Emi P. Stefanov was born into a family of musicians (her mother Ivanka is a piano teacher, and her father Petar was the principal bassoonist for the Belgrade Symphony Orchestra) and began studying piano at the age of three. Though born in Chicago, Emi was raised in Belgrade, Yugoslavia where she was classically trained, winning numerous competitions and awards. Due to the political and ethnic uproar, Emi was forced to flee her hometown and move to the United States.
The Stefanov family moved to Tampa, Florida in 1991 where Emi received a full scholarship to Tampa Preparatory High School, continuing her classical training at the University of Tampa pre-college program. She performed frequent solo and chamber recitals, including the Schumann A minor piano concerto with Tampa Bay Symphony Orchestra.
In pursuit of higher education, Emi attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX where she studied with Alfred Mouledous and received a Bachelor and Master degrees in Piano Performance. While at SMU, she music directed and played many productions including Anything Goes, Love’s Fire, It’s All True, Once Upon a Mattress, etc. One of the highlights at SMU was music directing a faculty project Boomerangst, written, choreographed and directed by her dear colleague and friend Sara Romersberger. Their collaboration continued through the years, working together on various projects including “Rosenburg” summer collaborative workshop, established in 2001. For seven years Emi served as an artistic director of Broadway Kids program at SMU Community Education, and was a full time assistant choir director at Midlothian HS. Emi was also a singing coach at FSU/Asolo Conservatory, where she got to work with most prominent student actors in the country.
Currently Emi resides in Tampa, Florida where she is teaching piano at Academic Piano Studio, is on piano faculty at HCC Ybor Music Department, and is also music directing and performing in countless shows with Coins Productions and Francis Wilson Playhouse, among others. Most recent projects include Follies, Brigadoon, Chess, South Pacific, Titanic, Les Misérables, Secret Garden, Sweeney Todd, Hello Dolly, Wedding Singer, Nunsense, Gypsy, Singin' In The Rain, Guys and Dolls, The Fantasticks, Cabaret, Urinetown, My Fair Lady, Forever Plaid, Smokey Joe’s Café, etc. Emi is recipient of numerous Lary Awards, Star Awards and 2014 Theatre Tampa Bay Award for Outstanding Musical Director for freeFall Theatre's production of The Mikado.