Lazar Nikolov

Lazar Nikolov (1922–2005) graduated from the National Academy of Music in Sofia majoring in Piano and Composition under Professor Dimitar Nenov (1946) and Professor Pancho Vladigerov (1947). He taught Chamber Music at the National Music High-School in Sofia (1957) and Score Reading at the National Academy of Music (1961). He was promoted full professor in 1980.
His work played an important role in the development of the Bulgarian music in the second half of the 20th century. Together with KonstantinВ Iliev, he was among the pioneers of the Bulgarian music vanguard. His Concerto for Strings (1949, performed in 1951) was the first piece, which connected the composer with the new European twentieth century music. In the 1960s he took part in contemporary music festivals such as the Warsaw Autumn Festival (1962, 64, 68); the Berlin Musik-Biennale (1969, 73, 79); the Zagreb Biennial (1967) or the festival in Witten, Germany (where a chamber ensemble conducted by Ventzislav Nikolov premiered his Metamorphoses ?3, 1998). His compositions were performed in Europe, USA, Russia, etc. and were recorded for the Bulgarian National Radio, WDR, FR-3, SRB and other foreign radio stations. Peters and Schott-Mainz published his works. A number of eminent Bulgarian performers made their name as fine interpreters of contemporary music by performing his compositions.
From 1992 to 1999 he chaired the Union of Bulgarian Composers.
His music won a number of national awards. In 1992 the Academie Internationale des Beaux-Arts Paris-Sofia awarded him the first prize and a gold medal for total work and contribution to the development of the contemporary music. He also received the Doctor honoris causa title by the Academy of Music and Dance Art in Plovdiv (1997) and the State Academy of Music (2002).
He composed two operas; six symphonies; three concertos; Metamorphoses 1-4 and other chamber works; symphonies for 13 strings and other works for symphony, chamber and string orchestra; 25 sonatas for various instruments; choral songs; music to over 30 film and theatre performances composed during the period 1954-68.

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