Stefan Popov (born 3rd of April 1940) is a cellist who holds Bulgarian nationality. He started to learn to play the cello at the age of 9 and, having won a scholarship, continued his training at the Moscow Conservatory where he studied under Sviatoslav Knushevitsky and Mstislav Rostropovich from 1961 to 1966. He became a prize-winner in many competitions, including Geneva, Florence and Vienna. In 1966, as a finalist he won a medal in the International Tchaikovsky Competition for Cello. At the same time as the Tchaikovsky competition, he was also awarded a prize from the Union of Soviet Composers for his performance of Russian music.
From 1971 to 1975 he taught at Boston University and New England Conservatory. From 1977 to date, he has lived in the United Kingdom, where he still is a professor of cello at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. He performs regularly and leads cello masterclasses at music festivals and in state conservatoires throughout the world.
He has had performances broadcast on radio and television, as well as having recorded numerous CDs. In 2006 he recorded and transcribed for cello Beethoven's violin concerto, to coincide with the 200 year anniversary of its first performance. He stated that he did this also in part "to compensate for the fact no Beethoven cello concerto was ever written" and to commemorate what is generally regarded as one of the greatest concertos for any instrument.
In 2008 he was awarded the "Chevalier du violoncelle" title at the Eva Janzer Memorial Cello Center for his contribution to the cause of cello playing.