In Between Classes and Concerts, Professor Todorov is Pilot, Award-Winning Photographer

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

SMITHSONIAN -- Jassen Todorov is a modern Renaissance man. Originally from Bulgaria, he travels around the world performing as a violinist, and for the past 15 years, has taught Music at San Francisco State University. In between classes and concerts, he is also a pilot and photographer. Whether for a quick weekend trip from the Bay Area or a cross-country haul, Todorov travels in his four-seater 1976 Piper Warrior plane every chance he gets, documenting the world below.

Speaking from San Francisco, Todorov shares how he combines his passions, what inspires his travels and what he has learned in his years of flying.

“Music has a lot to do with patterns, and structure and discipline. But then there’s also uniformity, colors and improvisation, too,” Todorov says. “When you look at a photo, you’re thinking about the same things. You are looking at colors, you’re looking at the mood, you’re looking at the patterns. You’re looking at the composition of course, the general feel.”