The future of music? I see it as I always have. Plato was a genius, Stravinsky was a genius, Boulez is a genius, and I believe that my little eight-year-old, Emile Naoumoff, is also a genius.
Nadia Boulanger, La Republique, 1971
"A Case So Rare that it is Difficult to Define" This year, we're going to have at the school, (the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau), a little seven-year-old boy. A little Bulgarian. He was brought to me this winter in Paris. And when I saw the seriousness of the little one, who has already thought things through to an unusual extent, I was deeply moved. His mother asked him "would you like to play some Bach for Mademoiselle Boulanger?" He began very well, and then stopped. He told me "there might not be much time, so I would like to play some of my own music." Among his pieces there was a minuet which already displayed unquestionable personality.
Nadia Boulanger, 1970
He is only fourteen, and he has already written many works which have been performed successfully. Moreover, he possesses the joie de vivre and the conscience to struggle, as well as having a charming nature.
Nadia Boulanger, 1979
I don't want to leave without having said goodbye. I have too many things to tell you that you already know. I don't say them to elicit gratitude, because I know that you understand what I have done for you. But please realize that you have given me more than I have given you. With all my tender affection.
Nadia Boulanger, 1979
-This was Nadia Boulanger's last letter to Emile Naoumoff, a month before her death-
…A child with the most striking gifts. A miraculous ear, great intelligence, great love for music, enthusiasm, and desire to learn. A little bit incredible to meet such a child.
Nadia Boulanger, 1972
. . . I want only to give an assurance here of my complete devotion to the little one, who is marked by an unmistakable sign. I don't think I'm mistaken in thinking that he will be amongst those who will bring honor to his country, and, in fact, to the whole world.
Nadia Boulanger, 1971
"Emile Naoumoff shows extraordinary gifts and exceptional maturity."
Leonard Bernstein, 1977
The opera, "The Miracle and the Child," is composed by a child thirteen or fourteen years of age, who is himself a miracle and a child. My wish for him is that he will live up to all of his own, as well our, expectations, because at this age his future is entirely before him. Hopefully, he will be, like Verdi, still composing operas at the age of eighty-eight.
(During the premiere in Paris of Emile Naoumoff's comic opera The Miracle and the Child.)
Igor Markevitch, June 4, 1976
"Naoumoff has the poetry of Rubinstein and the fire of Horowitz. In fact, critics have called him "the new Horowitz." But there already has been a Horowitz and there was only one. Now there is a Naoumoff. And there is only one. At twenty-seven, this brilliant young artist, health and fate permitting, has at least a half-century of music-making before him and that makes the future seem a little less uncertain."
Charles Staff, Indianapolis News
February 2, 1990
The high point of the evening was Naoumoff's elegant and poignant performance of four Nocturnes by Chopin, readings combining heroism, poetry, spontaneity and eloquently sculptured soundscapes. Such perfectly proportioned readings are rare in any generation; in Naoumoff's, they seem miraculous.
Daniel Cariaga, April 1, 1987
Los Angeles Times
"Remember this name: Emile Naoumoff. He is a pianist, he is Bulgarian, and he is a composer. In my forty years as reviewer for Le Figaro, I have rarely seen such a phenomenon. By giving a polyphonic individuality to each finger and each timbre, he makes us think of Richter. His voice, as a composer, astounds his listeners with the power of truth. Sharp or silky, his harmonies barely brush atonality, but they never jar the ear; they always seduce and surprise. Ah! If "modern" music could always be of this nature-lively, unexpected and charming, and having such a striking personality!"
Bernard Gavoty, Le Figaro, Feb. 11, 1980
From "A Star is Born"
I place Emile Naoumoff - composer, pianist, and conductor, among the true musicians of the twentieth century. He dares to rise above the artificiality of experimentation for its own sake. Furthermore, he refuses to succumb to the facile use of spectacular effects which have no lasting significance. His music is timeless.
J.L. Legaza, Diario Ya, April 3, 1983
"Emile Naoumoff, Sincerety and Authentic Voice"