MARTA SIMIDTCHIEVA is the Professor of Cello at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE) and a native of Bourgas, Bulgaria, where she began the cello at an early age and studied at the Bulgarian State Academy of Music. Upon the completion of her degree, she performed with the New Symphony Orchestra in Sofia until her path led her to the United States to continue her studies. She earned her doctorate in 2005 from Florida State University, where she was a student of Lubomir Georgiev, a member of the Eppes String Quartet, and principal cellist of the University Symphony Orchestra, where she was a soloist several times, most notably performing the Vivaldi Concerto for Two Cellos with vocalist Bobby McFerrin.
On the faculty at SIUE since 2005, Simidtchieva has taught cello, chamber music, string methods, and general music courses and is a member of the Musici Piano Trio (formerly the LeClaire Piano Trio). She is a passionate music educator and frequent clinician, presenting regularly at the American String Teachers Association conferences. Each year, she organizes Cellobration, an event that brings together local students and teachers with a guest artist to perform and celebrate the art of cello playing.
Simidtchieva has performed with numerous orchestras, including the Illinois Symphony and Orlando Philharmonic, and has been a member of the faculty at Eastern Music Festival since 2004. In addition to her orchestral experience, Simidtchieva is an advocate for the music of composers from her native Bulgaria and has received several grants for her research. Her album of 20th Century works for cello by Bulgarian composers Bulgarian Sketches was released by GEGA NEW in April 2018. In 2019, the CD was awarded the Music Global Award for outstanding new release.