kremer, Pinchas Zukerman, David Walter, I Solisti Veneti – conducted by Claudio Scimone, the Kremerata Baltica Chamber Orchestra, Zukerman Chamber Players, the Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra, the Moscow City Symphony “Russian Philharmonic” conducted by Dmitri Jurowski, the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, the Moscow Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra, and the Budapest Chamber Orchestra, among many others. The festival’s roster has also included Bulgaria’s most talented musicians – Mila Georgieva, Vesko Panteleev-Eschkenazy, Svetlin Roussev, Ludmil Angelov, Alexandrina Pendatchanska, Orlin Goranov, and Plamena Mangova, to name a few. The festival is designed for young and outgoing audiences, as well as for mid-age listeners with classical music interests in a broader sense. In September of 2015, EMF’s 15th edition was granted yet another prize of honour- the Sofia Municipality Music Award for Outstanding Achievements in the Field of Culture.
In April 2019, the European Music Festival received the “Europe for Festivals, Festivals for Europe” (EFFE) Label “Remarkable Arts Festival”, presented by the European Festivals Association. EMF now proudly stands side by side with some of Europe’s most prestigious festivals.