Inspired by the heroic acts of the Bulgarian people who risked their lives for their fellow citizens, Kalin and Sharon Tchonev founded the Songs of Life Festival to champion the principles of tolerance in the midst of diversity and bravery in the face of prejudice. Songs of Life will feature the World Premiere performance of a newly-commissioned oratorio, A Melancholy Beauty, which depicts the inspiring story of the rescue of all Bulgaria's Jews during World War II. A Melancholy Beauty is a major choral-orchestral work from award-winning Bulgarian composer, Georgi Andreev, with a performing force of 300 superb musicians, consisting of children and adult choirs, Bulgarian female folk vocal ensemble, a full symphony orchestra, authentic Bulgarian folk instruments, soloists and narrators. The Festival will also premiere the motet Whosoever Saves a Single Life composed by internationally renowned cantor and composer, Charles David Osborne, for mixed choirs. In addition, each participating chorus will perform an a cappella program specially selected by the Festival conductors: Henry H. Leck, Jesse Peckham, Thomas Miller, and artistic director Georgi Andreev. Participants include the Indianapolis Children's Choir, IN; the Philip Kutev National Folklore Ensemble, Bulgaria; KHORIKOS Choir, NY; and The Victor Valley College Singers and Master Arts Chorale, CA, accompanied by the renowned National Philharmonic.