Born into a family of musicians in 1985, Vassilena Serafimova is the first Bulgarian percussionist to be awarded the Second Prize of the 56th ARD International Music Competition in Munich and the First Prize of the Fifth World International Marimba Competition in Stuttgart. She won the Grand Prix of the 10th International Competition Music and Earth as a soloist as well as the First Prize as a member of the Percussion Ensemble Accent, founded by her parents Avgustina and Simeon Serafimov. She received the Young Musician of the Year Award in Bulgaria in 2008 as well as the First Prize of the Music Critics in the 18th International Festival of Central Europe in Slovakia.
In 2014, Vassilena made her debut in Carnegie Hall of New York. One year later, together with Thomas Enhco (piano), she was the first marimba player in history to perform at the French Awards Ceremony Victoires de la Musique. In 2016, the duo recorded their first album titled Funambules for Deutsche Grammophon.
She has recorded for Radio France, Bayerischer Rundfunk, Bulgarian National Radio, and the Slovakian National Radio. Vassilena has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall (New York), Théâtre de Champs Elysées, Théâtre de Châtelet, Salle Pleyel (Paris), Hermitage Theater (Saint-Peterburg), Muziekgebouw (Amsterdam and Eindhoven), Herkulessaal (Munich), and Bulgaria Music Hall (Sofia). She has been invited to numerous festivals including Les Flâneries Musicales de Reims, Classique au Vert (France), Middelheim Jazz Festival (Belgique), REpercusionES (Costa Rica), Focus! 2011 Festival (Etats-Unis), and TransART (Bulgaria)). She has been invited to teach masterclasses in Europe, Central and North America, and Asia.
In 2013 Vassilena co-founded the Paris Percussion Group with Jean-Baptiste Leclère – a new ensemble of twelve percussionists uniting the young French generation of percussionists. She is also the artistic director and co-founder of the International Marimba And Percussion Festival in Bulgaria (2009, 2012, 2014).
Vassilena’s inspiration, mentors and teachers include the following musicians: Simeon Serafimov, Sylvio Gualda, Keiko Abe, Bogdan Bacanu, Momoko Kamiya, Chantal Stigliani, Katarzyna Mycka, Michel Cerutti, Florent Jodelet, Gordon Gottlieb, Daniel Druckman, Tatiana Koleva, Nebojsa Zivkovic, Jeff Malarsky…
Her curious nature lead her to participate in the Pyxis transdisciplinary project, searching and discovering a dialog between different art forms. This complex work significantly developed her imagination and is reflected in her way of performing.
Vassilena performs on ADAMS Alpha Series Marimbas. She is a Zildjian artist since 2014, and has created her own marimba mallets series with Vibrawell Mallets France.