Born in Varna, Bulgaria, he first took music lessons playing accordion at the age of 7, for about 3 years, and then spent time just listening music with lots of interest until the age of 13, when he decided to begin studying guitar. After one and half year of just jamming, suddenly an amazing and very fast progress was noticed. Since then nothing could really stop him from playing more and more, with first inspirations like Jimi Hendrix and Metallica, and 4 years later widely broad musical taste (from Django Reinhardt, through Miles Davis, Pat Martino, Kool and The Gang, Tower Of Power, Stevie Wonder, AC/DC, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Frank Zappa, Toto, Extreme, Prince, Death, Cannibal Corpse, Jason Becker, Greg Howe, Richie Kotzen, Frank Gambale, Allan Holdsworth).
Any limit of what music to listen or play was removed. In the meanwhile, he was seriously taking music lessons of, first, classical music and then jazz, with the legendary jazz and world music guitar master Alexander Petkov. In the 2000 he attempts admission to study at Berklee College Of Music, Boston, USA, with talent based scholarship and obtains it, but due to difficult international visa situation and still missing some funds, couldn’t use it. Not losing his faith, continued playing with several bands and the best musicians in Bulgaria and writing music in different styles, from rock, through pop and hardcore/metal, till jazz-rock fusion. Fully in the world of professional music, began to travel and play all kinds of music. In 2003 decided to go to Gothenburg, Sweden and meet the most avant-garde shred guitar virtuoso of our times, Mattias IA Eklundh in the annual Freak Guitar Camp. This was really a significant meeting, tons of motivation and an exciting exchange between the orthodox and viking’s way of seeing music and life. At the end of the Freak Guitar Camp, he won the prize for best songwriting and guitar playing between the international participant’s group.
In February 2004, moved to Barcelona, Spain, in order to obtain official music studies at “L’Aula de Música Moderna i Jazz del Coservatori del Liceu”(Berklee International Network). In 5 months completed half of the four year educational plan. Since the beginning of 2005 was invited to join the team of the leading spanish guitar magazine Guitarra Actual for ten consecutive issues with his personal monthly column “ Turbo Tech Guitar Workshop ”.
Shortly after his graduation in Modern Music and Jazz in Barcelona, in 2006 moved to Hollywood, CA in order to attend the worldwide renowned Guitar Institute of Technology (G.I.T., Musicians Institute, Hollywood CA), awarded with the Musicianship Scholarship for exceptional talent and musicianship and graduating as Honors Student. Musicians Institute invited him to join their staff team since 2008. Lots of live shows in California followed, as well as teaching, for National Guitar Workshop (2008) and several Music Schools around the Los Angeles area. In 2007 Derek Sherinian invited him for a tour in Europe, which unfortunately did not happen, Derek kept in touch with Ivan, all the way until he decided to move back to Europe, when Derek asked him to audition for Planet X, great chance and dream for many, but Ivan was just not interested.
Since the end of 2008, moved back to Spain and currently living in Madrid, recently recorded and produced a fusion/progressive/funk instrumental solo album, featuring Gianluca Palmieri (Greg Howe Band) on drums, PJ Dyer (Mariah Carey, Van Hunt) on keys, Ivelin Atanasov on keys and Radoslav Slavchev on bass. The album is available from Jan 2011. The album was featured with very high ratings in magazines and online guitar oriented websites.
In 2012 and 2013, Ivan has performing several critically acclaimed live shows with Sinfonity, World’s First Electric Guitar Orchestra, in the meantime, teaching full time, in Aula Moderna, a modern music school, located in the heart of Madrid, Spain.
Since October 2013, back on the road, he spends half a year performing live in China as a hired gun. In the spring of 2014 moves back to his home town – Varna (Bulgaria) and from now on all the travelling is being done from here. Plenty of live shows follow, now in the main stages of Baltic Sea’s main maritime companies – Silja Line/Tallink and Viking Line, Finland. When back home, always welcoming gigs with diverse bands and musicians, Live Music is all what is about!
Currently Teaching Guitar, Theory and Composition mainly online, via HD Video Conference through Skype (if interested, please drop a message), doing Recording Sessions as a Studio Musician Online (tracks recorded in Ivan’s Tomcat Studio and sent via internet, if interested, please drop a message). Working as a Hired Live Musician also (if interested, please drop a message).