Born in Sofia, Sergei Pavlov studied choral and orchestral conducting at the Pancho Vladigerov National Conservatory of Music under the renowned Bulgarian professors Vassil Kazandjiev, Miroslav Popsavov, and Boris Spassov; and in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign under Donald Schleicher and Fred Stoltzfus. From 1996 until 2004 Sergei worked for Classic FM radio, where he created and hosted a popular Bulgarian radio talk show, Morning Coffee. His many radio guests included such musical stars as Montserrat Caballé, Anton Guadagno, Andrei Konchalovsky, Ghena Dimitrova, and José Cura.
Sergei Pavlov’s professional conducting debut came in Sofia, with the Orchestra of Classic FM radio, as part of the European music festival in May 2002. In 2004 he was appointed Music Director of the Illinois String Orchestra and assistant conductor of the Quad City Symphony. In 2010 he worked as assistant conductor of Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris and this same year made his first appearance with the orchestra of The Spoleto Festival USA. In 2011, also in Spoleto USA, he conducted a performance of the anniversary production of the opera The Medium, celebrating 100 years from the birth of its composer, Giancarlo Menotti. From 2006 to 2011 Sergei was associate conductor of the University of Illinois Opera Theatre. Since late 2011 he maintains close artistic connections with Teatro Nacional Sucre, The National Opera Theatre of Ecuador. Sergei Pavlov has worked with internationally renowned opera artists such as Grace Bumbry, Willard White, Barbara Dever, Maurizio Barbacini, Stefano Vizioli, and Daniel Catán.