Ivo Venkov was born in Russe, one of the most lively music centres in Bulgaria, also known as "Little Vienna". He studied piano, music theory and orchestral conducting at the Sofia Conservatory. In 1995 he conducted two chamber operas by Georgi Kostov and was appointed conductor at the Varna State Opera, where he made his debut with Bizet's opera 'Les Pêcheurs de Perles'. With the Symphony Orchestra of Sofia he performed various vocal and symphonic works and conducted concerts in Italy, Greece, Yugoslavia, Japan and Spain. In January 1996 he graduated in orchestral conducting with great distinction. A year later he went to the Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst in Wien en Graz (Austria) to complete his studies. In 1998 he made his debut in Belgium with several operetta productions and as guest conductor of the Brussels Youth Orchestra. In September that year he was appointed conductor of the Youth and Music Orchestra of Antwerp. He has also conducted the Frankfurter Museumorchester, the Bamberger Symphoniker , the Residentieorkest The Hague , the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, the Flemish Radio Orchestra, worked as Walter Weller's assistant to deFilharmonie and toured Flanders with the Symphony Orchestra of Flanders. With the Flemish Radio Orchestra he recorded the composition 'Ensorciana' by Jules Strens for the CD 'Bonjour Monsieur Ensor'. In May 2004 Ivo Venkov won second prize in the Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition, organized by the Bamberger Symphoniker. In September that same year he won first prize at the Sir Georg Solti Conductor Competition in Frankfurt with a performance of Debussy's 'La Mer'. Finally Ivo Venkov is guest professor of orchestral conducting at the Royal Conservatoire Antwerp.